Procrastination! Is it really that bad?

Procrastination! We all do it. It’s amazing the things we think of that need to be done and what we do while we procrastinate, from cleaning the house to watching a YouTube video on ‘How to knit’ (yes, I’ve done that). It becomes a problem when we avoid doing things that actually need to be done like essays, catching up on reading before the next seminar, dissertation, filling out job applications and many more. You say you’ll do it tomorrow then that becomes another tomorrow, which finally leads to a mental breakdown. The thing with procrastination is we know we are doing it, but carry on doing it anyway. Social media is great don’t get me wrong but it’s the worst when it comes to procrastinating. The truth is there is no cure to ‘stop procrastinating’ you are most likely going to do it, but I think it’s not all that bad. It’s about how you use the time when you are procrastinating.

This weekend I had a long list of things that I needed to do. I ended up procrastinating and doing the less important things like catching up on emails and updating my LinkedIn which I had been avoiding for weeks. By procrastinating I ended up ticking some things off my to do list and it made me feel quite productive. See it’s not all that bad.  I’m not going to list a million ways to help beat procrastination. But, here are three ways that help me be more productive.

TO DO LIST

I’m one of those people that has my life mapped out in lists, I like to plan ahead and know what I’m doing. Writing a to do list helps, write a to-do list include all the little things that don’t seem important also, include things that you want to do if you have time like ‘Catch up on EastEnders’. Make sure you tick off at least two things every day or more if you can, but keep a minimum of two. Don’t promise yourself that you will get through the whole list in one day, you won’t and most likely you won’t be successful and more than likely go back to procrastinating.

ROUTINE

Routine is a big help. Every day that you wake up early, you will have more time to tick off things from your to-do list. There are many reasons as to why having a set routine can avoid procrastination.

  1. Having a routine means having a set schedule and being able to block chunks out to complete certain tasks, like uni work, gym, catching up on EastEnders. By having a set time for when you are going to carry out certain tasks, its less likely that you will put them off till later.
  2. You will have time to relax – By having a routine means getting more tasks done but it also means making free time priority. You are able to put time aside to do whatever you wish, even if it means sitting in front of the sofa and do nothing.
  3. You get to chose how your day goes – Without a routine everything just sort of happens and most of the day gets wasted right? By having a routine YOU are in control of the day from the moment you wake up till the moment you go to sleep.
  4. You will avoid procrastinating – We procrastinate when we have no idea what to do or where to start with our work. But by having a schedule or a routine means getting things done as you know what is expected of you.

REWARD YOURSELF

I think this is so important. Set yourself short goals and then reward yourself. Go raid the fridge, sit and watch Netflix, scroll through your twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. Keep doing this and you will get things done and then repeat. (Well it works for me).

“Behaviour that gets rewarded gets repeated.”

That’s it! Procrastination is a bad habit and we are all guilty. But is it really that bad?

 

Mariam