“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up, it knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle, when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.” — Christopher McDougal
Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing a task or set of tasks. It is the internal mental and emotional force that prevents you from following through on what you set out to do. In fact, Procrastination usually involves ignoring an unpleasant, but likely more important task, in favor of one that is more enjoyable or easier. This undesirable but devastating gesture leads to negative self-esteem and low performance.
Malaysian Psychology Journal defines procrastination as a lack or absence of self-regulated performance and the behavioral tendency to delay what is necessary to reach a goal.
Procrastination does not only internally increase physical and mental exhaustion but also externally wears both personal and professional relationships. The percentage of procrastination that affects universally is between 20% and 25%. It means that proficiency is almost 25 percent shortfall of progress.
Reasons for Procrastination
Why do we put off an undesirable task despite knowing the negative implications? There are the following main reasons for procrastination.
1. Fear of failure or rejection
2. Lack of self-control
4. Feeling of overwhelmed
5. Previous bad experience
6. Poor emotion regulation
Malaysian Psychology Journal
Procrastination and anxiety seem to be interwoven. The effects of procrastination vary and there are individual differences about gender. Malaysian Psychology Journal investigated in a study to give the following test results: -
How to Overcome Procrastination
The more you know why you procrastinate; it is easier to overcome.
There are following ways to overcome or avoid procrastination: -
1. Lift the bull.
I narrated the story of a young man in an earlier part of this book. The boy used to lift the calf every day in the morning from its birth. By the time, calf turned to be a huge bull, the muscles were developed and the bull also became habitual of lifting. People were surprised by how a man can lift a bull! In the same way, you train your neurons daily in such a way with happy moments in an incremental way that you do not postpone your task for the reason of your happiness.
2. Attack on bigger task first
A teacher filled the big glass container with sand and told to adjust the stones in it. But students failed after putting a few stones in the container. He then taught a very nice principle to catch up on heavy tasks first. According to the direction, students put bigger stone first in the container, then the small stones then thick sand and thinner sand, and then water. In the same way, accomplish bigger tasks first and then gradually deal with smaller tasks.
3. Victory hours
Find out victory hours according to your schedule and deal with the demanding tasks to increase intense focus and productivity. Most of the ideas are generated in my mind for writing outlines of my book during and after my meditation sessions in the morning victory hours from 5 am to 7 am.
4. Disconnect from social media
For a specific period, you can sacrifice your social media time although it is difficult for the younger generation. Replace your chatting hours with important tasks. The discipline of regular hours of a specific period may induce a lot of benefits later on.
5. Read or listen on the topic
There are a number of topics over the internet and expert writers to guide on procrastination. Read some good books and listen to the related audio and gather important information on the subject so that you may change your way of thinking.
6. Do not be too meticulous.
There is a proverb in psychology, “Meticulous and perfectionists fall prey to schizophrenia!” Never try to be perfect. People say, “I will not jump in the water till I learn perfect swimming.” You fire first then aim. In trials of your firing, you will definitely hit the target.
7. Reward and punishment
Every piece of your success should be rewarded and do not punish yourself for your failure. This act of reward and punishment may be the greatest achievement collectively.
1. Your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
2. Read your goals frequently without deciding on what to do with them.
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