We may easy to find such a person that he never started his work until there are few days before deadline, and when he made up his mind to start his work at the beginning, he would always be distracted by other stuffs. He may get exhausted after finishing his work right before the deadline and complain himself for not working hard at the beginning. Actually, this person could be others or ourselves. And this phenomenon called procrastination. It may happen in any aspect of our lives, like putting off writing your paper, doing housework, submitting a report and so on. This psychology is counterproductive but we are still suffered by it. So, in this essay I will give the cause of this psychology and some solution that may help to overcome it.
Procrastination is defined as the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished. It is different from laziness. Procrastination makes you avoid doing something important but to do other jobs considered easier and enjoyable. In this process, you still do your work but ignore your most urgent one. The specific features of this psychology are the followings. First, people tend to avoid the place and the situation related to finishing their work. For example, student would spend more time in their dormitory rather than go to the library.
Second, denial and trivialization. We know the highest efficient way to finish our task is to do the most important and urgent work, but as for procrastinators, they would deny that there are other things that are more urgent than what they should do right now. For example, when they want to write their paper, they would say it’s time for dinner and I have to buy something to eat. Third, distraction is also normal in the behavior style of the procrastinators. They may get distracted by a lot of things in order to avoid facing their really important task. They would also blame themselves after putting off their work.
Then, why people have procrastination? We know procrastination is the avoidance of doing one’s job, but why would people avoid? It is usually considered to happen when people are anxious about the work they have to face with, and when they go to do other things, they will feel better and relaxed. But at last, the problem is still not finished and they have to work on it. For the serious procrastinators, they would put off more work to decrease the feeling of shame and guilt. It is a vicious circle.
Then, how can we overcome this psychology? There are some possible ways that may help you. First, accept the fact that I am procrastinating. Many times, people are easy to feel anxiety and depression before they complete their tasks. They are not unrelated to the idea of self-criticism and self-defeating. You may continue to criticize and criticize yourself for procrastination. This lack of self-care will not only make you feel ashamed and self-blaming, but will also make you feel more anxious before the next task begins, and you will be procrastinated. It is a vicious circle. Therefore, to break this vicious circle, the first is to accept one’s own negative emotions and give yourself more encouragement and forgiveness.
Studies show that self-forgiveness can help you become willing to do you task. Second, stop thinking irrationally. Irrational thoughts included overrating yourselves and underestimating the difficulty of the task. Having a objective opinion about your ability will help to make a workable plan. This is the third way, set up a highly viable plan. You may choose a large but achievable goal, then you set it into some small goals. After splitting a large, reasonable and feasible goal into several small tasks, each task will become easier to implement for you. When you finish a small task, don’t forget to give yourself a small reward. It can build a reward system to help you work continuously.
- Steel, Piers (2007). ‘The Nature of Procrastination: A Meta-Analytic and Theoretical Review of Quintessential Self-Regulatory Failure’. Psychological Bulletin. 133 (1): 65–94.
- Pychyl, T. (20 February 2012). ‘The real reasons you procrastinate — and how to stop’. The Washington Post. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
- mindtools.com,. How to Stop Procrastinating [online] Available at: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_96.htm