Procrastination is deadly. The feeling that comes with it after you know you’ve messed up by missing a deadline or messing up our daily schedule is horrible yet we continue to experience it and not push ourselves to get rid of the habit. I procrastinate a lot, whether that’s not cleaning my cat’s litter box, not doing my homework, or not going to bed at a reasonable hour. I will make an unintentional effort to push these things to the last minute or clear it out of my mind entirely. So why is that? Why do I continue this habit? Not until I decided to do my own Google searches on this topic did I know about different versions of procrastinators.
Types of procrastinators:
Anxious procrastinator: not fulfilling the unrealistic expectations of certain tasks causes stress and anxiety which some people deal with by procrastinating.
Fun procrastinator: would rather be doing anything except that one dreaded task. After all, there’s so many fun and exciting things you could be doing instead, how can you bear to start that boring project?
“Plenty of Time” procrastinator: clearly visible in students who often struggle to start an essay earlier than a few days before the deadline.
Perfectionist procrastinator: always striving for the best and, as such, are constantly criticizing their own work. For some perfectionists, the fear of failing, or producing work to a low standard, can be so overwhelming they never actually get around to starting anything.
I didn’t know how to express my feelings to where I could explain my reasons as to why I procrastinate. Seeing this list, I can identify why I fail in getting tasks done. You can be one of these, a multiple of these, none of these, or all of these, making the act of procrastination more complex. Even if you find it hard to identify yourself in this list, you should make an attempt to find what steps work for you to lessen your procrastination.
Steps you can take to make sure you get things done:
Create a to-do list with deadlines (EX.: App: To Do)
Create a game with your friends (EX.: App: Habitica)
Make rewards for finishing tasks more immediate (EX.: As soon as you’re done with 1 homework assignment, take time to watch a 10 minute video on YouTube.)
Break down the task into smaller tasks (EX.: If an essay is due next week, write a paragraph per day or every two days.)
Make the consequences more immediate (EX.: If a project is due in class and you’re not motivated, ask your teacher to place a 0 on your grade. If your grade drops, you’ll surely want to make sure to get the project done.)
Identify times you didn’t do a perfect job at an activity but got the same result as if you did. Make it a habit to not give yourself a hard time to perfect the task and make it sufficient. (EX.: Meet the requirements of the assignment.)
Ask for help if a task is too hard (EX.: Asking a friend, classmate, or parent is a good start.)
Play music that you have some interest in but not too much where you can pass it as background noise as you work through each task (EX.: I listen to the Persona 5 OST)
Starting any of these will get you motivated to see the task(s) finished or will remind you to continue making progress through it. It will give each day purpose. Make an effort to turn these into habits. Good things will genuinely come out of it, from the bad consequences not happening to using more time to enjoy your hobbies or activities. Procrastination won’t be eliminated from your life entirely. So when it does happen, you’ll know what steps to take. I wish you luck on your journey to self-improvement! I will definitely need it.