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Overcoming the habit of procrastinating in 3 steps

Study guide

If you have noticed that you are repeatedly postponing essential tasks, know that you are not alone in this tragedy. In fact, there are many people who at least sometimes postpone their work. But for some as a baby gets older, he or she will outgrow this.

Overcoming the habit of procrastinating has its own tactics. The key to this destructive lock is to discover when you start to procrastinate, to understand why this happens at all to even the best of people, and finally to actively try to manage the time and outcome of your work yourself.

What does procrastination mean?

In short, whenever you postpone your current tasks to another time to do something else that you are more comfortable with or more enjoyable; It means that you are postponing the obligatory tasks.

According to psychologist Professor Clary Lee, who is also a leading author in the field, procrastination occurs when there is a significant time lag between when one intends to do something and when one actually does it. would have existed.

Overcoming the habit of procrastinating

Step # 1- Discovering Your Purpose There is no such thing as a bad habit

If you are honest with yourself, you probably know when you usually put things off until tomorrow.

To find out when you are procrastinating, you can look for situations such as the following that are signs of procrastination:

  • When you fill your day with tasks that are on your to-do list but have low priority.
  • You sit at the table to start a high-priority task, but you immediately get up to make a cup of tea or something to eat.
  • There is one item on your to-do list that has been left untouched for a long time; Even though you know it is important.
  • You constantly accept the trivial things that others want from you. Then, instead of starting the important tasks that you already have on your to-do list, you fill your time with the less important tasks that the others want.
  • You are waiting for the “right time” or the “sense of work” to do the important work you have.


Avoiding an insignificant task is not necessarily a procrastination; It may even indicate a good and correct prioritization! Delaying an important task for a short time because you are tired may not be a delay; At least until the start of work is not delayed for more than a day or two, and only occasionally, not always. If you have an honest and valid reason to change your work schedule, then you have not neglected it. But if you are just making excuses because your heart does not want to do it, then it is called procrastination.

Clary Lee, in a 1986 article in the Journal of Research on Personality, points out that procrastination is independent of one’s energy, self-confidence, and need for success. In other words, you may be confident in your abilities, drain your energy, and enjoy achieving your goals, but still procrastinate.

Step 2: Discover why

The reason you postpone your work to another time can be related to both the work in question and to yourself. But you need to know which of the two is problematic in each particular situation so that you can choose the best way to overcome your reluctance.

One of the possible reasons could be that one does not particularly like it at all. That’s why he tries to avoid it. Most jobs have their ups and downs, and usually the best way to deal with these areas is to get rid of them immediately and get rid of them so that we can focus on the more interesting parts of the job.

Another reason is that some people are completely irregular. Regular people can save themselves from the temptation to procrastinate; Because they have things like a to-do list and a schedule that shows how important each job is and exactly how long it needs to be done. They have already thought about how much time each task is going to take, and thus have determined for themselves what they need to start and when to get everything on time. Regular people are also in a better position to avoid procrastination; Because they know how to break a big project into small, doable steps.

Even if you are regular, you may still feel like the project is too big and heavy. Doubt may enter your heart and you doubt whether you really have the necessary resources and skills. So you go and do things that you know you can do, and that calms you down. But it is a pity that that big project is not going to give up on you; Projects that are really important rarely lose their importance. You may even be as scared of success as you are of failure. For example, you may think to yourself that if you complete this project successfully, then you will be entrusted with more and more of these kinds of tasks and then you will have to take on responsibilities that you do not think you can handle.

Surprisingly, perfectionists are often forced to procrastinate. They may think to themselves, “I do not have enough time right now (or I do not know enough) so I will not do it at all until I can reach my best.”

Finally, you may have a weakness for decision-making skills. If the problem is that you can not decide what to do, you may not start the project at all until you make a mistake.

Step 3: Equip yourself with strategies

Procrastination is a habit; It is a pattern of behavior that is institutionalized in the depths of your being. In other words, it cannot be destroyed overnight. Habits only become habitual when you constantly refrain from doing them. So use the following methods as much as possible to increase your chances of breaking your habit. Some of the following tips work better for some people or work for some projects more than others. Sometimes all you need to do to defeat this giant is a new approach and a fresh look at it!

These general tips will motivate you to start your battle:

  • Set a reward for yourself. For example, make it a point to reward yourself with a delicious dessert if you finish a particular task by lunch time. Do not forget to pay attention to the good feeling that a person gets from finishing things and enjoy it!
  • Ask someone to pay attention to you. Putting pressure on people around you really works to motivate you. This is the rationale behind self-help groups and group therapy and is recognized as a very effective method.
  • Think about the unpleasant consequences of not doing this project.
  • Determine your hourly wage and the costs you incur for your employer. Because your boss is giving you money to do things that he thinks are important, then if you do not do those important things, you are actually wasting company money. Blame yourself a little!
  • Try to swallow your frog first thing you do every day!

If the reason for postponing your work is irregular, these tips will help you get organized!

  • Make a list of things you need to do. That way you can no longer forget things as easily as they were difficult or unpleasant!
  • From Eisenhower Principle of Importance / Urgency Use to prioritize your list items. This will make you no longer an excuse for yourself that something is not so important and can be done later. Prioritization also makes it impossible for you to deceive yourself in such a way that something similar, which happens to be even more interesting, is more necessary!
  • Roll up your sleeves, become a master of scheduling, and try to plan your projects and tasks. This way you will know when to start the project so that everything is completed on time.
  • Set a time limit for your goals. Whatever you do, set a deadline for it in your mind. With this, you will no longer have time to procrastinate!
  • Focus on one task at a time. Do not run several projects together.

If the reason you run away from work is because you are afraid of its weight and grandeur, then you have to take another path. These tips can guide you:

  • Divide the project into smaller sections to make it look scary and workable. Setting up an action plan can also be helpful.
  • If possible, do a few simple parts of the project first that are not too time consuming. Even if you do not think those sections belong to the early stages of the work, you will feel that you have made progress by completing them. Maybe then the project will no longer seem scary to you.

If the reason for postponing work for you is that you do not like it at all, pay attention to the following points:

  • Many people who are constantly procrastinating think of the unpleasantness of work more than it really is. So give it a try, maybe it wasn’t as bad as you thought!
  • Keep reminding yourself of the unpleasant consequences of not doing something.
  • Reward yourself for doing the job.

Finally, your problem may be that you can not decide what to do. Perhaps for fear of making the wrong decision, you completely overthrow the decision-making process. If so, take a look at the Decision Principles course. This article will introduce you to the different types of decision making techniques.

Remember; The longer you hold back from procrastinating, the better your chances of breaking this destructive habit forever!


Overcoming the habit of procrastinating in 3 steps

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