This blog post is my 10th post and I thought, “Why not reveal something about me?” Of course I was hesitant to do so because all I could think about when the idea came to me was that people will judge me. Wrong approach! I really don’t care for people’s opinion that much, and that’s one of the reasons I started blogging in the first place, so here goes.
Some people’s #1 bad habit is smoking, spending too much time on the couch watching TV, overspending their way into debt, eating too much fast food or even skipping breakfast. My #1 bad habit is procrastination. There, I’ve said it!
pro-cras-ti-na-tion |prəˌkrastəˈnāSHən, prō-| noun
Some researchers have viewed procrastination largely as a failure of self-regulation — like other bad behaviors that have to do with a lack of self-control, such as overeating, a gambling problem or overspending. Others say it’s not a matter of being lazy or poor time management, as many smart overachievers who procrastinate often can attest. They say it may actually be linked to how our brain works and to deeper perceptions of time and the self.
The real origins of procrastination
Most psychologists see procrastination as a kind of avoidance behavior, “I think the basic notion of procrastination as self-regulation failure is pretty clear,” says Timothy Pychyl of Carleton University, in Canada. “You know what you ought to do and you’re not able to bring yourself to do it. It’s that gap between intention and action.” It usually happens when people fear or dread, or have anxiety about, the important task awaiting them. To get rid of this negative feeling, people procrastinate — they open up a video game or Pinterest instead. That makes them feel better temporarily, but unfortunately, reality comes back to bite them in the end.“Emotional regulation, to me, is the real story around procrastination, because to the extent that I can deal with my emotions, I can stay on task,” says Timothy Pychyl. “When you say task-aversiveness, that’s another word for lack of enjoyment. Those are feeling states — those aren’t states of which [task] has more utility.”
The brain of a procrastinator looks similar, except for the presence of a little friend, which Urban labels the “instant gratification monkey.”
The monkey seems as though he will be fun, but in fact he is a lot of trouble, as Urban’s comics illustrate.
I’ll do it later, I have enough time
Don’t get me wrong, I do get whatever task I need to get done, done but I procrastinate. I just always think I have loads of time on hand. I did a few research and found that some people wait to the exact last minute to start tasks because it gives them an intense feeling, I can say that, that statement is true for me. I remember there were times in college when I was given assignments due in one(1) month and I probably only look at the task the first week, close it and never bothered looking back on it until a week before the due date. Funny enough, there were times when I received an A for those assignments, then there were times I didn’t do enough, the assignment lacked substance and I got slapped with a B or C+ grade.
Here’s the twist
With every story, 8 out of 10 times there’s a twist. I accepted that I have a problem and I’ve been working on it. One of the first steps in fixing any problem is to first accept that there is a problem. Procrastination can become chronic, and in general, people learn from their mistakes and reassess their approach to certain problems. For chronic procrastinators, that feedback loop seems continually out of service. The damage suffered as a result of delay doesn’t teach them to start earlier the next time around. For me, I hated the feeling of getting bad grades and I hated how I felt after sending in an assignment that was given one(1) month prior and was done in only a week.
I read Nicole Campbell’s book “Make It Count: chapter four(4)” where she talks about procrastination. She stated that she procrastinates when she feels overwhelmed and goals seems too big, or she has done a poor job at prioritizing and organizing herself and time, or she procrastinates on things she doesn’t want to do. While I was reading this chapter, I was like, “Yes…yes…yes…” because she kept hitting the nail on the head. Many of us who battles with this issue, tell ourselves that we want to do this and we hope to do that, but never get around to do it because we don’t think it’s really that important to command action. As long as you are conscious enough to really make a difference, then change your focus, change your approach, change your mindset and change your attitude then make that step to change that which held you back from greatness.
If you believe something is dwindling your life, you must first accept the fact, then fix it. I have listed a few nuggets below to help you if you are a procrastinator, you aren’t alone but you have to be deliberate and radical in your approach to fixing “YOU”. Utilize these nuggets then build on them if you must;
|1| Write down your goal and give yourself a deadline
A goal without a deadline can be put off indefinitely. Make them realistic and attainable.
|2| Break your goal into small pieces
According to Nicole Campbell’s “Make It Count“, your goals must be broken down into tasks, and sub tasks of those tasks. Achieving smaller, micro goals will give you the momentum necessary to sustain action. Small daily actions are harder to procrastinate on, and add up to the big goal.
|3| Visualize the future you want
What do you hope to achieve from doing said task? What will happen if you don’t do said task? How will it impact your life? are questions you must ask yourself. I guarantee that after you examine the outcome of these answers, you will jump right on it.
|4| Harness fear
kick fear in the face, don’t you dare let it win. I wrote a blog about not letting fear win, take a look at it.
|5| Build accountability
Get someone in your corner to correct you when you are running off track. Get someone who’ll encourage you and not someone who’ll make you feel stupid, someone who loves you and wants nothing but the best for you.
Lets talk about some of the things you struggle with. Talking is one of the first steps in fixing “YOU”. Comment below or private message me on Instagram or Facebook. I’d love to hear from you. Thank you so much for reading. You can find me online on Facebook and Instagram. If you’d like to be alerted whenever I publish a new post subscribe via email.