Procrastination itself is quite normal. As human beings, we are wired to avoid what we perceive as harmful or unrewarding. However, the habit of consistently choosing instant gratification over tending to your responsibilities will delay what is meant for you.
What is procrastination?
The psychological definition of procrastination is the failure of self-regulation due to the act of delaying or putting off a task despite the potential negative consequences of not completing said task.
Why we procrastinate?
Most research regarding procrastination is often tied to not feeling inspired or motivated to complete a task. However, if further dissected, you will find that the root of your procrastination is much greater. It can be a fear of your work not being perfect. The anxiety of the unknown once you actually take that next step. The disdain of being controlled by time and constraints. You impacted your nervous system to the point you believe you operate best under chaos and pressure.
Regardless of how prepared one is or committed one can be towards their goals, such underlying factors can leave us defaulting to procrastination. It can be inferred that procrastination is less of an issue with time-management, and more of a struggle to manage our emotions.
Tips for overcoming procrastination
Storyteller and world-builder Octavia Butler beautifully expressed, “First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.”
You must hold tight to the truth that not every moment of your life or career will be sexy and exciting. In a digital landscape where only glamorous moments are shared, one must remember the behind the scenes grit and mundaneness of the day-to-day tasks. Remember, the willingness to challenge your procrastination is an act of self-commitment to your future self.
Here are a few practices to consider incorporating into your life when experiencing moments of procrastination:
Incorporate rest and play in your life daily..
Increase self-efficacy by keeping your word to yourself. Make one small promise to yourself daily, and keep it.
Get intimate with your needs — understand the rhythm of your work cycle.
Accept that you can sit with discomfort.
Create a mantra you can repeat to yourself that will carry you over hurdles.
Celebrate yourself and acknowledge the work that is put into actualizing your dreams.