We are born procrastinators. What can be done today, can also be done tomorrow, or so we think. However, such an approach is extremely pernicious to the quality of life and work performance.
This problem can be further exacerbated by obligations which are not exactly exciting, but still compulsory and inevitable. Often worrying about those duties eats all our time. As a result, we cannot do something we truly enjoy. We finish everything last second, thus getting stressed and losing sleep. However, there is an alternative to this kind of lifestyle.
It Is All About Being Mindful
You need first of all to analyze the causes of your procrastination. Knowing what triggers it can go a long way in helping you avoid it.
Usually we shun activities which might stimulate the pain regions of our brain. It is vital to figure out what exactly prompts that pain. Maybe, you do not want to make a call because you are afraid to come off as insecure or unprofessional. Or perhaps you fear meeting new people because they might hurt your feelings.
Looking for the root cause is the first step towards overcoming your predicament. Trying to cross examine your subconscious mind will help you better understand your strengths and weaknesses, as well as how to make the strengths stand out.
People’s minds are very powerful. You can influence the way you think about something, thus lessening or even eliminating the pain. There are two strategies here: either to think of the task as essential for you or as a minor detail of your life.
If it’s way too important to ignore, you are much more likely to eventually force yourself to complete it. If vice versa, it is trivial, then there is no need to worry about it, and you can do it without overthinking. You may want to alternate both methods depending on the situation. For instance, you can think of an exam as a matter of life and death and of a phone call as no big deal. The only rule here is to find what works for you personally.
Establish a Support Network
Very often people are ashamed of sharing their seemingly childish fears and concerns. However, a fresh outlook can shed new light on your plight and help you reevaluate it. Your friends may feel the same, and it will make you feel less uncomfortable about your feelings.
Others can inspire you to power through the assignment you hate and even give you a hand. They can share their valuable experiences you can learn from and emulate. Remember, everybody has their ridiculous fears and shortcomings. Nobody is perfect, so there is no shame in imperfection.
When you have no desire to get down to something, it is a great idea to think up a reward that would inspire you to complete the task as soon as possible. For example, promise yourself you would watch an episode from your favorite TV show if you finish your paper till 9 pm.
There should always be deadlines for your activities. It will prevent procrastination and force you to be focused on the job. Otherwise, you will just postpone everything till the last minute and won’t have time for your hobbies.
Just Don’t Do It
Think about how valuable this task really is for you. If it is not all that important, maybe, there is no point in forcing yourself. Or you can decrease the intensity and frequency of its performance.
For instance, if you want to go jogging every day, but usually find yourself too exhausted to do it, maybe, it is better to do it once in three days or substitute for walking. You are not a robot, and your energy is limited. Therefore, even if the task seems beneficial for your health or personal growth, it is worth considering how well it is going to fit your busy schedule.
You Are Not Stuck for Eternity
It is hard for people to distance themselves from their present and look at the future. When we think about our future selves, we activate a brain area that is responsible for evaluating other people. Therefore, it is hard for us to believe that our present selves are only temporary versions and in just a couple years our lives may be drastically different.
So, if it all is temporary, why not bring some enjoyment into it. If you don’t like your current job, still try to focus on those moments that sometimes make it exciting. It does not have to be work-related. It can be something minor, like good coffee in the morning or a nice chat with your colleague.
Think Outside Your Circle
It is a well-known psychological phenomenon when people who seem to have it all may be less satisfied with their lives than a poor person. It happens so because humans compare themselves not with those less fortunate, but with their friends, neighbors and celebrities.
It can lead to a profound disillusionment and a very inadequate evaluation of the situation. In order to escape this trap, you need to stop taking everything for granted. If you feel tired and unwilling to go to college, consider those people who did not even get accepted or did not have money to pay for it. If you hate your job, remember that there are many unemployed around the world who would be happy to trade places with you.
You should not think about your life as an obligation, but rather as a big opportunity. You get to do things every day many people around the world can only dream to do. I do not mean to dismiss your feelings as the first world problems. I just want to encourage you to look at your life from a different angle which should help you persevere through tasks you deem useless and boring.