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Strategies for Procrastinators

Updated on May 24, 2013


Procrastination is a self defeating behavior.
Procrastination is a self defeating behavior. | Source


Are you a procrastinator?

Do you constantly have things that you need to do, but find yourself occupied doing other tasks? Procrastination is not just about putting off those things we don’t want to do. Procrastinatin iis about the anxiety, worry, and tense feelings that come from delaying responsibility. These emotions also cause physical reactions within our bodies, such as a tightness in the stomach, headaches, losing sleep, overeating or undereating, muscle tensions, loss of concentration, moodiness, and irritableness. Procrastination causes us to feel undo pressure and may even have monetary costs, if our delay causes us to get money we are entitled to.

There are many ways people procrastinate:

  • avoid doing the task

  • believe the project is simpler to do than it really is so you underestimate the time you need to devote to it

  • believe the project is more complicated to do than it is so you don’t even start it

  • fail to look at the bigger picture and what impact it may have for you

  • get busy with something else so you don’t have the time for the task

  • taking a break and not getting to the assignment

  • spending too much time on one part of the project and not getting any further

  • getting distracted by something else

Strategies for People Who Procrastinate

When we understand the way we procrastinate, we can get a better idea of why we are delaying things, which end up hurting ourselves. Procrastination has many detrimental effects.

Here are some strategies for procrastinators:

  • Find a place where you feel comfortable and productive so that you can help yourself get the assignment done. Don’t get distracted by spending too much time on your surroundings.

  • Know yourself and your habits. Ask yourself what time of the day you feel most productive. Starting the project at an hour when you have more energy and most alert, will allow you to work towards completing it. Know when you are at your best and use this to your advantage.

  • Do you believe you have to do things perfectly? Perfection is a myth. Just do it and do your best.

  • Challenge your thinking. Ask yourself why you are delaying getting the job done. Write down your answers. See if they really make sense. And even if some do, come up with ideas to get beyond the reasons you are procrastinating.

  • Break up the things you have to do into small components. Each small progress will lead to getting the task done and all of sudden you are not procrastinating anymore. This is a good strategy when you are feeling ovewhelmed by what you have to do.

  • As you change the way you look at things your thinking will change. Give yourself the confidence to do what may seem too hard, too boring, or too much for you to do. Often things are not as bad as you think they are, until you start to do it.

  • Look for a coach, a motivator, a person you have to explain yourself to. By having supportive people around you, you will gain the power and the drive to stop procrastinating. By making yourself accountable, you will naturally get things done with more delay. If you feel uncomfortable because you have to explain yourself, you might find it easier to just get it done.

  • When you run into obstacles, ask for help. Avoiding feeling overwhelmed is a way of self care.

  • Write down a list of your strengths and use these to motivate yourself to get going and stop procrastinating. As you start to see some success from the things you are doing, you may want to continue until you are done. By evaluating your strengths and weaknesses, you will be empowering yourself and this helps give you the courage to take on the things you are procrastinating.

Do You Procrastinate

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Choosing to Procrastinate

So many choice, which ones hurt or help procrastination.
So many choice, which ones hurt or help procrastination. | Source

Get Control Over Procrastination

Even after doing these things, sometimes we fall off the wagon and start procrastinating again. That is okay. Everyone goes backwards a little at times. Start the process again and you will be in control of your procrastination. You are not alone, as a procrastinator, there are thousands of people who are doing the same thing as you. But you can also be one of the thousands of people who break free and give yourself the opportunity to make significant changes in the way you handle things starting today.

Procrastinators also need to get a more realistic view of time. Many people who procrastinate underestimate how long it will take to get the project done. Sometimes, they don’t allow for the prep time, or the interruptions that can occur. A good strategy to combat this is to take a calendar and fill in the times you can’t do the project. By seeing the committments, the appointments, the time you for eating and grooming, you may be surprised at what little time you can devote to this. This might just motivate you to start it now, rather than squeezing it in and doing a half fast job.

Sometimes we procrastinate because we hate doing the task. If this is the case, set a small time limit to do the project one step at a time. Sometimes we trick ourselves into thinking that we won’t work on it long, but before you know it, we are closer to completion.

Challenge Your Thinking

Ask yourself some questions about why you are procrastinating.
Ask yourself some questions about why you are procrastinating. | Source

Challenge Procrastination

Believe it or not, procrastination can be challenged and stopped by creating a process of momentum. Once you start, you are very likely to make some progress. When you run into an obstacle, break the obstacle done into small pieces so that part of the project sees progress. Momentum comes from making one small change and one small step. Doing one thing most likely will lead you to doing more things. Substituting the rewards you got from procrastinating with the rewards you feel for accomplishing will help you break away from the procrastination cycle.

Transformations within ourselves and changing our habits takes time. Step by step, bit by bit starts to make a difference. As we motivate ourselves to make the necessary changes so that we stop procrastinating, we will begin to think differently. And everything we do begins with a thought.

There are many reasons we procrastinate. Often, we spend a lot of energy and time avoiding the things we are purposefully trying to procrastinate.

Sometimes anxiety can cause us to fear that we won’t do the task well enough so we avoid doing it. Sometimes people get anxious because they think more will be expected of them if they show their competency. Sometimes our anxiety can cause us to feel overwhelmed, not knowing where to start, we don’t start at all. Sometimes we don’t like what we have to do and we put it off. Sometimes we underestimate how long it will take to do something. Some people get a thrill from completing things under pressure. Avoidance is a common symptom of procrastination. Some people are unfocused and try a little bit of too many things and not getting anything done.

Someday is not a day of the week. ~Author Unknown

Procrastination is something best put off until tomorrow. ~Gerald Vaughan

Getting Over Procrastination


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