Do you always finish your work minutes afore the deadline? Do you swear every time, that the next time would be different and you would do a better job, yet again follow the same vicious cycle? Then welcome to the possibility of suffering from chronic procrastination.
What is chronic procrastination?
Procrastination is the practice of carrying out less important work in priority to more exigent tasks or doing more pleasure giving work first than those which require erudition or strenuous exertion and leaving them for the different upcoming section of clock or calendar.
Understanding procrastination with a very rudimentary daily life example would be helpful- You know that your office/school work is pending and its deadline is coming more proximate day by day, nonetheless you opt to scroll your social media account or binge-watch a series and shift your responsibilities. Nobody is a perfect non-procrastinator, everybody visually perceives and compares the caliber of pleasure in any work. Everybody procrastinates for pleasure but there is a remote distinction between normal procrastination and chronic procrastination. A situation where your normal procrastination becomes habitual and starts threatening your workplace productivity is classed as Chronic Procrastination.
How to identify if you are a chronic procrastinator?
When you are a chronic procrastinator you regret every time when the deadline for your work submission gets closer and wish you somehow get more days, all while still not doing your work. It’s okay to sometimes skip your work for the time being if you are excessively tired and desperately need a break but always ask yourself first: “Do I really need a break?”. If you are completely honest with yourself then you’ll know that most of the time you just do so because you aren’t interested in the work and just postpone it for some other activities. It’s okay to listen to your urges sometimes but when it starts becoming a habit that you can’t control and give-in every time then you know that you are a chronic procrastinator. When you reach a place where you forget your responsibilities and become less afraid of the consequences of skipping, then be sure that you are suffering from chronic procrastination.
Recollect the last situation where you made excuses to postpone your important work just for doing something else and gave yourself lame excuses. You won’t have to go too back, I am sure! These are the situations that you need to look out for, the possibility that you pushed them back time and again is very likely. Now, does it ring bells, and do you think that you are suffering from chronic procrastination?
My breakthrough: When I knew I was a chronic procrastinator.
Understanding upcoming situations and making a plan to cope with that situation is already half battle victoriously triumphed! Learn from your mistakes, make a plan, and follow that with discipline. Let me use a very personal experience that coerced me to genuinely inspect the problem of chronic procrastination.
The best possible example that everyone would relate to are the college assignments. It was the night before the submission deadline and I hadn’t even started yet. I was assuring myself “Huh, it’s a small assignment, my friend will give me the solutions and I will finish it no time”. Even though it was getting late and I was unable to contact my friend, I still wasn’t ready to work.
It was half an hour before the deadline that I knew I was doomed and was cursing myself. I started my work constantly wishing if I could get a little bit more time and simultaneously thinking of excuses to feel better. Chrome loaded with tabs, copy-paste in full swing and after a focused dedicated last-minute effort, I managed to collect all the solutions and submitted it with 4 minutes left on the clock.
The message ‘Your Assignment is Submitted’ flashing on the screen made me exhale a sigh of relief. I must tell I was pretty impressed with myself. I had the divine ability of churning out last-minute good quality assignments. “I can always do it on my own! I need no one”, I thought.
Breaking my glass castle, I saw that I had commited really hosrrible-silly mistakes that were very clear the next day, when that I had time to inspect. I was going to lose my grade for that. I was no expert, who was I trying to fool!
I become sad and cursed myself for always being late and prioritizing those momentary pleasures above the things that will really matter. I could have done better work, not because I have rocket science intelligence but if I was not a Procrastinator.
This is Chronic Procrastination and this is how it affects our daily life. You know you should be completing your assignments/work but scrolling social media, Binge-watching Netflix, or simply sleeping is much more pleasurable and that’s where you lose! It gets so ingrained in us that it becomes a chronic habit, and hinders every other task.
Inspecting Chronic Procrastination
None of us wants to be a part of this cycle. I did not ask for chronic procrastination, yet I fail to get over it every time. It wasn’t the first time that I had decided not to procrastinate again but this time it was different. I am getting older and understanding my responsibilities is obligatory. So, I decided to analyze my problem for a reason to find a solution. As soon as I started analyzing I came to the conclusion that a few things happen every time we procrastinate.
- Defer: My work has just been provided by my boss/teacher, I will submit it later. Let me check my Netflix account first.
- Avoiding: I am capable of completing my work in 1 hour and there are still 2 days left to submit it. I will start it later.
- Guilt: Why in the world do I keep my work for the last moment? My Internet Connection isn’t working well and there is a short time left. What should I do now? Should I jump off a cliff now?
- Anxiety: There is 1 hour left and most of the things are still undone. My connection isn’t well and are they even my friends who don’t answer the call in one ring? What should I do now?
- Hysteria: Now, I have to do it! There is no more option left. I will sacrifice the quality of my assignment but will submit it on time. And that assignment would be ordinary but who cares!
- Self Loathe: There is nothing I can do in my life if I can’t even submit my college assignment on time. My complete existence is in vain. But whatever, I can’t change the past now, so which series should I watch now?
If you analyze your most recent activity where you procrastinated then you can surely break them down in these steps. Now that you know that you suffer from chronic procrastination, don’t panic because it isn’t too late. Before starting on how to cure chronic procrastination read these beautiful lines by Samyak Krishna Sir.
Until the time I woke up I saw that the Toughest desire Had cut off the strongest vein Of survival in reality I felt I was talking to my desires Painting me with dazzler shades Evoking the sadness In roasted unawareness. I had bands of mischiefs Swimming inside me In a bright childhood But you see Even the days had wings Escaping from me Up the stairway Towards paradise. I had been a way To the streets Of evermore happiness in fantasies Where the dew drops Are more likely to quench a thirst And the buds of emotions Bloom at a quick pace Yes, the spring is of great demand. This is my very beginning Throughout the verses Dragging myself over labyrinth Of an older I know quite old. I had been very lonely With the caged doves Less familiar to me Even in these dreams of hope Feeding the instances Of my memory, heart and soul Wait, I suppressed those faded casualties My lively breath, I suppose. Well, today I have sand grains To build up a desert Healing the observer Of a bright oblivion I too had mysteries But let me wake up For the sake of survival For the sake of last of everything.
Follow Samyak Krishna on Instagram for more captivating lines.
How to fix chronic procrastination?
Being a chronic procrastinator, you are baiting your career, life, opportunities, and talent. Procrastination is the most devastating nature a man can have. It is directly related to deferring. The main reason you procrastinate is the pleasure and disinterest you see in not doing the particular work, i.e. which is important but doing the work that is even minutely not consequential. It uses our habit and dopamine as bait and once we fall in this rat-trap, it’s over!
Before getting on with the methods of fixing chronic procrastination, you must know that it isn’t too late. I was like a remote on a couch who doesn’t have any goal in life and watches the calendar days slipping like sand. I knew I had to do something. It wasn’t too late for me and it isn’t too late for you!
Set Goals for your future
Go to your room, close the lights, sit on your studying table and put these questions in front of yourself.
- What do I want to be in my life?
- Where I am going in life?
- What do I want to become?
- What do I want to have?
- Am I on the right path?
- What do I have to change for that goal to accomplish?
Be honest with yourself, stay motivated, and focus on your goals. Once you are clear of the goals the path becomes a little less hazy and a bit more easier.
Focus on the ‘real’ important tasks coming up
Focus on the important tasks which will make you a productive person and remember those important tasks should not be based on your comfort level, instead, they must be based on the urgency, level of hard work required, and the person who gave that work. For example, Work given by your boss must be your first priority rather than the work given by a friend.
Once you have decided what to do in further hours or days then stay away from distractions and try to keep working on the task until It is finished.
Use fear as your strength to overcome Chronic Procrastination
Fear can be used very effectively if handled opportunely. In our daily life, most of the time it’s the fear that drives us to do any work. You conventionally do your assignments because you are scared of the consequences of not doing them or you make a presentation for work because you fear being fired. Use this fear to your advantage. Every time you wish to procrastinate and push your work aside, remember the worse that could happen and it will make it a little easier for you to get up and work.
Proper Time Management
The major reason for procrastination is the lack of time management skills. You fail to manage the time you spend on leisure activities and gradually when it gets out of hand it becomes chronic procrastination. Failure in managing time leads to a shortage of time and a decrease in the quality of your work. Managing time is an adeptness that not many have but can be acquired by practice and discipline. Reading good Time management books can greatly help you.
Suggested: Time Management: The experts tell all!
Make a plan, a broad plan. Divide that plan into sections and divide the time accordingly with detailed sections. Try to begin with smaller plans and slowly you will see the more voluminous task will be accomplished within the correct duration of time. Small things matter! Make sure you make a realistic and authentic plan and try to complete it within the duration. This will not allow you to procrastinate and thus will control your habit of chronic procrastination.
Expect and Prepare to avoid the possibility of Chronic Procrastination
Expect and prepare yourself for the distractions. Don’t expect too much from yourself and know your potential. There would be a phase where you will be in a dilemma to choose between very compelling pleasant activities and your not-so-exciting boring work.
Think about those scenarios now and make a plan and decide what you will do if they arise later. This way you will have a plan for these situations and will not be taken aback if these come suddenly and choose the wrong path.
Closure to the Article
These are the ideas and steps which can help you cure your chronic procrastination. One burning question you might have: By following the steps will you become a complete non-procrastinator. No, not at all. Nobody is a perfect non-procrastinator but changing for the betterment and evolving as per the need is what matters the most. It is still a success if you are 0.01% ahead of yourself from the past. You know what matters the most, to start, and take the first step. Try not to procrastinate a full week, a small task at a time, continue with it for a month and you will see that your urges to procrastinate are exponentially reduced.
Get up now and work hard to become and be the best version of yourself.
- Do it when you are tired.
- Work hard when everyone sleeps.
- Do it when you are scared.
- Do it when you’ve tried and failed.
- Work when nobody does.
- Do it when it doesn’t feel fun.
- Do it sooner than later.
JUST DO IT.