Breaking the Procrastination Habit

As the old saying goes, procrastination is the thief of time. Yes indeed it is the thief of time. It involves postponing time supposed to be spent doing an important task, procrastination makes one spend time doing other things considered unimportant as compared to the relevant stuff one is supposed to do.
Many of us today are affected immensely by this behavioral defect, and I am no exception. As a student and a writer I know my main duties and responsibilities expected of me, and I am supposed to focus my attention and time to those responsibilities. Unfortunately I sometimes fall out, and spend my time doing things “irrelevant”, hence causing me to postpone the immediate and urgent ones I am supposed to pay attention to. For example I have an assignment which I know I have a deadline to submit before, but I’d wait till the 11th hour before rushing myself to do the assignment and submit. Why does this happen??

According to research, the “pleasure principle” may be responsible for such occurrences, it’s basically trying to avoid tasks considered to be stressful or avoid negative emotions. Like the example I gave of submitting an assignment, most of us see such tasks as stressful, and there’s the anxiety associated with starting and finishing those tasks as required of us.
Wikipedia defines procrastination as “to voluntarily delay an intended only course of action despite expecting to be worse off to the delay” Its very unfortunate that we students of today mostly fall prey to this trend, we procrastinate from studying our lecture notes, to doing assignments and even wait till it is exams time before we start studying for exams. Last minute “chew and pour”
Research has once again proven that academically, procrastinators have been found to receive the worse grades than non-procrastinators. As students of today we have so many distractions, from social media, to music, to parties, to relationships etc. And these things distract our attention from the main course and mandate bestowed upon us as students. We spend lots of hours on Facebook, twitter, instagram when we have much more important things to do, probably an assignment to work on, or a lecture note to revise upon. If you really want to be effective and productive, first of all you check the root causes of these situations.

The first factor is time management, procrastination can be checked and curbed when you have effective time management, that is allocating time for every activity and ensuring that you stick to that plan and schedule. So if you allocate a particular time to study or to do an assignment, and you ensure that you stick to that schedule,you can be able to avoid procrastinating. Most procrastinators do not have plans and schedules, “anything goes”, making them disorganized and unproductive.

Laziness is also a major cause of procrastination, we mostly procrastinate because we are lazy to pick ourselves up and do what is required of us on time. You realize that one becomes more effective and comfortable if he/she performs a task without procrastinating. I am able to write an article very well, with my message bold and clear when I take my time to research, think through and write as compared to other times when I have procrastinated to the level where I have to rush to write an article, the end product is not mostly up to task and of good content. The message I want to send out in that article is one way or the other diluted or not strong enough.

Furthermore, complacency can also be a key factor that causes one to procrastinate, we procrastinate when we don’t challenge ourselves to aim higher but are comfortable with the level we are. If we aim higher and have goals and targets, it would enable and motivate us to work harder ad on time in order to be effective and productive to meet those set goals and targets. Basically psychologists believe that Procrastination is a behavioral phenomenon and hence one has to be ready to check these causes in order to be able to overcome this challenge.

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