Self Help Sanctum

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Dealing with Procrastination

by Opeyemi Soremekun

Procrastination is intentionally putting off something that should be done to the possible last minute. If you are in the habit of avoiding some specific tasks or postponing the things you need to get accomplished you may be suffering from the "silent killer" called procrastination. Unfortunately we have all suffered from this silent killer or probably still suffering from it. Side effects of procrastination include missed opportunities, stress, resentment and guilt.

It is more painful to procrastinate

We procrastinate to avoid doing something we are not passionate about, boring, and hard, or probably to avoid the pain that comes with them, you will agree with me that the guilt and pain that comes with not getting these things done is far more than getting them done. If you could compare the pain and guilt of procrastinating and not, you will actually get off your butt and get the job done.

Lack of energy

One of the major reasons people procrastinate is obviously because of lack of energy. We feel too physically and/or emotionally drained to work, we are in a world where everything is moving very fast, there is so much to do, so many things calling for our attention, that it just drains us out some days. Many tasks go unattended to because we are truly not prepared for the tasks. When you feel lazy, even simple tasks seem like too much work because your energy is too low compared to the energy required by the task. Instead of doing nothing, begin with doing something. Clean your desk, wash the dishes. Start doing small things to create a flow which eventually gives you the momentum to steadily go on to the bigger tasks.


One other thing that leads to procrastination is perfectionism. You may set your standards so high they are unobtainable. This can lead to not completing a project because “it’s not good enough”. Believing that you must do something perfect is an open door to stress and you may associate the stress to the task and thus condition yourself to avoid it. Individuals who want everything to be perfect often end up not finishing the tasks they were given at work because they are still working on them. If only you could give yourself the excuse of being human.

Complex tasks

Some tasks are too complex for us to handle and probably beyond our expertise, we will only be a joker if we deny our self of help. We tend to procrastinate tasks we do not have sufficient skills to complete to a reasonable level of quality in order to avoid a failure experience. Nobody is good at everything and there is nothing wrong asking for help. You may want to ask for guidance, support, or a new perspective from someone who is more familiar with the process or skilled in the area. You can acquire the skill level you need by training up. Just because you can't do something today doesn't mean you'll never be able to do it. If you do your homework properly you may even be a master. Keep learning until you get to the proficient level. Learning new skills is a whole lot of fun. There are far too many interesting skills for you to master, so you must rely on others for help, you could as well delegate the task.

Poor time management

Procrastination may result from not managing time wisely. Being unclear about your priorities, goals, and objectives can result in putting off important tasks to hang out with friends or other activities. It is very important to do the right thing at the right time. There is this peace of mind that comes with accomplishing any given task. Don’t wait until you are “in the mood”. There is no perfect time, so stop waiting for it. List everything, big and small, that you have to do for your entire day; break big activities into smaller bits if necessary. Then, as you work through your day check off each of the items on your list.

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