Procrastination is a severe factor that affects every one of us in our daily works.
Awareness has a lot to do with procrastination. Finding the solution to procrastination is not the problem: the major problem is to be aware of what is really going on. The moment we are conscious of what’s happening, it’s already a step to solving the problem.
The problem isn’t just being aware of what’s going on; it’s remembering to be aware. Remembering is what mindfulness is about because we often forget to be aware.
Some of the factors that prompt procrastination are fear, not being motivated, dreading hard tasks, and not being clear on priorities Procrastination is often centered on fear which is not limited to self-doubt fear of
failure, and fear of being successful. Oftentimes, we do not know that we possess such fear and our actions are based on this fear. The moment we are aware of our fears, we can easily drive them out. When we fear of failure, fear of success, self-doubts. But we don’t often know that this fear is even there — we just act on the fear. Fears, once we’re aware of them, can be beaten by the light of day. When we see fears out in the open, in the light, we can see they’ve been overblown in our minds. The worst-case scenario of failure is often not that bad when we really think about it.
Most of the time, when undertaking a hard task, we forget to be motivated. We often ask ourselves questions like ‘Why are we putting ourselves through this suffering? It’s way easier to put it off and do other “important” things instead.
Nevertheless, when we remind ourselves of our motivation, we can focus. Hence, we have to be conscious of the fact that our motivation isn’t clear and also that we have forgotten what motivation is at the face of a discomforting task.
Not being clear on priorities is another pointed factor that prompts procrastination. What tasks are more important? It’s hard to know when you’re caught up in the flow of things, just doing things left and right, quickly switching between tasks, and so on. Everything seems important. But when we step back and think about
what matters most, what will make the most difference in the world and in our lives, we can see what we need to focus on, to make time for. We can’t step back unless we’re aware that we’re getting caught up in less important tasks.
How to Remember The difficulty with remembering to be aware is that we get caught up in our present
actions. Hence, we need to equip ourselves with a set of tools that will help us to remember. Some of these tools are:
Recognition of harm. This is the first fact that you need to admit. You need to know that procrastination is actually doing more bad than good. If you think this is not actually a big problem, then the next steps are not going to help you. So what harm is procrastination actually causing? A lot! It could prevent you from achieving set goals, prevent you from breaking your limits and stop you from learning new things.
Commitment. Committing yourself to be aware is one of the greatest tool to remembrance. It’s a very easy task to do. You could jot it down on a notepad and look at it every morning before you go out. You could also tell someone else about it. Whatever you do, take the commitment seriously.
Reminders are also potent tools for this journey you are about to embark on. Every hour or two, have a reminder that helps you to check in to see if your actions match your intention, to remember to be aware of what’s been going on with your procrastination.
Recognize signals. There are signs that shows that you’re procrastinating. This includes anxiety about your tasks, compulsively checking things, a rising urge to go do something other than the present task. These signs might be physical (tightness in your chest, for example) or they might be certain actions (checking email) — but you can learn to recognize them with time. They are flags, waving and telling you that something is going on. Notice the flags, and check in to see what’s going on.
However, these aren’t things you can master in one day. You would have to practice them and they take a great deal of commitment. But if you are able to pull through, procrastination would have a lesser effect on you.