The official student newspaper of GWUOHS

GW Chronicle of the Yawp

The official student newspaper of GWUOHS

GW Chronicle of the Yawp

The official student newspaper of GWUOHS

GW Chronicle of the Yawp

Breaking the Habit

Annie Spratt from Unsplash

Delaying tasks until the last minute, or procrastination, is a frequent practice that impacts a lot of people. Understanding the psychology of procrastination can help clarify the reasons behind people’s behaviors and provide strategies for overcoming them.

Procrastination is often linked to various psychological factors, such as fear of failure, perfectionism, a lack of motivation and poor time management skills. The fear of failure can paralyze individuals, making them avoid tasks to prevent potential disappointment. Perfectionists may procrastinate due to the unrealistic standards they set for themselves, leading to the avoidance of tasks that they fear they cannot complete perfectly. Additionally, a lack of motivation or interest in a task can result in procrastination, as individuals struggle to find the drive to start or complete it. Poor time management skills can also contribute to procrastination, as individuals underestimate the time needed to complete a task or struggle to prioritize effectively.

A major contributing factor to procrastination is emotion. Procrastination can be brought on by negative emotions like tension, anxiety or boredom because people try to avoid the unpleasant feelings that come with work. These unpleasant feelings are momentarily relieved when one procrastinates, which starts an avoidance loop that strengthens the tendency.

People engage in this irrational cycle of chronic procrastination because of an inability to manage negative moods around a task,” Dr. Fuschia Sirois, professor of psychology, told the New York Times. It is essential to comprehend and control these feelings in order to properly deal with procrastination.

To overcome procrastination, one must first acknowledge the root cause of their behavior. It’s essential to confront any underlying fears or anxieties that may be fueling procrastination. 

Another key driver of procrastination is the allure of instant gratification. In today’s fast-paced world, we are constantly bombarded with distractions such as social media, streaming services and online shopping. These instant rewards provide a quick dopamine hit, making it difficult for individuals to focus on long-term goals that require effort and persistence.

Overcoming procrastination requires a combination of self-awareness, behavioral changes and effective time management techniques. Here are some strategies to help individuals combat procrastination:

  • Establishing clear goals and deadlines provides structure and accountability, motivating individuals to work towards completing tasks on time.
  • Implementing time management techniques, such as the Pomodoro Technique, can enhance productivity by breaking work into intervals with short breaks in between. By setting a timer for a specific work period, such as 25 minutes, followed by a short break, people can maintain focus and avoid distractions. The structured intervals help in overcoming the tendency to procrastinate by creating a sense of urgency and accountability. This method not only boosts focus but also prevents burnout, making tasks more approachable and less intimidating. 
  • Breaking down tasks into smaller, manageable steps can make them less overwhelming and easier to start.
  • Identifying and challenging negative thoughts that contribute to procrastination can help individuals reframe their mindset and approach tasks more positively. Change “I can’t” to “I will.”

Procrastination is a complex behavior influenced by various psychological factors. By understanding the underlying reasons for procrastination and implementing effective strategies to overcome it, individuals can enhance their productivity and well-being. Remember, overcoming procrastination is a journey that requires patience and persistence, but with the right mindset and tools, anyone can conquer the procrastination thoughts and achieve their goals.

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About the Contributor
Naima A
Naima A, Editorial Board Member
Naima is a sophomore at GWUOHS, and this is her first year writing for the Chronicle. She is very passionate about reading, authorship, painting, and studying various subjects. In addition to the Chronicle, she participates in a few clubs including the Peer Mentor Club, Finer Things Club, Young Entrepreneur Society, Yearbook Club, and is a tutor for the Writing Lab. She loves trying out new things and enjoys creating memories wherever she may be. 
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