Why do people procrastinate and how can you overcome it? Here are 10 tips to help you beat this unhealthy habit.
In this article:
- Have a Plan B
- Take a Step Back
- Try Experimenting
- Break Down Big Tasks
- Fight Anxiety
- Surprise Yourself
- Start Working in the Middle
- Redefine What You’re Doing
- Read Another Subject
- Just Give Up
How To Overcome Procrastination
Why Do People Procrastinate?
There are a lot of reasons why people procrastinate. Procrastination is a vicious cycle that may involve anxiety, negative emotions, and unhealthy habits.
Sometimes, people procrastinate because of their fear of failure. Others say it’s because of their lack of motivation.
But once you fall into the pits of this black hole of laziness, you might find it hard to get out. Here are 10 tips to help you beat this unhealthy habit.
1. Have a Plan B
Why do people procrastinate and how do we beat laziness? First, create a to-do list, then fill it with 10 things to jumpstart your productivity today.
And, if ever you find yourself losing motivation and starting to procrastinate, jump on another task. This helps you maintain being productive even if you steered away from a certain task.
Or, you can exercise. Working out helps you improve your ability to focus on a task in the long run.
2. Take a Step Back
One answer to the question as to why people procrastinate is because they feel fixated with their workload.
If you feel like your tasks are already too much, take a step back. Take a deep breath, pause, and relax.
During your pause, you can spend time on other habits. You can also take the opportunity to get some rest and sleep early.
Try being productive in other aspects of life, too. For example, you can attend creative workshops or wellness retreats.
When you’re drowning with stress, keep your mind busy with other things for a bit. This helps you fight off negative emotions from being too overwhelmed with responsibilities.
3. Try Experimenting
Another technique you can do when you feel stuck in a series of projects is to tweak some tasks a bit and experiment.
Experiment with your tasks to see if they can excite you more. Be a gamechanger.
Say you’re planning to start your own business and don’t know what to sell. You can try selling food and see if it clicks.
If it doesn’t, then maybe you can try providing services instead. If you’re an academic, then maybe you can start your own tutorial business.
By doing this, you create a couple more steps towards finding out what you really want to do without letting the fear of failure affect you.
4. Break Down Big Tasks
Sometimes, the answer to the question as to why people procrastinate is because they feel overwhelmed. As a result, they get lost in finding how they can finish their task.
One healthy coping mechanism is to take a step back and see the baby steps you can take. You may do the following steps:
- Find all the smaller tasks within your big task
- Create a working outline of these small tasks
- Create a comfortable deadline
With this outline, you can slowly check one task after another. And before you know it, you have already completed that one big project altogether.
5. Fight Anxiety
Why do people procrastinate? Well, anxiety plays a huge part.
Anxiety is one of the causes of procrastination because it symbolizes a person’s fear of failure.
Although it’s easier said than done, you have to engage in healthy coping mechanisms to beat anxiety to the core. This is good for your mental health.
When anxious, you can pause and spend time with your family and friends for a while. You can also exercise or spend time meditating.
Remember, being anxious will never solve tomorrow’s problems. It only drains your energy for the present.
6. Surprise Yourself
One effective habit of how to beat laziness is to surprise yourself.
Say you are stuck writing an essay. Sit and relax for a while while thinking of the most unforgettable event that has happened to you.
Then, you can write it down on the page, and start with words that are a surprise to you.
When you surprise yourself, you can also surprise others. And hopefully, you surprise everyone in a good way.
7. Start Working in the Middle
Starting a new project is tough, so when you feel unable to start, try working in the middle. This helps you steer away from worrying about the project’s official start.
Say you’re stuck figuring out some difficult codes in the backend of your website. You can think about your program’s content first.
When you come back tomorrow, you can have a refreshed mindset about your project as a whole.
8. Redefine What You’re Doing
Redefining your tasks may mean actually changing the scope of your project so you can make it smaller.
By doing this, you can tick things off your bucket list faster and more effectively.
Remember, you don’t always have to finish huge projects to rightfully feel productive. Small, quick wins in a shorter period of time can sometimes be more effective than trying to conquer huge leaps.
9. Read Another Subject
One way to avoid losing creative juices is to take a break to read about completely different topics.
If you’re making a list or writing a post, you can find inspiration by reading. You can resort to self-help books or inspirational fiction ones.
Let your mind wander and absorb wisdom from other texts. And when you come back to what you are writing, you will feel refreshed.
10. Just Give Up
When all else fails, remember that you can always just give up.
The psychological theory “Sunken Cost Fallacy” says that, once we put time and energy into building something, we wrongly feel more compelled into finishing it. This may explain why some people procrastinate.
Think about it. One reason why you might be delaying a project is simply because deep down, you know the project is no good.
But, remember, giving up is not being a sore loser. It might be the most productive and efficient decision you make.
Remember, not all projects are meant to be finished. By choosing to give up, you can have more time and resources to other tasks that can be more fulfilling.
Why do people procrastinate? Well, it stems from a multitude of factors. And scarily enough, the results of procrastination can break our productivity and morale.
But hopefully, through these ten strategies, you can figure out how to conquer procrastination and become one percent better every day.
How do you avoid procrastination? Share your tips and techniques in the comments below.