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  • Writer's pictureShana Gietl

The Hypocritical Procrastinita

Updated: Jun 11, 2018

It’s been a busy month, but I set a goal to write at least one blog in the month of January, despite the craziness.  If you notice the date, you will see that even with it being a month of 31 days, I am here on the last possible day.  The saying, ‘It’s better late than never,’ sings through my mind, but I’m pretty sure its author was a procrastinator as well, taking away any credibility.  I’ll recognize the saying for what it really is, a band-aid that minimizes the issue of bad practices…  procrastination.

If it’s a bad practice, why do people do it?  There’s something to know about procrastinators, they are pros at rationalizing and convincing themselves it’s not so bad.  When there’s a dreaded task, they’re incredibly gifted at coming up with all the reasons why the task should be delayed.  Some of us may make the argument that our best work is a product of procrastination.  I am guilty as charged.  Some may pose another argument, something to the extent of, it’s amazing how much other work we get done when we’re avoiding what we should really be doing, making us actually quite productive.  The list of arguments continue, but for risk of exposing you to further reinforcing statements to a bad habit, I will keep them to myself and get to a more productive topic, how to tackle procrastination.

But before I get there, let’s first address WHY we should tackle procrastination, as I did just list some supporting arguments for the opposing side.  Procrastination breeds anxious thoughts and steals away any real fun that we could be having.  When we’re in the process of procrastinating, our minds are full of anxiety about the task we should be doing, distracting us from having any fun.  For example, if my friends say let’s go out, you can write that paper later, when I’m out with them, I’m not having fun, but am thinking about the paper I should be writing.  When I reverse that scenario and write my paper first, when I’m out with my friends, I feel pretty freaking amazing.  It’s a natural reward when we accomplish our tasks, we’re able to relax and feel good.

Now let’s look at some tips on how to tackle procrastination:

1.  Schedule a time that you plan to tackle your task in your planner or make a to-do list.  Once you complete your task, cross it off, that too, feels pretty freaking amazing.

2.  If it’s a big task, schedule in break times.  If you have a big task ahead of you, it may feel overwhelming, if you break it up and give yourself rewards, it makes it feel much more manageable.  For example, if you have a 10 page paper to write by next week, you might set a goal to write 2 pages each night, for a reward, you might DVR your favorite shows, and watch one after you finish each 2 page goal.  Or if you’re studying, agree to study for 25 minutes and then take a break, study for another 25 minutes and then take another break.

3.  Prioritize your tasks.  Some of us have busy lives and with that, lots of responsibilities and we may be trying to do too many things at once.  Prioritize the most important tasks, as you start crossing them off the list, you’ll build confidence and motivation in your ability to get things done.

4.  Don’t identify with being a procrastinator, otherwise you may just accept that this is the way you are, leaving you to feel hopeless about change.

5.  Commit to your task by telling others, have them help you stay accountable.

6.  Become mindful of all the mindless things you may be engaging in, for example, watching YouTube videos of talking dogs, flipping channels on t.v., reading friends of friends’ comments on a picture of a person you never met, checking the weather in the midwest, or texting hey lol to everyone in your contacts.

7.  Create a motivating playlist.  Rock out to Eye of the Tiger or Till I Collapse and really pump yourself up.

8.  Eliminate distractions.  Turn the t.v. off, log out of all social network sites and email accounts.

9.  Understand that motivation doesn’t usually come before action.  Most times action creates momentum for motivation.  Once you start getting stuff done, it’s easier to keep going.

10.  Make it fun.  For example, change up the environment of where you study.   Go to Barnes & Noble, study for 25 minutes, treat yourself to a drink, study for another 25 minutes, treat yourself to some book browsing, etc.


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