Why Do I Procrastinate and How Can I Stop?

Procrastination - Lifestyle blogger in Nigeria

I have been procrastinating this post for a long time now, I was supposed to publish it last year September but I kept postponing it, eventually, I dumped it in my draft and later deleted it.

Ya! Too bad.


If you’ve ever waited until the last minute or second to finish up a task just before the deadline, then you are guilty as charged just like me.

 


Procrastination is to avoid doing important tasks and focusing on a lesser and more pleasurable task. It happens mostly at the last minute before a deadline. A procrastinator’s best friend may be social media, electronic gadgets or food.


I remember when I didn’t finish my semester’s registration on time phew I passed through hell that period. Something that my mates did without stress I had to use 3 days to finish, at a point I was asked to suspend for that semester which is one thing one could dread most. Attending 8 am – 6 pm lectures, doing assignments and being stressed out every day and you ain’t allowed to write the examination because you kept procrastinating what you should have done on time. It causes anxiety, stress and possibly shame. It is that bad.


But why do we procrastinate?

Just like a disease, you can’t find the remedy except you know the cause of the disease. So to conquer procrastination, we must, first of all, know the reasons we procrastinate. The reasons we procrastinate may vary but they all revolve around these:

1. Laziness

2. Being overconfident

3. The ‘I don’t care’ feeling

4. Lack of motivation

5. Fear of being incompetent

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Funny enough most people just procrastinate for the sake of doing so and not because of the reasons above. But let me share this good news with you, there are strategies to overcome anxiety and procrastination. Get started! Mind you it’s going to be so easy while you are reading it here but you need to put in an effort to make it work in reality. Life needs action.

 


Create a plan. When you have a plan, you will be mindful of the time you have and you will also set priorities. You know that this is what you hope to achieve within this period of time. Get involved with the most important tasks first and if there is time, you can then indulge in the less important ones.


Stick to the plan. It is not hard to create a plan, the problem is do we stick to the plan we’ve created?

It is not hard to create a plan, the problem is do we stick to the plan we've created? Click To Tweet

Separate your goals into pieces. It is easier to achieve your goals when they don’t look too big, scary and overwhelming. So even if your goal looks impossible, tackle it one step at a time and you wouldn’t even realize when you’ve finished it. But a heavy task or goal is easy to procrastinate.


Create a reward for success. For each goal you have achieved, reward yourself with something. I remember when I was given a book to read and review in school, the book was too bulky, so I bought a packet of biscuit, divided the book into parts. After every part I eat a piece of the biscuit, it was easier to finish the book that way. You see when you look forward to getting a reward for a task, it makes you eager to finish it.

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Put away fear. Fear is a dangerous emotion, when it attacks you, it binds you and dumps you in the darkest pit. If you are afraid of being incompetent, try to think of the dangers associated with not performing or completing those tasks at all, in some cases it could even be worse. So put away fear and be brave.


Start now. I see someone who is ready to step out of his or her comfort zone after reading this. How far you go doesn’t really matter right now inasmuch as you are ready to stretch forth in that direction. So get up and take that step now and every other step will follow.


How do you overcome procrastination? Be kind enough to share those personal tips that work best for you with everyone in the comment section.

7 Comments

  1. Benson Chidiebere
    March 21, 2018

    Wow……
    you’ve got good content here.

    Am satisfied…. I’ve told you before dear..
    BE MY COACH…..

    Reply
  2. Andrea Harris
    May 19, 2018

    This is so helpful! I only procrastinate when I am overwhelmed. To break through, I use your advice of minizing the magnitude of a project by breaking it into pieces like you advise here. Great info!

    Reply
    1. Maryanne Theodore
      May 19, 2018

      I’m glad this post is helpful. Thank you

      Reply
  3. Kristy
    May 19, 2018

    I love the list of reasons you provided for why you procrastinated. Overconfident hit home! I often wait on things I know wouldn’t take much time. Why do it now when I can do it later. Thanks for the reminders of how to stay on task!

    Reply
    1. Maryanne Theodore
      May 19, 2018

      Thanks for your comment Kristy, guess we are all guilty of this in one way or the other

      Reply
  4. Heather
    May 19, 2018

    You know what’s funny? When I procrastinate, I work better, because I’m under deadline.

    Reply
    1. Maryanne Theodore
      May 20, 2018

      That means procrastinating works for you, but in my case, it is the reverse

      Reply

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