In psychology there are many paradoxes, and one of them is: while the same type of emotional distress can be caused by many different types of behavior that we have learned and internalized almost without realizing it, a one pattern of behavior that is part of our usual repertoire of behaviors can give rise to many different problems.
This is what happens, for example, with the case of procrastination, which is the word with which psychologists refer to the propensity to leave things for later, or for “tomorrow” (with an emphasis on quotes). It’s something we can embrace with surprising ease, put into practice almost without realizing it, and give rise to a wide variety of dire situations and frustrating failures as a result.
In this article we will see how, through small changes in our habits, we can fight procrastination, In order to better exercise our responsibilities and facilitate the enjoyment of quality free time.
Why does procrastination occur?
As we have seen, procrastination means postponing, without having a really valid excuse, the fulfillment of our responsibilities or the tasks necessary to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves. We will agree that, thus defined, this behavior does not bring any significant benefit, and in any case creates problems. However, it is something that the vast majority of people fall into at one point or another. Because?
Several factors explain the existence of procrastination. One of them has to do with a personality trait: low responsibility. Those who score significantly below average on the responsibility trait in personality tests based on the Big Five model tend to fall into the “I will do it tomorrow” much more often. This indicates that procrastination is related to a larger aspect of the way we behave: the lack of concern for thoroughness in what is done, or in the way we abide by a number of rules.
On another side, and those who are perfectionists are not delivered in all cases of procrastination. It has been observed that there is a type of perfectionism that is linked to procrastination: one in which the person does not focus on specific actions to be taken in order to perform a task well, but on the fear of making a mistake, fear not to do something to be proud of. When this type of perfectionism is predominant, procrastination kicks in.
Another important aspect is the lack of practice. If we have to start a task that we do not yet master, the idea of starting to work on it can be difficult, because before having to invest an effort in deciding what to do, how to organize the time, etc. .
And since none of this has to materialize (when it’s happening in our head) and we don’t have a way of knowing if we’re doing it right for lack of experience, we don’t feel like we are doing it right. progress. , which makes the experience very frustrating, something worth starting “really” when trying to get a better mood.
5 habits to fight the “I will do it tomorrow”
Here are some simple habits you can apply to fight procrastination.
1. Beware of emotional hunger
Many people “disguise” their procrastination sessions under the guise of visits to the refrigerator which, in theory, aim to quell hunger. A curiously timely hunger that appears intermittently every few tens of minutes.
It’s actually emotional hunger: a false sense of hunger that arises from problems interpreting the discomfort we feel that is psychological in origin, Not physical. In this way, we learn to calm that stinging anxiety or restlessness between the hours, and give ourselves an excuse to overlook what is really important in order to focus on the pleasurable sensations that food gives us. So, to keep procrastination under control, set a meal schedule and keep foods out of the work area.
2. Create a workspace
Many times the key is to start the task; everything else is easier once our ideas of what to do are already on the right track. Therefore, it is good to associate your workspace only with that, work: do not use it for rest or entertainment. This way, it will be easier to commit to work, Because to sit in this chair of your study would mean for you that in this very second your day begins.
In turn, it is very important that this place is away from the reach of the most tempting distractions for you. If you are using a computer, it may even be good for you to create digital barriers on that computer that prevent you from accessing your social media profile, certain entertainment websites, etc.
3. Get a good rest
Related to the above is the need to feel physically fit in order to fulfill our responsibilities. Although we have the energy and the ability to focus on completing a task, feeling tired makes us more prone to procrastination.
4. make free time plans
Another aspect that promotes procrastination is having unstructured and diffuse free time, without clear boundaries. If you create activity plans that you enjoy in your free time, you will reduce the influence of that diffuse free time. and you will give it to another type of hobby which, in addition to making it easier for you to engage in what you have to do, is generally more stimulating and enjoyable than sitting on the couch watching anything at home. television or on a mobile.
- Barrick, MR (1991). The five main dimensions of personality and work performance: a meta-analysis.
- Sirois, FM; Molnar, DS; Hirsch, JK (2017). A meta-analytical and conceptual update on the associations between dilation and multidimensional perfectionism. European Journal of Personality. 31 (2): pages 137 to 159.
- van Eerde, W. (2003). A nomological network of report derived from meta-analytics. Personality and individual differences. 35 (6): pages 1401 to 1418.