Strategies for Breaking Out of the Procrastination Trap

Strategies for Breaking Out of the Procrastination Trap


Procrastination is the act of putting off or postponing tasks until the very last minute or after the deadline. Procrastination is described by some academics as a "type of self-regulation failure defined by the intentional postponing of tasks despite possibly adverse affects. Regardless of how dedicated and professional you are, chances are you have squandered time on pointless pursuits like Facebook status updates, TV viewing, or internet shopping when you could have been focusing on work or school-related assignments.

People are procrastinating since a long time. In fact, the issue is so persistent that ancient Greek philosophers like Socrates and Aristotle created the term "akrasia" to describe this kind of behaviour. Akrasia is the state of acting contrary to your better judgment. It happens when you behave a specific way despite when you should do otherwise. Akrasia is primarily understood to be a lack of self-control or procrastination. The act of delaying or postponing a task or group of duties is known as procrastination. It is the force that prevents you from completing the tasks you set out again to perform, whether you call it procrastination, akrasia, or something else.

Reasons for procrastination

  • Not knowing how to complete the work at hand. It is normal to put off starting a task if it looks challenging or if you are unsure of how to finish it.

  • You are uninterested in the task at hand, thus it might seem preferable to work on something else (like taking another course). You might be lacking the drive to complete the assignment.

  • Fear of failure in the assignment. It may seem worse to fail at a task despite your best efforts than to fail because you didn't attempt. Perfectionism is often the root cause of this kind of procrastination.

  • Or perhaps you worry the opposite. Some people are afraid of being too successful since it will make people expect more of them moving forward.

Overcoming procrastination

Reward actions immediately after work

Procrastination can be avoided if you can discover a means to make the advantages of long-term decisions more clear right away. The temptation bundling technique is one of the best ways to make potential gains available at the moment. A behavioural researcher at The University of Pennsylvania named Katy Milkman developed the idea of temptation bundling. Put simply, the approach advises combining a behaviour that is beneficial to you in the long run with one that makes you feel good right now.

Some examples of temptation bundling are:

  • Listening to your favourite audio book or podcast or music when you are doing a task

  • Getting a pedicure while covering up the pending emails.

Increase the Immediate Effects of Procrastination

You can be made to pay the price of procrastination in many different ways, and earlier rather than later. For example, skipping your workout the following week won't have much of an effect on your life if you exercise alone. You won't experience an immediate decrease in health as a result of skipping that one workout. Only after weeks or months of being lazy does exercising become painfully expensive. The price of skipping your workout, though, increases if you agree to work out with a friend at 7 a.m. on Monday. If you skip this workout, you'll come out as arrogant.

Create Your Future Behaviour

A "commitment device" is one of psychologists' favourite methods for overcoming procrastination. Using commitment tools, you can quit procrastinating by planning out your future actions in advance. For example, buying food in individual containers rather than in bulk can help you control your eating patterns in the future. You might be able to prevent wasting time on social networking and gaming applications by uninstalling them from your phone. Take suggestions from the Best psychologist in India, Counseling psychologist, or search for the Best psychologist delhi.

Increase the Task's Achievability

As we've already discussed, procrastination is typically brought on by resistance to beginning behaviour. It's usually less uncomfortable to keep working once you begin going. One good reason to make your routines smaller is that you'll be less likely to put things off if they're simple and quick to start.

Set definite, attainable objectives.

For example, if you want to start working out, a great goal may be "be able to run a complete mile by the end of the month," as compared to "do some running" and "run a marathon by the end of the month," which are both bad choices i.e. unrealistic.

Execute your plan.

Be sure to evaluate your progress and adjust your strategy, primarily by determining which strategies are successful for you and how you can use them most efficiently. Seek guidance from Online counselor at your convenience.

Anti-procrastination techniques

Key anti-procrastination methods include the following, which are described in greater depth in the following section:

  • Organize your work into manageable steps 

  • Commit to taking a small move 

  • Permit yourself to make mistakes

  • Make your tasks easier so that they are able to be completed

  • Make tasks more enjoyable

  • Make procrastination more difficult

  • Before giving into the urge to postpone, wait

  • Set due dates.

  • Prepare for challenges by making a plan.

  • Recognize and face your worries.

  • Become more motivated

  • Boost your energy by taking the required breaks.

  • Make your environment better.

  • Utilize social skills

  • Utilize time-management strategies

  • Make initiation rituals

  • Your greatest or worst task should come first.

  • Improve your own efficacy

  • cultivate self-compassion

  • Taking care of fundamental issues

For mental health therapy, you may also make an appointment with well-known, knowledgeable psychologists at the Psychowellness Centre, which has sites in and around Delhi NCR, NOIDA, Faridabad, Janakpuri, Dwarka, and Vasant Vihar.

Contribution: Dr (Prof) R K Suri, Clinical Psychologist, life coach & mentor TalktoAngel & Dr. Sakshi Kochhar Psychologist.