How To Avoid Procrastination

Written by: Kim Kunaawathy

 

We’ve all been there, thinking, “I still have time,” only to realize that the deadline is approaching. You procrastinate while frantically and magically attempting to complete your assignment on time. 

Procrastination is sometimes confused with laziness, but the two are different. Procrastination is an ongoing phase in which you want to do something else instead of the work you believe you can do. On the other hand, laziness is characterized by apathy, inactivity, and an inability to perform.  

According to psychology, there are many types of procrastinators. But, here are the common types: 

The Avoider: You put things off simply because they make you unhappy. This is founded on Sigmund Freud’s pleasure theory. People have an innate desire to figure out what makes them happy and resist what makes them unhappy. 

The Optimist: You consistently believe that an assignment or a task would take less time than it does, or that you have more time to complete the task. According to Jeff Conte’s research at San Diego State University, optimism is a central characteristic for those who are chronically late. 

The Pleasure Seeker: You don’t do what you’re expected to do unless you want to, which doesn’t happen. As Hendriksen points out, this is bad news, so some will become irritated and take up the slack. 

 

How Can You Avoid Procrastination? 

Let’s be honest. There are many suggestions on how to stop procrastinating, so, knowing which type you are will help you determine what will work for you. Here are some tips on how you can avoid procrastinating.  

Prioritize Your Task 

Prioritize your tasks from most important to least important. This allows you to determine how much time you will need to complete each task. Write it down, imagine it, and then estimate how much time is needed for each task. Writing it down gives you a precise estimate which prevents you from wasting time deciding which task should be completed first. 

Avoid Distractions 

When you are not focused and see temptations, you are likely to be overwhelmed by them, and thereby procrastinate. Distraction is everywhere, especially working or studying from home during this pandemic. According to a recent report, keeping your phone out and visible, even though you are not using it, will cause you to do 20% worse. Choose a place that is suitable and comfortable for you. Clear your work spot and make sure you only keep things that you will be needing. Avoid leaving your work spot and getting distracted. For example, have a water bottle or snacks beside you. 

 

Watch Videos  

This might seem like a bad idea, but it’s not, if you utilize it in a proper way. There are endless videos on the internet of people documenting their study routine or how they study. If you feel demotivated to study or complete a task, watch one of these videos. It will inspire you to work and finish the task you have been putting off for the longest time. 

Join A Study Group 

Things may be challenging to accomplish with the pandemic that we are encountering now. There are many online study groupyou can join to study together. You could also organize a study with me group and invite your friends to join you. This will help you feel less alone, and will inspire you, and group mates as well. 

Reward Yourself 

Who doesn’t like rewards? It’s always a good idea. You deserve a reward and a break in between. Your reward could be a meal you have been craving, or a movie you were planning to watch. Take this time to unwind and relax.  

Always remember not to be too hard on yourself. Like anything in life, everything takes time to adapt to, and you will eventually procrastinate lesser day by day.