Let’s Talk Procrastination

This is not your usual article found on Insight Droid. This article is not about technology, instead, this article is about procrastination and some common signs, causes and tips.

My hope for this article is to share my personal experiences and to help those who often find themselves procrastinating.

This is far from a medical or scientific piece, but the points mentioned below apply to myself. So hopefully it may resonate similarly with you.

What Causes Procrastination?

We all likely procrastinate for a variety of reasons. From a lack of interest in the task at hand or a wondering mind that causes you to drift and fail to maintain focus. However, there are a few other reasons that I know lead me to procrastinate, in order of probability:

Distractions

Being distracted is by far the most common reason I procrastinate and this is not only a cause of procrastination, it’s also the side-effect of the other causes of procrastination.

Overwhelmed by number of projects

There’s being busy and there’s being inundated with task after task, each seemingly having a high priority. This often leads me to putting off tasks and being reluctant to take new opportunities.

Lack of passion

In my opinion, this is a dominant cause of procrastination for many. We gravitate to what’s fun and exciting. For example, many people would happily spend hours on end playing video games to unlock an “epic” in-game item, but would struggle to spend 10 minutes researching how to eat healthy. A fundamental lack of passion and interest is likely the biggest hindrance in drive and motivation for many, myself included.

Epiphany abundance

Having ideas are great. They can fill you with inspiration and drive. However, epiphanies can lead to the desire to start a new project and not finish an existing one. In turn, procrastinating.

How to Handle Procrastination

Let’s go through some helpful ways to prevent or handle procrastination. After all, this wouldn’t be a constructive article if I just fixated on the causes of procrastination:

Working in stages

I frequently break down a task at hand into smaller, more achievable stages. This helps me to stay focused and puts off the urge to get procrastinate. Plus, working in smaller stages has the added benefit of making it easier for me to track progress and presents the unique opportunity of allowing me to identify any areas for improvement and refine.

Working in different environments

This tip works a treat for me. I often find myself mentally dissatisfied when persistently working in the same environment. Whether it be a coffee shop, library or just a long train ride, I frequently work in different environments, particularly ones that are not distracting.

Bonus tip: Working in a foreign environment can be a godsend in staying motivated. It aids inspiration and coupled with working in stages, you can set yourself the goal of working in a different environment for each stage and completing that stage before moving to a new environment.

Passion

Working on projects that I am passionate about is really strong motivator. After all, it’s in our nature to want to succeed at what we enjoy, whether that’s a hobby, sport or careerPassion and love of the subject goes further than anything else and in my experiences, some of the most successful people in life achieved their success because they love what they do.

Finding passion is easier said than done and there is not a straightforward way to do so. However, a valid place to start is to look for the good in what you are currently doing and trying to accomplish. This provides a “moral motivator” to want to do well.

Bonus tips: As mentioned, one of the dominant causes of procrastination is the lack of passion. Another good way to help with this is by making the task fun and interesting. Such as rewarding yourself for completing a task or turning work into a constructive game.

Reflection

Looking back at past successes motivates me to push on and continue to succeed. This is especially helpful when I am  struggling to find passion or working in different environment is not convenient. When ever I look back at why I was successful, I try to apply what made me successful previously to my current and future projects.

Conclusion

Steering away from procrastination and successfully complete a project is a great feeling.

While temptation to get distracted and procrastinate can be strong, finding ways to stay focused will pay off in the long run.

With that said, every one has their reasons for doing what they do in life. Aligning what I do in life with my own reasons gives me the best opportunity to stay motivated and to not procrastinate.