This is a guest post by Garvin Ferdinand – the Vice President at The Gold Standard MCAT. He is passionate about improving students’ chances of medical school admissions.
Procrastinating is a natural thing in many ways but sometimes people can be chronically affected by it and it stops them from getting things done.
18% believe that procrastination has an extremely negative effect on their happiness. It’s amazing that nearly 1 in 5 people are chronically affected by procrastination.
What can you do to reduce procrastinating?
First of all, it’s important to identify why we procrastinate.
Research shows that 61% of students are procrastinating because they believe they have ‘too many other things to do’. Does organization play a role in procrastination?
How do we procrastinate?
What keeps us from doing the stuff we want to get done? Watching movies and TV seems to be the primary culprit with social media coming in a close second. Many of us will have experienced being in the middle of getting work done and flicking to our Facebook to check for updates and messages.
This is a very dangerous practice as even one minute looking at your Facebook will totally throw your concentration. This is especially true for work that requires a high level of concentration.
Luckily there are now some great productivity apps to keep us away from the temptations of social media. For example, Anti-Social blocks you out of Facebook while you’re working on a project.
It’s interesting to explore our thought process when we are procrastinating.
What happens when we delay doing a task?
Usually there is a very typical procrastination roadmap that stops us from competing out tasks. One thing for sure is that if you do postpone getting something done, you will regret it later. Understanding that regret will come later may help you control your level of procrastination.
We make the same mistakes time and time again. It’s incredible how often we overestimate how much time is available and underestimate how much time is needed to complete a task. This results in a last minute rush and extreme mental torment.
Another mistake people make is that they think they should only work if they’re in the mood, as otherwise performance will be sub-optimal. While it may be true that your performance will not be perfect if you’re not in the mood, you need to remember that getting some work done is better than none!
To take control of procrastinating you need to understand what’s happening in your mind when procrastination strikes.
When you understand why you’re procrastinating you can take steps to control it. It will often be a natural impulse to procrastinate. But when you evaluate your thought process and have clarity on the reasons why you’re doing it, that should help to reduce it.
Progress won’t happen overnight and you should start getting results in small increments. In time, you will build confidence in yourself and it will be easier to kill procrastination.
What about you? Is procrastinating a problem in daily life and how do you fight it?