What is procrastination and tips on how to avoid it

Brazil Translations

 

Those who have never postponed the solution of a problem or the development of a more complicated project, cast the first stone. Procrastinating is a very common behavior, but it is also very damaging.

 It is not difficult to define procrastination.  Do you know when we have something important to do, but we can’t start it? We do all the other things first or don’t do anything relevant?

We may define procrastinating as a behavior to postpone something that we have to deal with, leaving it for later.

Around 20% of adults are chronic procrastinators, even if they are aware that this may cause stress, regret, frustration, anxiety, guilt, damages to studies, career and relationships. According to Christian Dunker, lecturer at the Institute of Psychology, University of São Paulo, “when we postpone something that seems unpleasant, we have a sudden feeling of enjoyment”.

How not to procrastinate

Now that you know what procrastination is, we selected a few tips in order not to do it. Even when you are aware of this habit, it is not easy to stop procrastinating.

As with any change of habits, it shall be done gradually, so as to be long-lasting, not sudden.

Procrastinating is related to factors that are a concern our society, such as anxiety, stress, lack of focus and even lack of motivation and productivity.

If you want to optimize time and increase productivity and proactiveness, follow these tips on how not to procrastinate.

 

Tips on how not to procrastinate

It is not only about knowing what procrastination is, we must act to prevent it and know exactly how not to procrastinate.

1 – Identify a pattern

What makes you usually procrastinate? Observe and take notes, if necessary, on which type of task you usually postpone and which type of activity makes you lose your concentration. Create mechanisms to avoid this type of interference.

2 – Do one thing at a time

Trying to multitask is disturbing in these times. You will think you are performing more than one task at the same time, and in the end do not finish anything or don’t deliver any with quality.

3 – Block external stimuli

If you have difficulties to keep your focus, an external stimulus not related to that task will make it easier for you to lose your concentration.

Entertainment will always look more interesting than a duty, especially if you have a longer deadline to complete that job.

For example, if you check your social networks all the time, leave your mobile phone in airplane mode to prevent this distraction;

4 – Pomodoro technique

This is a very well-known technique for those who want to be more productive.

The Pomodoro technique consists in working with 25-minute periods of total focus on the task, with no external interference, interspersed with 5-minute pauses for rest or entertainment, with something that is not related to the task being performed. After 4 cycles of 25+5 minutes, there is a bigger pause, of 30 minutes.

5 – Divide de task in several steps

If you are the type of person that loves to make lists, one thing that might help is to enumerate the steps, breaking a more complex task in several smaller ones, which are easy to be executed.

6 – Control it before it becomes a habit

Procrastination is a problem that may interfere in your work and career, in interpersonal relations, damage even your health, generating feelings such as guilt, stress and anxiety, creating unnecessary pressure situations. Try to avoid this practice before it becomes routine.

 

You already know what procrastinating is. Do you really want to stop postponing and procrastinating? Follow these tips, start to change, improve your behavior and produce much more and with quality.

 

How about stopping procrastinating and learning a little bit more about productivity? 

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