By Katrivesi Ioanna & Gossimida Irene
Procrastination is the avoidance of a task that needs to be accomplished by a certain deadline. It is also viewed as a habitual or intentional delay of finishing a task, knowing that it might have negative consequences. Procrastination includes the delay of simple everyday tasks, such as not doing the household chores, but also putting off more important tasks, such as submitting an assignment.
So why do we procrastinate? Studies have shown that when procrastinators view a task as something difficult, they retard it. Moreover, procrastination can be linked with low self-esteem. Basically, when a person doubts their ability to do good work at what they need to do, they avoid doing it. The procrastinator has self-esteem issues so they feel as if they are not skilled enough to complete what they are assigned to do and they end up not carrying out the task. Therefore, we can say that procrastination is a defense mechanism. Your mind thinks that it helps you and it tricks you into believing that the task will eventually go away.
Nowadays, a lot of people blame modern technology for the rise of procrastination in the recent decades. However, that solely depends on our use of technology. For example, setting an alarm clock helps us wake up in time. When it rings we have the option of using the snooze button and as a result we will procrastinate due to our own choice and not because of technology. Today, there are multiple mechanisms that can prevent us from procrastinating when using technology, such as systems that time us out after a certain amount of time. Consequently it is our responsibility to use technology as a tool and not as a means of delay.
What are some ways to stop procrastinating? Although it often seems that a task is impossible to be completed, it is rather possible to overcome the challenge of procrastination and get things done. One of the most important factors that can help you get over the stage of procrastinating is your attitude. If you think that something cannot be done, it is obvious that it will be a whole lot more difficult to get it done. On the contrary, having a positive outlook on the situation will motivate you and make things much easier for you. In the end, it is us that put limits to ourselves. Furthermore, it is often beneficial to break a task down into smaller ones. Lastly, if easily tempted, put aside the interruptions.
To sum up, procrastination is something that everyone experiences in their lifetime. It is, however, vital not to let it take control of us and to find ways to surpass it in order to get our task done. Either way, our capabilities depend on our point of view and our attitude. It is therefore a matter of psychology. The only real limitation on our abilities is the level of our desires.