First of all, what is procrastination? It’s a term very commonly heard (and used) but, do we really know what it entails?
The literal definition is when an individual has trouble persuading themselves to do the things they should be doing or would like to do. Most commonly is linked to work life, but don’t be fooled, it can affect your daily life as well. And it is not just “laziness” or zero skills when it comes to time management, procrastination runs a little deeper.
One thing that needs to be acknowledged is the fact that procrastination has happened and will continue to happen to everybody at some point in your work life. And the frustrating part of it is that while you are procrastinating you are fully aware that you’re not getting work done. Hence the frustration.
Many people are not aware that there are actually two types of procrastination: chronic and acute.
It’s deeper and there is more of a psychological issue behind it. The main problem with this type of procrastination is that the majority of the time people won’t acknowledge that it’s more than just a phase and it can have severe consequences on your daily life.
It can lead to anxiety and even depression since the feeling of not accomplishing things or not being able to meet deadlines can become triggers for these two conditions.
It can be caused even by a small mood swing throughout the day, a type of task you consider boring, not taking enough time to have a little break or low levels of energy.
Any of these can trigger it but the difference between chronic and acute is that with this one you can overcome it far more easily.
Nevertheless, both can be stopped. It doesn't mean that if you have chronic procrastination you’ll have to live with it, it’s just that it will take more time and different ways to learn how to overcome it and prevent it.
So how do you stop acute procrastination? ⏱️ (The most common one)
- Try the Timeboxing technique (Just set a fixed amount of time in your calendar for a particular task.) It’s basically a normal activity list but with a timer on it. Try to respect the times you’ve established for each task and you’re halfway there.
- Focus on managing your energy, not your time. People are more worried about “How much time did I waste?” than “How much of my energy did I put into it?”. If you don’t manage your energy properly, there is a higher chance that you will waste time. Guaranteed.
- Start with the little tasks so you go up to bigger and harder tasks. No need to rush and tackle a gigantic task that will take you the whole day, just start with the easiest ones that could potentially help a harder task become more manageable.
And how about chronic? 😅
- Try assertiveness training. Not all of us can achieve being assertive in every situation, but thankfully now there are certified coaches that can help you improve or find your assertiveness.
- Fear of failure and success is your worst enemy, try to get rid of it the best you can. We know it’s not an easy task, but this is one of the biggest anchors that chronic procrastination holds on you.
- Improve your lifestyle. This is key to helping your energy improve, so by starting to eat more healthily or inserting a few physical activities into your routine, you are already making a great step.
This is how you can start fighting either type of procrastination you might face. It might not exactly be the easiest task but step by step you can get there. 🙌