Strategies for Overcoming Procrastination Keanna Jones Gen 200 March 18, 2010 Instructor: Jenta Young “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step” says Martin Luther King Jr. (Finest Quotes, Lift Your Spirit Up, 2010). Sounds simple enough to some, but for many people taking the first step can be quite difficult. In other words, putting off something intentionally that should be done is called procrastinating (Merriam-Webster, 2010).
There are lots of reasons that people can’t take that first step for such as having a busy schedule, stress, afraid of failure or wanting complete perfection; because of this, people tend to wait until the last minute to do things, lye to themselves, do other things instead of what needs to be done and avoid making decisions. Actually, waiting until the last minute gives some people just enough pressure to complete their task or time to refresh their minds. Therefore, procrastinating can be a positive thing for some, but for others it can be a barrier that hinders one from accomplishing the simplest-everyday tasks to more long term goals.
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So for those people that consider procrastination a problem, once you figure out how and why you procrastinate, then you find a solution for your problem. “There are many ways to avoid success in life, but the most sure-fire just might be procrastination. Procrastinators sabotage themselves. They put obstacles in their own path. They actually choose paths that hurt their performance” (Staff, 2005). Thus, procrastination can be a problem for many people. Waiting until the last minute to do things or not making decisions can cause detrimental side-effects on ones emotional and physical state.
Subsequently, it can be stressful and cause you to feel hopeless or depressed which often delays or stops people from achieving their ultimate goals or becoming successful, but it is possible to prevail over it. In order to overcome procrastination, first you need to gather a few things to get started (you may need more or less as youbegin to learn more about yourself): a notepad and pen, a calendar or some sort of date book (both can also be done on your personal computer), some rewards for yourself and a new positive attitude.
Next, you need to determine why you are procrastinating. Harold Taylor lists several reasons why we procrastinate and how to defeat them. For example: Sometimes we figure that tasks are more unpleasant than they truly are; so, “complete these tasks first, schedule them for early in the day, and give yourself a reward for doing them. ” Also, break complex projects into smaller ones, and if you are afraid of failure, remind yourself of how good you’ll feel when you finish.
Moreover, if perfectionism and making decisions are your struggle, determine a time to make decisions and set deadlines. Remember that even the simplest things can cause someone to procrastinate like a lack of interest or distractions; free your-self from interruption and clutter (Taylor). In addition, use your calendar and date book to make appointments and set your deadlines; write down everything from daily tasksto your long term goals. Finally, measure your achievements and with any objective you conquer in procrastination reward yourself.
Furthermore, people can procrastinate in any and everything they do whether it isacademically, in the workforce or just daily living. “Based on some figures, it is estimated that as much as 95 % of the people are prone to procrastination. Amongst them, 20 % of them are chronic procrastinators. These people have an increasing chance of losing their jobs, have financial problems and have serious problems with their relationship with others” (Hobbs, 2008). What’s more, with academic procrastination, students may not complete work or meet deadlines, and as result, they may fail and not graduate.
Also, workforce procrastination can mean not completing assignments at work, not applying for a promotion, or not looking for a better job; so procrastination in the workforce can not only lead to trouble there, but also difficulties financially and in your relationship. At some moment in everyone’s life we may procrastinate in our daily living like waiting until the next day to clean up, but as long as it does not effect of livesnegatively we should be able to overcome it. However, if it does, just follow the instructions above and one should be fine.
So if you are a procrastinator, remember that you are not in this alone; as you can see, 95% of us procrastinate in some way. As we mentioned above, consider what type of procrastinator you are, how you procrastinate and what motivates you to reach beyond and you should be able to overcome it. Think about what makes you tick. Besides, it takes a lot of discipline to break this pattern. Consider what inspires you to advance, move ahead and be successful. Thus, use your pen, paper, planner, gather your rewards and develop a positive attitude and you will be on your way to coping with procrastination.
In conclusion, procrastination can be positive or negative, but as you can see, it clearly affects people’s lives. For plenty of people it does not help them; it actually hurts them. However, one can rise above it by simply remembering that you are a procrastinator and how to fix it. Do not wait until the last minute to do things or avoid making decisions because these are all signs of procrastination. By following some of the suggestions mentioned above, one might become triumphant in breaking this habit. Works Cited Finest Quotes Lift Your Spirit Up. 2010). In Procrastination Quotes. Retrieved March 18, 2010, from http://www. finestquotes. com/select_quote-category-Procrastination-page-0. htm. Hobbs, Jason. (April 2008). What Do Statistics on Procrastination Have to Say? Retrieved March 18, 2010, from http://ezinearticles. com/? What-Do-Statistics-On-Procrastination-Have-To-Say? &id=1093970. Procrastination. (2010). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved March 18, 2010, from http://www. merriam-webster. com/dictionary/procrastination. Richard Farrar. (2010). Life, Technology and Everything.
The Powers of Procrastination. Retrieved March 18, 2010, from http://www. richardfarrar. com/the-powers-of-procrastination/. Staff, PT (2005). Why We Procrastinate. Psychology Today. Retrieved March 18, 2010, from http://www. psychologytoday. com/articles/200507/why-we-procrastinate. Taylor, Harold. How to Stop Procrastinating. Retrieved March 18, 2010, from http://www. getmoredone. com/tips2. html Tucker-Ladd, Clayton. (2007)Psychological Self-Help. http://www. psychologicalselfhelp. org/Chapter4/chap4_77. html, p. 76-80.