How to Overcome Procrastination
How to overcome procrastination - Procrastination is the habit of delaying or postponing an important task usually by focusing on less urgent, more enjoyable and easier activities instead. The word Procrastination originated from the Latin word procrastinatus, and is split into two words pro-, meaning "forward," and crastinus, meaning "of tomorrow”. The primary step towards procrastination is to acknowledge that you simply do it. If you use the sentence, “I will do it later” quite often, then you are possibly procrastinating. As students, we all tend to procrastinate completing our homework and assignments at different points in time. Students often wonder how to avoid procrastination and laziness.
Hence, following in the article are some powerful hacks on how to overcome laziness and procrastination. Stay on this page to know more.
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How to overcome procrastination - Be aware
The first step to prevent procrastination is to identify the root cause of your procrastination. What is it that you are simply delaying your task for? Write down the task that you are procrastinating about on a piece of paper, and introspect on the reasons as to why you might be delaying it.
Some possible reasons for which you delay your task, and some solutions on how to overcome laziness and procrastination could be as follows:
Unpleasant task – If the task is unpleasant and boring you may feel like focusing on more enjoyable things. You can deal with this by just thinking that the sooner you accomplish the task, the sooner you can get to do other more enjoyable things.
Overwhelming task – If the task is too big or gets too overwhelming, despite you being organized, there is a high probability that you would feel like delaying accomplishing the task. Stay organized and list down all your exams, papers, and projects and exams by crucial dates.
Poor decision-making skills– If you cannot decide what to do first or what to do second, or simply cannot decide whether you are doing anything at all for the day, you are likely to postpone tasks for later. Try to apply your decision making skills in your daily routine to overcome procrastination, like deciding on how many hours you would spend on self study, and for your recreational activities.
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How to overcome procrastination - Make a ‘Smart Schedule’ & a ‘To-do List’
To focus on completing the task and to overcome procrastination, the next step is to create a ‘Smart Schedule’ and a ‘To- do List’. Set concrete goals for yourself that are measurable, specific, realistic and help in completing tasks in a particular time frame. This is indeed one of the best answers to how to avoid procrastination and laziness.
Do not fill your to-do list with too many tasks, sort and break your tasks into small and manageable steps. You can rank the important and time-sensitive tasks at the top. Make sure that you follow the list and set intermediate milestones and deadlines for yourself. Completing the important tasks boosts your morale and motivates you for the next task.
For example - Make a to-do list of homework that you have received and rank them in the order of priority(which you need to submit the next day.)
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How to overcome procrastination - Breakdown tasks into chunks and do the hard ones first
When you break down/divide your tasks into smaller chunks, it becomes manageable and controllable to accomplish them. This will help you figure out how to overcome laziness and procrastination. If the task is too big, you will never know where to start. Start with the big ones as they take much of the time and energy, and then move on to the smaller things.
For example: If any chapter from Mathematics seems to be too long then divide it into topics. Pick up topics that have the maximum allotted marks and then come to the chapters with the lowest marks allotted.
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How to overcome procrastination -Eliminate Distractions
It is very important to get rid of all the distractions while studying, if you want to know how to avoid procrastination and laziness.There is very little chance that you would be able to prepare for your exams if you are constantly chit-chatting with friends or have the television playing around you while you are studying. Consider the small obstacles that might get your way, and try to get rid of them before getting started on a task.
For example: Find a quiet place or a room to study for at least one hour without distractions from T.V, laptop, phone or people. You can even go offline for the time you are studying.
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How to overcome procrastination - Go on a digital detox
In the digital world that we live in, mobile phones, laptops, and other electronic devices are a major reason for our procrastination. Just as how we are concerned about our physical health and go on a detox after we eat too much, similarly, go for a digital detox from your electronic gadgets for maybe half a day. This would include all your gadgets. Take a break, turn off your notifications and work on things that are important to you. You would be surprised to see how much work you got done by the end of the day just by going offline. This might just be one of the most underrated answers to how to overcome laziness and procrastination.
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How to overcome procrastination - Reward yourself
Even if you accomplish smaller goals, reward yourself after completing a task on the to-do list. Make studying more rewarding and enjoyable. This is one of the simplest ways to understand how to avoid procrastination and laziness. It is great to reward yourself by giving some alone time to do things that you love. You should do this especially when you finish an important task that you have been procrastinating on. Take a nap, catch up on your favourite TV show on Netflix, call up your friend, etc. This will make you work hard and look forward to accomplishing more tasks often.
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How to overcome procrastination - Deal with your fear & change your mindset
It is okay to make mistakes, barring you from learning from them. Permit yourself to make mistakes. Address your fears. – this can be fear of failure or fear of making mistakes, or fear of success. Develop self-compassion and self-efficacy which discourages procrastination.
Motivate yourself to complete tasks, set a deadline and work within specific time limits to complete your project. Either reward yourself at the end of the task or set up a punishment if you aren’t successful.
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How to overcome procrastination -Practice self-discipline & focus on the end goal
To figure out how to avoid procrastination and laziness, keep reminding yourself of the long term results, and not just the short term gains. Adapting the goal-setting mentality and visualizing the result will help you focus and achieve your target.
For example: Focus on why you choose the path to study PCB in class 11 and appear for entrance tests because your goal in life is to become a Doctor.
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Procrastinating may be a bad habit that you simply need to avoid or stop as soon as possible. It curtails efficiency and wastes time. A number of these hacks might work better for a few people while some may need a different approach. So, whenever you are feeling the urge to delay an important task, consider these tips and techniques to help you stop it. Sooner you will realize that you do not want to stop until you get all tasks done, and that’s when you know you have truly mastered your procrastination habit.
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Author- The author of this article is Yashodhra Arora, who is a Counselling Psychologist, with extensive experience in Career Counselling of high school students.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) - How to Overcome Procrastination
Question: How can I stop my procrastination?
Procrastination or laziness is a habit that you can overcome by being organized, and finishing tasks that are important first and then moving on to not so crucial activities.
Question: What is the Pomodoro technique?
Pomodoro technique is used to break down tasks into small chunks, it involves oscillating between scheduled periods of study and rest. For example, you can study for a stretch of 25-minutes, taking 5-minute breaks in between, and a longer 15-minute break after every 1 hour you complete your study set.
Question: Why do I procrastinate so badly?
You procrastinate because you are not interested in the task or might be afraid of failing at it. Fear of failure increases the chances of lower self-confidence and decreases self-esteem which is more likely to delay important tasks.
Question: How can a student overcome procrastination?
To overcome procrastination, eliminate distractions and focus on your goals. There may be times when you would delay doing tasks which you are not interested in but take charge of your life and pay attention to your surroundings to avoid procrastination.
Question: What is the 1 minute rule?
This rule simply states that if a task can be completed in one minute or less, it should be done immediately like answering email, packing your school bag for the next day, arranging your books neatly, etc.