Procrastination, and how to get rid of it for good

Dilini Panapitiya
3 min readNov 9, 2020

We’ve all been there; postponing one task then another, or even not doing those tasks ever. Procrastination is the silent killer of time that most of us don’t realize. Think about this, when was the last time that you thought “Nah, I’’ll do it tomorrow”?(Sigh). But what is so attractive about procrastination, and why is it so hard to get rid of it?

No motivation

Being uninterested about something is a major reason that people tend to postpone things for later. People naturally tend to pay more attention to things that make them feel happy and content, while dodging tasks that gives them less satisfaction. This could be pointed out as the most common reason why students prefer hanging out with friends or playing, rather than studying. One trick you can use here is to make learning ‘fun’. Yeah yeah, we’ve heard that you’ve got to do the hard work to go places, but hard work necessarily doesn’t have to be boring, does it?

Fear of failure

A major dream killer. This is the reason why most people do not even think of putting their creative thoughts into action. Weighing down the risks vs the benefits of trying something different might end up in choosing the less riskier path, to avoid any chances of failure at all costs. But this is no what you should do. The positive outcomes might not seem apparent at first, but they would eventually be. Steeping out of your comfort zone is the only path to growth. Just make sure you have a back up plan in case things do not happen as expected. But even if you don’t, you could always be brave!

Distractions

In a world that basically ‘runs’ on distractions, there’s no way it would stay out of the dreaded path of procrastination. The mobile phone, as useful and versatile as it may be, is the reason why most people waste a lot of time unintentionally(a LOT of time). Specially if you’re a student, it is very important to set your priorities right, and not let your gadgets and gizmos get in your way. Set out a certain time period of the day during which you are allowed to use them, and make sure to stick to time limits. Buzzing or beeping phones when studying is a big NO. It’s nothing wrong with the device, you only need self-control. You can do it!

No long-term goals

Having a long-term goal keeps your priorities straight and clear. When you don’t have one, you are basically trying to survive the day and then move on to the next. Try to see the bigger picture. Remind yourself why you started it in the first place, and what you’d be missing if you waste your precious time. Set various hours of the day for different types of work (or even play), and make sure to get the job done within that allocated time slot. The feeling of achievement you get at the end of the day is unattainable in any other means. These small practices would get you closer to your targets step by step without you even knowing.

All work, and no play

This is an illusion that the modern world has come up with. Most people believe that working non-stop throughout the day is the only way, and that spending time doing something you love is a sin. No.Leisure time gives you space to review your actions, improve yourself for the better, and most importantly, time to relax. Working all throughout the day with no breaks in between is the most inefficient approach.

So, go ahead. Do that 5 minute job you’ve postponed since forever. Feeling bored?Go out and take a walk, then get it done in one stretch. Live in the moment. And at the end of the day, give yourself a pat on the back for everything you’ve achieved. Self-appreciation is the key!

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