It’s 7:50 am, and the clock is ticking away. You have to leave at 8, but you’ve not even showered yet? You’re running around trying to quickly get ready, all along kicking yourself for wasting so much time watching those kitten videos on a loop.
Such scenarios, where we leave everything until the last minute are quite frequent in our lives. Just look at the referendum on EU membership, where thousands of British citizens flocked to register themselves on the final day when they had months to do so—causing the site to crash.
Even for mundane chores, we delay until they become a necessity. Whether it is reading a book, finishing laundry, visiting a dentist, or learning to play an instrument, somehow, we are always surrounded by unfinished tasks. Pushing everything to tomorrow or hopefully soon is usually what we all do. We have gotten into a lifelong relationship with what should have been our enemy—procrastination. And ironically, we have been procrastinating this fight with procrastination for too long.
Many of us are trapped in the vicious cycle of procrastination. We postpone something important, hurriedly finish it at the last moment, promise to never let it happen again, and repeat. According to eminent researcher and speaker, Piers Steel, about 95 percent of us are victims of this “self-regulatory failure” to some degree. Procrastination is one of the biggest hindrances to moving ahead in life and achieving our goals.
The first step to fight procrastination is to accept you’re doing it. If you’re honest with yourself, you will know when you’re procrastinating, and understanding the reasons behind it can help you stop it in its tracks. Be mindful and aware of what you’re doing when procrastinating. This simple activity will help you refocus, align your priorities, and improve productivity immediately.
But, the main question is, why do we procrastinate?
In this article, Soulveda looks at why procrastination happens and explores strategies for managing and prioritising your workload more effectively.