Procrastination has been a problem for me ever since I’ve had things to do. Feeling instant gratification by leaving things for later is just easier compared to getting them done right away.
Procrastination is often caused by leaving tasks for our future selves so that we can feel instant gratification. This is similar to why we prefer foods with high sugar and fat contents: these foods provide us with a burst of energy soon after we consume them, but this energy doesn't last as long as the energy produced from consuming carbs.
Some procrastinate less than others, but we all put off doing things that we would rather not do. However some do it on a regular basis and it impacts school, work, and even their free time.
A lot of procrastination is anxiety-related. One can be anxious about not being able to perfect the task they are given, so they choose not to start it. Or they might be anxious about not understanding all components of the task and this uncertainty gives them anxiety. This anxiety, combined with a craving for instant gratification can lead to browsing YouTube for hours and only getting 20 minutes of work done, but those 20 minutes will feel like 8 hours.
I don’t yet have a miracle cure for procrastination. At times, it even feels like while I am avoiding my work ,I am physically unable to start whatever task I need to finish. However I realized I dread my work the most while I’m avoiding it. In reality, the stress I experience from not doing my work is worse than the stress I have while doing the work.
My method for getting work done has been waiting until the last possible hours within which I can finish an assignment and struggling to reach the minimum word count in an essay at four in the morning. I start on my work once I realize that the deadline for an essay, reading, project, or presentation that I have been putting off is HERE and I have to deal with the consequences NOW. However, at this point, I do not have much time and do not complete my work as intricately as I would’ve liked. The end result is far from my best work—it’s just an attempt to finish.
This is obviously not an ideal way to finish assignments, especially ones that get marked and evaluated. Although terribly flawed, this “method” forces me to finish my assignments and submit them.
However, when it comes to long-term things such as working out, eating healthy, taking up and mastering a new hobby, this last minute panic never sets in and procrastinating these things is endless.
Procrastination is hindering the quality of my work and messing up my schedule, but it’s also keeping me from exploring new things. I feel that even writing about this and reading about procrastination has somewhat made me realize how much this habit is impacting my life. I know it’s impossible to avoid procrastination entirely, however for now I can realize when I’m falling into the habit of procrastinating and be mindful of its consequences.