It’s been a long time since I have written anything and the primary reason for that is my habit of procrastination. So in this post, I will be discussing in brief about what is procrastination, its effects and ways to prevent it. Procrastination is itself a very big topic in itself, so I would be focussing mainly on the ways to prevent it.

So, What is procrastination ?

Procrastination is the action of delaying or postponing something. In other words, It is the practice of doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones or carrying out less urgent tasks instead of more urgent ones, thus putting off impending tasks to a later time. And the problem with that is what could have finished at an earlier stage is dragged to the last minutes.

What are the effects of Procrastination ?

– Quality time is lost
– Opportunities are lost
– Low Self-esteem & Confidence
– Low-Quality Work
– More stress and depression-prone
– Poor Decision-making skill
– Poor Reputation
– Non-competitiveness

These are few I could think of, there could be many, which really shows that procrastination is a problem which has to be dealt immediately, effectively and efficiently.

So, How to determine whether someone is a procrastinator or not ?

At some point we all put off working on things that we perceive as unpleasant or hard or uncomfortable, it could be washing a car, cleaning the dishes or making a phone call or even completing the client presentation before hand. The problem arises when these things turn into a habit and slowly we train ourselves subconsciously to delay everything that comes our way.

If we see the larger picture here, we can come to a conclusion that we all are procrastinators in some or the other aspects of our lives.

So Let’s discuss how we can avoid procrastination :-

1) Exercise at least 15-20 minutes every day –
It’s been found that exercising daily promotes the secretion of dopamine, endorphins, norepinephrine and serotonin hormones in your body which help in fighting stress, hence improving your focus. Exercise not only helps you to stay fit but also helps you to eliminate procrastination from your life.

2) Take at least 15 minutes every day to plan things for that day –
Good planning always helps to create a map to do things systematically. Once you have planned about the things that you have to do today, break it into checkpoints. Install any to-do list apps like todoist,, Wunderlist etc on your mobile phones, list those activities in the app and throughout the day whenever you have completed any task, mark it as completed in the app. This helps is boosting your self-confidence and makes you more self-aware. (I personally follow this and I can guarantee you it will do wonders.)

3) A Detailed timeline should there for each task –
It helps to get a better picture of when exactly we have to finish the task in hand. For eg. If we are stating that task 1 should be completed by today, then we tend to lay off the task thinking that 24 hours are there to complete the task; on the contrary, if we specify the exact time and date, it will create a sense of urgency to finish the task.

4) Prioritize Things on the basis of urgency/importance and not on the basis of pleasantness –
If a work is of more importance but its unpleasant, make it a habit of doing it first. In the beginning, you’ll face lots of challenges because you are trained to do easier tasks first, but as time progresses you can definitely feel that your productivity has improved.

5) Get away from Mobile phones and Social media –
Minimize the use of Mobile phones and Social media, trust me you will soon realize that so much time is left to do other things.

6) Start Working now –
There is no perfect time for any work to be done, start planning and finish your tasks one by one.

7) Make promises that you can fulfill –
Make Commitments only after making sure that you will be able to complete it within that time period.

8) Make changes around you –
It could be a new lamp, or it could be clearing out your desk or putting up a flower vase. Changes are good as it motivates you and helps to increase productivity.

9) Give yourself incentives –
Suppose you target to finish 5 tasks for today, and when all the tasks are completed, reward yourself with 15 minutes of facebook. This is one of the scenarios which I could think of, there are more. Having a good end in mind increases productivity.

10) Evaluate where you spend your time –
Install some note apps, and at the end of each day, jot down the activities and the time you spent on it. Perform this activity for 1 week and at the end of 1 week, evaluate your findings. You’ll be shocked to see how much time have you wasted.

11) Give yourself some time to introspect –
This is very necessary as we move forward in life we become so much involved in other things in life that we become distant with our own-self.

12)Learn to manage your expectations –
You’ve to remember that not every day would be great. There would be times when you would be low and things will not be moving as per plan. But hold on to the good things, do your tasks as planned, not today, but tomorrow, and slowly catch up. The idea is to hold on. It’s better to do something with less perfection than not do it at all.

13) Talk to people about your goals –
It could be your partner, your friend, your colleague or anyone. Talking about your goals and plans helps you to re-align yourself towards achieving the goal. Keep in touch with those people who are hard-Achievers, who inspire you, talk with them, read their blogs; it will inspire you further to accomplish your goals.

Some Videos on Procrastination.

Do send in your comments on how you’re completing your tasks and avoiding procrastination.

Credits: Wikipedia, LifeHack(1), LifeHack(2), Successconsciousness, Keepinspiring, Daringtolivefully

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