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Muthu Annamalai Venkatachalam
Muthu Annamalai Venkatachalam

Posted on • Originally published at muthuannamalai.tech

How I overcame My Procrastination

Our procrastination can make us feel like we've wasted our time and make work tasks seem never-ending because we're never focused enough to finish them.

Whenever we try to scale a seemingly simple task, the mountain grows and grows and grows.

Due to procrastination, I have struggled many times over the course of my life. As a natural tendency, I disregard things that seem to be too low-stakes/simple to work; however, it is important to realize that things do not need to be complex to work.

Let's be honest: consuming content to procrastinate doesn't equal being constructive in any way.

If you think reading this will make you productive, you are wrong UNLESS you practice something you've read

5 Ways that helped me break the Cycle of Procrastination:

1. Think about your "why."

People who procrastinate tend to focus more on short-term gains (distress from avoiding the task), rather than long-term effects (stress from not doing it, as well as other negative outcomes). Think instead about why you are doing this task: how does completing it benefit you?

If you are avoiding your exercise program, look at how it will give you more positive energy, boost your confidence, and make you a good example for everyone.

2. Set realistic goals.

Establish a schedule that will help you succeed. Make sure to allow extra time for projects because they usually take much longer than expected. Take steps to ease yourself into it. If, for instance, you are not a morning person, you may not be able to get up early to begin the exercise program you have been putting off for months. Perhaps plan that activity during lunch or before dinner.

3. Acknowledge good behavior.

Establish an incentive that rewards your effort if and when you achieve your goal. Wait until you've completed your schedule before binge-watching Netflix, checking social media, or having lunch. Rather than procrastinating by using these tasks and distractions, make them dependent on you actually completing the tasks you schedule.

4. Get rid of your perfectionism.

A perfectionist views things either as perfect or as failures. It is common for perfectionists to wait until things are perfect before proceeding; otherwise, they cannot finish their work. Alternatively, if the right time isn't there, you feel that it's impossible to start. If you think all-or-nothing, you'll never start or finish anything.

Strive to be better, not perfect. To do this, you still strive for excellence, create excellence, or set yourself up with excellent conditions, but you also focus on getting the job done. It's better to get it done than perfect.

5. Stop making excuses.

Are any of these familiar to you? The mood needs to be right.” "I'll wait until the time is right.” "I work better under pressure.” "I need X before I start.”

Stop it!

There's no point in giving yourself excuses. It might be nice to "be in the mood," but waiting for that to happen may prevent you from starting your project.

I want to conclude by saying this quote

“If you improve yourself 1% a day what would be the result of it after 1 year?”

Thank you for reading the article until this point - I hope you found it interesting and learned something. I would appreciate it if you could kindly take the time to add your thoughts to the comments below

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Discussion (6)

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valeriavg profile image
Valeria

I almost agree with everything.
Except one thing: procrastination is a symptom, showing that there's something off.
And while self motivation would work it most cases, I think it's important to understand why it happens to you in the first place.
Sure procrastination may come from one just being lazy and then the advices you give are valid, but there's often a much more serious problem, ranging from being underpaid to having a depression. And that problem needs to be addressed in addition to pushing yourself harder or instead of it even.
It's a joy when you can work and not notice the hours pass by and if you don't feel it - it doesn't automatically mean you're bad. Maybe it's this particular tool you're using driving you nuts. Maybe you don't feel appreciated at your job. Maybe you don't even like your job or just this particular task that you have at the moment.
It's not always that easy to figure, but is worth trying in the long run

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oniichan profile image
yoquiale

I have ADHD, so I procrastinate a lot every day

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valeriavg profile image
Valeria

Yeah that's one of the cases where simply pushing yourself harder wouldn't work, I think. How are you copying, @oniichan ?

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oniichan profile image
yoquiale

I don't. I do stuff whenever I feel like I want to do it.

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pavelee profile image
Paweł Ciosek

Great article! All points are really practical and worth to remember.

I would also add point "think what's the closest step to get". When you plan to do something eg. create a mobile app using react native, we start to procrastinate because the goal we set is so far away and that demotivate us. So, we can set the closest step to just create new project using react-native init, and focus on that. I promise when you do that, you will start to moving forward project because you already started!

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camco profile image
Camco

All super valid points. Great article. I do think my former self may have ignored the article bc my the exact reason why I should have read it 😎