So what exactly is procrastination and how does it affect us? Procrastination is the postponement of action. As a result we get caught taking action at the last possible moment. This practice leads to tyranny of the urgent instead of what is of long term benefit or importance. Tasks that should have been fulfilled at an earlier time are addressed at that very moment, pushing other tasks out of the way.
Procrastination can make you scurry around at the last minute. This frenzy takes time away from other important tasks, activities or even your time to relax. You always lose your buffer when you push things off and a time buffer can be a great way to plan for the unexpected.
The urge to procrastinate can stem from fear, forgetfulness and disorganization. First, the fear of doing the task or what the outcome may be (one task has now become five new tasks) can delay the start of a task. Second, simply forgetting to do it because the task was not recorded can be an indirect problem, or not having what you need when you need it (disorganization) can make the task too hard to start.
So how do we stop procrastinating? Do not put tasks off until the last minute. This creates unnecessary stress. Always build in a buffer time to complete things or get places. Break bigger things down into smaller steps if they feel overwhelming and the temptation is there to put stuff off.
This next practice can be hard especially with small kids or a busy job, but try to limit distractions that can make it easier to procrastinate. Stay away from the computer, tv and phone if you have something important to work on! We sometimes enable ourselves in bad habits so we can put things off.
Finally, set realistic expectations of yourself and what your schedule will allow. More time to complete a task means you are not pressured by the deadline and can actually plan milestones and steps for completing the tasks in a timely manner.
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