Within a recent Tote-a-Vision Party Guest Survey, 90% of the people identified procrastination to be their number one challenge to getting things done in their lives. They all had dreams and goals that they would love to come to furision, but necessary task are often put off until tomorrow. We can all benefit by better understanding procrastination, and its effects, as well as gleam from helpful tips to conquer it for good. Over the next several days, we will explore this topic in detail.
I have a friend that works as a writer for online articles and she once told me that one of her biggest challenges in writing is procrastination. She’s the type of person that will set time to almost all the things she does and more often, for an article, she said she gives herself an hour to get it completed. Pretty much she has an idea of what the topic is but whenever she is in front of her PC and getting ready to write, she said she would just stare at her monitor for minutes doing nothing. Then when things get boring, she tabs to her Facebook account or view videos on YouTube. Magically, time will run so fast that all of her other tasks where pushed back of schedule.
That is simply one example of procrastination. In fact, procrastination comes in different ways depending on the situation. We have seen students cramming up to get their papers done near its deadline and we have witnessed artists, entrepreneurs, professionals who uses different ways of procrastinating. For instance, when you are expected to write a report and your brain doesn’t seem to be extracting all that juices you need, you’ll eventually find yourself in the kitchen washing all the dirty dishes thoroughly. Or you might be giving yourself a coffee break when you know for a fact that you don’t deserve one since you haven’t started anything yet.
Teens and adults alike have issues with procrastination. We all have stories to tell of how we have allowed procrastination hindered our goals. And it’s funny that we have “creative” ways of doing it. There are many of us who wishes success but procrastination seems to always find itself along our way. Procrastination can’t be entirely categorized as a bad habit or a ‘habit’ since there are instances whereas it occurs almost randomly. Because there are times that you feel enthusiastic about getting a task done ASAP. However, there are several studies shows that there are many chronic procrastinators regardless of gender, age, and race.
But the concern is that, procrastination is never good. As what they always say, ‘seize the day and moment’ to do something productive while you still can. Although, it seems like all of us are bound to deal with it, the amount of procrastination can be minimized given that you know a little about how the whole thing works.
When you begin to procrastinate, two important parts of your brain are fighting against each other. Your frontal cortex which is located a little above your forehead is the one that says “I must get it done today or my employer will fire me…” The other part is the limbic system Amygdala, the emotional/primitive part of the brain that tells you, “Ah, I still have two more days before deadline. I will probably sit and watch a couple of movies first…” type of thinking.
But even if the frontal cortex brain knows the benefits of getting tasks done early, it does get tired easily compared to the limbic system which is more dominating and shows you things that provide immediate satisfaction. So, in other words, you are battling between immediate satisfaction and the long term goal of being productive.
Procrastination exists in almost every goal whether in small or large scale. And whether you like it or not, the limbic mind appears to be more powerful than the other. So what can we do about it? Well, there is something that you can do to overcome the limbic mind (the hear, see, and smell). The limbic mind becomes extra powerful whenever the temptation is becoming more and more tangible like having your Facebook account pulled up alongside your paperwork, having a plate full of cookies and the television up while you are balancing your taxes, so on and so forth. But if you help yourself remove these distractions, you can help yourself focus on things that you should be doing. For example, when writing a report, the temptation of checking your email when you hear that little ‘ting’ sound will definitely lure you to check your email and if it has links that leads to other websites, that you will just have to check it as well. So, the solution is to close it and just focus on whatever you should be doing at that moment.
Since situations are vast and procrastination comes in different scenarios, it’s up to you to recognize and distinguish your distractions. Then, help yourself get rid of them.
Inspired to Inspire You to a More Productive and Fulfilled Life,
Inspirational Life-Vision Coach
Inventor of Tote-a-Vision