Why we procrastinate, and how we can avoid it

There’s that task – the one that we’ve been meaning to tackle for ages – yet we somehow can’t do it, no matter how hard we try. It doesn’t mean that we’re lazy. It could just be that we’re procrastinating. But why do we and how can we avoid it in the future?

What is procrastinating?

Procrastinating is putting off something that needs to be done, and usually involves finding something else to occupy our time instead. It could be anything from that big task at work to tidying out a room in our house.

Photo: BURST

Why do we procrastinate?

Many believe that we procrastinate because we fear about the pain we will feel. Hear us out. Thinking about that task might give us visions of stress, hard work, or boredom. Whatever the case, our minds will often try to avoid it.

Write a list

One of the best ways to avoid procrastinating is to write a list of everything that needs to be done. Then, break the list down into the most important steps, the ones that are less urgent, and the long-term tasks that might take a while to complete.

Break down your time

Concentrating for long periods at a time can be tough. However, giving your task your all for 15 minutes before taking a 5-minute break could be what you need to keep focused. You might be surprised at home much you can achieve.

Start with the hardest

Is there one task that you’ve been putting off more than others? Why not get it out of the way? As soon as that one is done, your brain should be happy to know that everything else that comes afterward won’t be as tricky as the first.

Reward yourself

One way to help keep yourself motivated is to make sure you reward your brain for staying focused on the task at hand. This could be a piece of candy every now and then or a trip out or gift to yourself as soon as you are finished with your task.

Photo: BURST

Remove distractions

Have you found yourself reaching for your phone or scrolling through the internet? Don’t! In fact, removing as many distractions as you can could be the key to keep your mind focused on the task at hand. If nothing is within reach, then you might soon give up on your idea of finding something else to do.

Avoid multitasking

A long list of jobs to do can leave many of us wanting to try and do them all at once, but that could be one of the worst things for your mind. In fact, piling on too much pressure and hoping to achieve everything at once could have the opposite effect instead.

Procrastinating. It can be easy to do yet tough to break. Most of us have been guilty of putting off a task or two. It might take a few small tweaks and a little boost to soon have your mind back on track once and for all.