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Detoxify Your Life: Eliminating Bad Habits Effectively

Do Things Today And Now: Stop Procrastinating

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Procrastination is not a disease and does not require medical intervention (thank God!), but it can be a rich source of annoyance, tiredness and high-level stress. Just because it doesn’t cause death (except in freak instances), it doesn’t mean we should take it lightly. Procrastination is an awful habit and is destructive not only to us but also to our peers.

People have lost out on major professional and social opportunities because they put things off for another day. Procrastinators are bad team players and nobody wants to work with them. If you have a procrastinator in your group, you can be assured of angry, frustrated feelings when crunch time comes.

Delaying things is not rare. In fact, almost every person in the world has, at some point, put tasks on hold. This is fine. There truly are jobs that need to be prioritised. However, if you are a chronic procrastinator and have this as a habit, that is a big problem.

Procrastinator – a person who deliberately and habitually postpones an important job that should be done now.

Why Not Now?

There are a number of reasons why people procrastinate. Often, it is because they fear failure and disappointment, thinking that a task can be done better if more “planning” is involved. However, the problem with procrastinators is that this extended “planning” period is usually filled with mundane and irrelevant tasks that when the adjusted schedule comes still nothing has been done. Before they realize it, the real deadline has arrived and they are finally forced to work on the job. Unless that person is a genius or has superpowers, the work is almost always haphazardly done and dissatisfactory.

Procrastinators are divided into three categories:

  • Decisional procrastinators – those who can’t make up their minds. Such people put off deciding because they are afraid of being responsible for it.

  • Thrill-seekers – those who enjoy the high brought by doing things at the last minute. Most of these people are hypersensitive and high-strung.

  • Avoiders – those who delay because they are either intimidated by success or are scared of failure. They are often content with being judged for their inability to manage time than be scrutinized for their skills.

Procrastination also affects our health.

A 2000 study in Carlton University showed that people who habitually procrastinate are more susceptible to digestive ailments, colds and insomnia. They are also more likely to smoke, drink and take drugs.

Procrastinators’ Favorite Lines:

  • “This isn’t important.”

  • “I perform best when I’m under pressure.”

  • “I’m too tired and lazy.”

  • “I haven’t planned well.”

  • “Maybe I can have somebody else do it.”

None of the above lines are valid. If something can be done today and now, it should be done today and now. Sure, some jobs can be really uninteresting, but their completion and success lies in our hands.

Remember that there is no such thing as failure. It’s either you get what you need to achieve or you benefit by learning something along the way if you don’t get to steer conditions in your direction. Some procrastinators put tasks off because the unknown turns them off. What you can do to face this is to muster the courage to take a step forward anyway and keep a positive outlook. Most “unknown” situations don’t really turn out as bad as we initially thought.

Weed Out The Procrastinator In You!
  • Don’t take on too many projects at the same time. You might get overwhelmed by their volume and get delayed having to deal with them. Learn to say ‘no’.

  • If you are given a complex job and you can’t decide when, where and how to begin, break it down into bite-size portions and face them one by one.

  • Don’t expect perfection. A job that passes 85% of your standards might already be 100% for its recipient. This doesn’t mean that it’s okay to slack off, though.

  • Deal with the unpleasant jobs first. Get them out of the way earlier, so you’ll be better motivated for the succeeding ones.

  • If you can’t decide right now, set a deadline and stick to it.

  • Reward yourself for your little accomplishments.

  • Avoid distractions. Impose rules on yourself. You may let others know about it so they can tell you off if they catch you drifting.

It’s A Habit You Can Beat

Overcoming this habit requires a lot of mind work and mental strength. A deadline often does the trick, but this can also be met with hostility. Remember that if you are a procrastinator, you run the risk of sabotaging yourself. This alone should be enough motivation. However, if you do have trouble battling the “I’ll do this tomorrow” demons in your head, seek the help of your peers.

Procrastination is not an illness. It can be altered. But only you have the power to do so. Why not start now?

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