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Why Do You Procrastinate and What Can You Do About it?

By Nitin Bhatnagar, 23 June 2018

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There is only one hour left in submitting the assignment and you are trying very hard to complete it but it seems as if you will miss the deadline. When you get convinced that you won’t be able to finish it, you start blaming yourself for wasting time earlier and for not started working when you could have.

We all must have experienced this type of situation when we avoided some work till the last moment due to several reasons. We might have wasted time by reading emails repeatedly without deciding as to what action is needed to be taken, going on coffee breaks or completing the tasks which could have been finished later.

1What is this type of behavior or phenomenon of avoiding a task is actually called?

This phenomenon is called ‘procrastination’. In simple words, procrastination is a process in which a person chooses to do other things instead of the task that he should do on priority. The reason for delaying the task may be inactivity, lethargy and unwillingness of the person to start the work.

What is this type of behavior or phenomenon of avoiding a task is actually called?

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2Are you also procrastinating?

As per Piers Steel, a researcher and speaker, almost 95% of the population of the world has procrastinated to some extent but here the question is whether you are also procrastinating and if yes, to what extent?

If you are procrastinating for a long time, it may make you demotivated and depressed which will be harmful for your personal as well as professional lives. Here are some signs of a person who procrastinates; match them with your behavior to find out whether you are also procrastinating or not:

  • Completing tasks which have low-priority while high-priority tasks are still pending
  • A task on to-do list is not completed for a long time now
  • Checking emails many times but not replying them
  • You go to have coffee/tea just after starting an important task
  • Waiting to get in “right frame of mind” or “right mood” to start a particular task

If majority of these signs match with your behavior, you are also one of those who procrastinates a lot.

Are you also procrastinating?

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3Find out why you are procrastinating

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Now as it is confirmed that you are a habitual procrastinator, your next step should be to find out why you are indulged in this bad habit. Some people avoid a particular task because they feel that it is boring and tedious while others do it because they are doubtful about their abilities and have a fear of failure. Some people avoid a particular task because they are afraid of being successful in completing that task because then they will be assigned tougher tasks. One more reason can be poor decision-making as a person may be confused on how to start or what to do which will eventually result in avoiding the task under the fear of doing something wrong.

Find out why you are procrastinating

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4Harmful effects of procrastination

If a person keeps on procrastinating for a long time, there are chances that he will be detached from work which can further lead to depression and loss of job. In fact, as per a research, procrastination is no more just a bad habit but it is an indication of a health problem as anxiety, OCD, depression and ADHD are associated with procrastination. The research also says that procrastination can also result in some serious stress and sickness.

Harmful effects of procrastination

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Here are some tips on how to get rid of procrastination:

5Ask for forgiveness from yourself

You should forgive yourself for procrastinating in the past and promise yourself that you are not going to repeat the mistake in the future. A study has shown that forgiving for the mistakes done in past helps a person in feeling positive and increases the chance of not repeating the mistakes.

Ask for forgiveness from yourself

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