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The library of essays of Proakatemia

Procrastination



Kirjoittanut: Marcos Homar Heinonen - tiimistä SYNTRE.

Esseen tyyppi: Yksilöessee / 2 esseepistettä.
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 4 minuuttia.

The habit of delaying important tasks by doing something more enjoyable and less important is called procrastination. It happens to all of us to some extent. Some people are more sensitive to it than others, but it still bothers us all. In the modern world, procrastination is a growing problem as social media craves our attention. When doing a task that requires our full attention and our phone sends us a notification lighting up the screen is procrastination most likely going to happen. In this essay, I am going to dive into things we can do to cure procrastination.

 

We often wait for that perfect moment when we are going to be motivated to do an undesirable task. That moment rarely comes and therefore the task is never done. In academic procrastination among students, the most common reason is overestimating how much time we have for completing a task. The time certain tasks take to complete is underestimated and therefore completed in a hurry just before the deadline. Humans tend to be more motivated by immediate rewards than long-term rewards. This means that we seek things that feel rewarding quickly with little to no effort. When we feel insecure about our abilities or can´t figure out things we are more likely to put our tasks aside and do them later. Our feelings are a big part of us. That’s why when we don’t feel mentally well, we tend to leave things that make us feel uncomfortable for later. When we end up procrastinating, we come up with excuses to justify our behaviour. Most of the time these excuses are poor and are easy to fix if we want to do so.

 

Most researchers define that there are two types of procrastination.

 

  • Passive procrastinators: These people delay their work because they struggle to make decisions and do not know how to act on them.
  • Active procrastinators: This type of procrastination is done purposefully as working under pressure makes them feel challenged and motivated.

 

There are also types of procrastination caused by behaviour.

 

  • Perfectionist: Delaying tasks because of the fear of them not being perfect.

 

  • Dreamer: Putting off tasks because they are not good at paying attention to detail.

 

  • Defier: Doesn’t believe in that someone has the power to dictate when a task should be ready. Does not believe in deadlines.

 

  • Worrier: Puts off tasks that out of fear of change or leaving the comfort of “the known”

 

  • Crisis maker: Leaves tasks for later because likes working under pressure.

 

  • Overdoer: Does too many things and has a struggle with finding time for starting and completing a task.

 

 

Things to cure your procrastination

 

“Eat the frog” is a saying by Mark Twain, a famous American author (1835-1910). Twain once quoted “If it’s your job to eat a frog, its best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it´s best to eat the biggest one first”. If you need to do something, do it first thing in the morning so you can live the rest of the day in peace. Let’s imagine a hypothetical case where you have to eat a frog every single morning from now onwards. It is an unpleasant thought, but you just need to do it. Therefore, it is a much better idea to eat it first thing in the morning than to think about it the whole day knowing that the inevitable will happen. In the worst-case scenario if you don’t eat it today you have two frogs waiting on your plate tomorrow.

 

The 3-2-1 rule is a simple but efficient thing to do. It is basically just proceedings to do a task that you have on your mind on the count of three. Let´s say you have to start writing an essay. You just count from three to one and start writing your essay without any hesitation. This is said to be psychological momentum. Essay writing seems super scary, so we avoid doing it. Counting, on the other hand, is much easier so we are less likely to avoid it. The momentum created by this method helps us do the thing we are avoiding. The main idea of this whole methodology is to stop overthinking for too long as this creates procrastination.

 

Purging your physical and digital surroundings. This is one of the most common causes of procrastination. Our psychology and physiology are linked to each other. If our physical environment is chaotic our brain ends up being the same way. And if our brain is in a chaotic state our environment is likely going to be also chaotic. It is much easier to correct and improve your physical environment than your psychological mind. Therefore, having a clean and organised room can drastically improve your productivity. And when you are feeling productive you are less likely going to procrastinate. Digital surroundings are a big part of why people have procrastination problems. Eliminating all possible gateways that lead to procrastinating while doing important work is very important. Message notifications that light up your phone are triggering your brain away from the work and preventing you from fully concentrating.

 

Stare at one thing for 60 seconds. This trick is from Andrew Huberman who is a Tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Neurobiology, Stanford University School of Medicine. It consists of focusing on a specific target for 60 seconds while taking deep breaths to dramatically increase overall focus. This target can be a specific letter in your essay. This is also an example of how our psychology is linked to our physiology. “When we focus with our eyes we also focus with our brain”.

 

Confronting your distractions before working. This is a great way to stay focused in the evening time after having eaten the frog. It consists of giving a certain time limit to go through the things your primal brain wants you to do. Separating the distractions from work from the beginning so you don’t have the need to do so during work time. After having checked all the things you wanted to do before starting your work, you have mental clarity and have no excuse but to only focus on your work. You are negotiating with your brain and giving it a bit of freedom for a limited time to be able to focus on your primary work with full focus.

 

 

 

Better Ideas, YouTube, 29.10.2021:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yLOth7SWAY

 

Very well mind, What is procrastination, Kendra cherry, 28.08.2022:

https://www.verywellmind.com/the-psychology-of-procrastination-2795944

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