How to Overcome Procrastination!

When you have a task you need to complete, the time period that feels the worst is right before you start to work on it. Now, depending how much time you waste procrastinating, this time period could be short, or you can allow it to drag on by trying to avoid doing whatever it is that needs to be done. This time period is the worst not only because you’re dreading whatever needs to be done, but you’re also convincing yourself that the task is more difficult than it needs to be, which only makes you dread doing it even more. The procrastination period makes you feel as if you have a weight on your chest that will only go away after you complete what needs to be done. But, the task is never as complicated or difficult as you had once convinced yourself to believe. In fact, I find actually doing the task feels better than the actual procrastination period.

So how do we stop procrastinating? It’s a little more difficult than a step by step process. In order to stop procrastinating, you must first find out why exactly you are procrastinating, and that will allow you to figure out how to stop it. I’ll briefly mention the three most common reasons people procrastinate and tell you ways I have learned to overcome them.

Procrastination because of fear.
Procrastinating because of fear is actually the most common reason we procrastinate. When we have to do something that we are afraid or intimidated to do, we often put off doing it until the very last minute. It may be because we don’t know exactly how to complete the task or maybe we are afraid to fail. We don’t want to mess up and that keeps us from even attempting to try. There has been many school assignments intimidated me because I didn’t want to do them wrong and fail. So, I would push them off until the very last minute.

Here is the problem with that, you are intimidated by the task, but you are losing time to complete the task to the best of your ability. The way to overcome this procrastination is to simply put your fear aside and force yourself to start. You need to sit down at your desk and just start despite the fear or anxiety you may feel. Understand that in the amount of time that you procrastinated, you could have attempted the task and maybe even made edits to it (or completed it). You are going to have to eventually complete this task. You won’t be able to get out of doing it. Wouldn’t you rather put all your effort into it and take your time to ensure you are happy with your work? If you procrastinate, then you will end up having to rush on the task, and you will end up with a finished product that could have been better had you put more time and effort into it.

Procrastination because of laziness.
This procrastination is usually felt when you have a to-do list of simple, yet irritating, tasks that need to be done. You just don’t want to do them because they are boring and time consuming. So, you just sit around knowing you have stuff to do, but instead waste a good hour trying to convince yourself to start on the tasks.

Here’s the thing about this, in the time you sat around trying to convince yourself to get up is the same time you could have been completing these tasks. For me, when I have to clean, I procrastinate. I have actually watched Clean with Me videos on YouTube as I tried to convince myself to get up and start cleaning. In order to overcome this procrastination, don’t give yourself the time to think about doing the tasks, and, instead, just do the tasks. This is a skill you have to gain. And it takes time and practice to master this habit, but in the end it will be worth it because you will save yourself so much time. You have to push through that initial feeling of boredom and want to do something, anything, else than what needs to be done. You have to create self-discipline. You have to be strict and find it in yourself to take control of not only your body, but your mind.  

Procrastination because you don’t know where to start.
Sometimes the starting line is so intimidating that we don’t even want to begin. I know many times I have been overwhelmed and the starting line for a task wasn’t very visible. I knew the end result, I knew what I had to do, but I didn’t know where to start. This is the lesser common of the three types of procrastination, but it is still very frequent. And I have experienced it plenty of times before.

This type of procrastination can seem the most intimidating, yes even more intimidating than being afraid of the task, because there is no direct starting point. How you can overcome this procrastination is by first sitting down and working on a plan. Examine exactly what you have to do, and maybe even do some research on what it takes to complete the task if you are that lost. Write down steps, and then focus on completing each step individually. Usually, when you focus on a step rather than the big picture, the task doesn’t seem so scary. Check off the step when you finish, and then go on to the next. Don’t stop and allow yourself time to doubt what you are doing. Just trust the plan that you previously created for yourself and continue to work on whatever you may be