Discover your ideal daily routine to avoid procrastination
“Next month I’ll start my diet”… “Let’s see if one of these days I finish reading my book”… “I’ll quit smoking soon”…
How many times have you postponed important tasks for later? Do you delay them to the point of never doing them? Do you feel that laziness takes over you on numerous occasions?
That feeling has a name: it’s called procrastination. And it’s more common than you think. 20% of the world’s population suffers from this habit where time plays a crucial role. It is the crux of the matter. That thing that we all lack but that we treat as if we had plenty of it. Because having time is synonymous with peace of mind. Peace of mind means better living. And living better is necessary for our well-being, which is why we embarked on this adventure to combat procrastination. You. Me. All of us.
The brain resists starting any action. It looks for excuses and delays getting started. That’s something we’ve all felt and it’s called procrastination. However, willpower is more important than intelligence and luck. We need to be here and now doing what needs to be done.
Delaying your homework generates a feeling of distress, but never liberation. Because the problem will increase as time goes by. Deep down, you will know that you have something pending that will not let you sleep. Procrastinators immerse themselves in unimportant activities, leaving aside other more important things. For later. Or never.
At ChVmpionMind, we know that procrastination is a more common problem than you think. That’s why we’ve rescued in this eBook what procrastination is, some chronotypes and the ideal daily routine to avoid this habit. But there’s more.
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Let’s get started!
The basics: What is procrastination?
It is the action of putting off tasks or activities that should be done. The person who procrastinates tends to put things off for various reasons, such as fear of frustration, insecurity or discouragement. Here are some characteristics of the procrastinator:
- They often take refuge in a utopian world.
- They do not have a clear vision of the future.
- They constantly complain about the lack of time.
- Lack of organization.
- They are easily distracted.
- He evades his responsibilities and exchanges them for activities that are alien to his task.
Read on to learn more about the causes of procrastination.
The reasons: Why do we procrastinate on the important things?
If it’s the most important thing, why do you put it off? Shouldn’t it be a priority? What’s holding you back? Is it lack of will? Is it sheer helplessness? Or is it frustration?
When we delay urgent situations or tasks we do it for two main reasons:
- Because we don’t want to or don’t feel up to doing anything. It’s fine to rest from time to time, but postponing important tasks because we don’t want to tackle them often turns us into our own enemies. The brain wants to make the minimum effort. Don’t forget that.
- Because we replace them with other tasks that we find more enjoyable. If you are one of those who take as urgent what is current, you are being a victim of the ‘here and now’. This wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t for the fact that it delays big projects for short-term rewards.
But behind these motives lie deeper reasons, such as fear of failure. This means that procrastination is not just a matter of laziness, but of managing emotions:
- Fear. Fear and guilt take control of our lives on numerous occasions, leading us to put off for tomorrow the tasks of the present.
- Discouragement. Lack of courage or energy to resolve a situation or undertake a task pushes us to delay it.
- Insecurity. Lack of security generates a feeling of frustration about our goals, so that we look for ways to avoid possible failure.
- Low self-esteem. It directly influences the avoidance of situations, tasks or important decisions that lead us to be trapped in an unsatisfactory lifestyle.
Why do you find it difficult to transform good ideas into reality? Behind procrastination there may be factors that go beyond poor time management. Among them, fear, frustration or insecurity. Delaying tasks responds to the person’s current state of mind, but can seriously affect future goals if it is prolonged over time. However, not all procrastinators are the same, nor do they all have the same motives.
The types and chronotypes of procrastination, which one do you identify with?
Throughout history, there have been many authors and psychologists who have given the green light to the types of procrastination.
Neil Flore, psychologist and author of the book Awaken Your Powerful Self, defines the following:
- The perfectionist. Fear of failure. The fear of being wrong and being judged overcomes him. It’s why he puts off important tasks over and over again. What he doesn’t yet realize is that by spending so much time on every detail, he then has to finish the project in a hurry. In the end, instead of avoiding mistakes, he makes too many of them. In other words, he gets what he wants to avoid.
- The fearful. He is afraid to leave his comfort zone. That justifies that he postpones those responsibilities that suppose a change. This situation is influenced by lack of motivation at work, poor communication or lack of feedback.
- The impostor. He is difficult to please. He does not want to be the incompetent on duty. And in his struggle to achieve this, he takes on too much work to assert his responsibility. He takes on so many tasks at once that he is forced to delay for lack of time.
- He is overwhelmed. His mind does not stop. He has so many things on his mind that he ends up blocking himself. And everything that seemed like progress, ends up becoming an obstacle to develop their tasks.
- The lucky one. He is the one who works well only when he is under pressure. In this way, he postpones his tasks until he is at the limit of delivery. This does not mean that he always arrives on time, but it is an attitude that he repeats constantly.
Remember that postponing a situation is not putting an end to it. It’s procrastination. The longer you delay it, the longer it will last. “The early bird catches the worm.” Or not. What may be good for some may not be so good for others. It all depends on what your chronotype is, according to some scientists. If you are still not sure which one you belong to, pay attention to the following lines.
These are the 4 chronotypes:
- The lion. The morning person. The one who can handle anything.
He opens his eyes before the sun sets over the horizon of the savannah. He wants to be aware that his prey is still sleeping so that he can hunt them more easily. This is the chronotype to which the early risers belong. Those who set foot on the ground around 5:30 or 6 am.
They are analytical, enterprising. Few things escape him until he goes to bed, around ten o’clock. He uses the time between 5 and 6.30 p.m. to do sports. And his most productive time of the day is between 7:30 and 10:00 a.m.
- The bear. The most efficient during the day.
Their activity is governed by the solar cycle. It is the chronotype of those who need a full eight hours of sleep, but also of those who eat and snack between meals. It is the one who turns off the alarm clock and postpones it by 5 minutes. But he is also the one who has to get up at the first beep to have breakfast between 7.30 and 9.
Their most productive time of the day is between 10 and 12 am. If you want to do some kind of physical exercise, it is best to choose between six and seven o’clock in the evening. Of course, after having taken a nap. Dinner at eight o’clock. And eleven o’clock is the perfect time to go to bed.
- The dolphin. The one that never rests.
The light sleeper. With half a brain asleep and the other half awake. At the slightest noise, they open their eyes, which also generates insomnia problems in people who belong to this chronotype. They are perfectionists and nervous, but they are also affectionate and pleasant.
The perfect time to get out of bed is at 6:30. Eat breakfast between 7 and 9 o’clock and do not skip the morning snack. Your brain is most active between 4 and 6 p.m., intellectually speaking. Between 7.30 p.m. and 8 p.m., it’s time for dinner. And after reading, watching TV or having a drink, it’s half past eleven, the ideal time to go to bed.
- The wolf. The evening. The most productive at night.
Nothing escapes him, even if it means being on edge all night. Likes to take risks, but tends to fall into unhealthy habits. They make up for it with their creativity and fun. It is difficult for him to follow guidelines, but the ideal is to get up at 7.30 a.m. and not to put off the clock. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
From 10 o’clock onwards, he starts to be more active, but does not reach his peak until 1 o’clock at noon. People of this chronotype are also very productive between four and six o’clock in the afternoon. At eight o’clock, it’s time for dinner, which is more than enough time to digest until 12:30, when it’s time to sleep.
7 phrases you say to yourself when you’re about to procrastinate
Monday. Your department manager has just assigned you to present a new project on Thursday. It’s a priority. Top priority. But you decide to start working on other things until suddenly it’s Wednesday afternoon and you still haven’t started!
It’s not laziness, irresponsibility or stress. It’s procrastination, so read on to find out if you’re practicing this habit too. Here are some common phrases of procrastinators:
- “There’s always something better to do.”
- “It’s too much work don’t you think?”
- “Not today, but tomorrow I’m sure I’ll do it”.
- “I don’t feel like it”
- “Next week I’ll start without fail”.
- “Let’s see if I join the gym tomorrow.”
- “In a short time I’ll quit smoking”.
Get rid of excuses, doubts, laziness, fear of failure and negative thoughts. They generate procrastination. And procrastination is a black hole for productivity.
The scientific explanation. The amygdala of procrastination.
One thing is clear. And it is that the causes of this habit must be sought in the brain. According to research published in the journal Psychological Science, some people waste time more than others. Far from being laziness, the key lies in the amygdala, “an almond-shaped structure in the temporal lobe of the brain that processes our emotions and controls our motivation” (BBC).
Scientists discovered that procrastination is directly related to brain connections. After surveying more than 250 people, they scanned their brains to examine the responses. These were the results:
- There are two areas of the brain that determine the likelihood of performing a task or procrastinating: the amygdala and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC).
- The habit of procrastination has more to do with emotion management than with the way we manage time.
- The amygdala is larger in those people who tend to procrastinate. They tend to procrastinate more often than people with a smaller amygdala.
- The connection between the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the amygdala was poorer in people who procrastinate.
- People with a larger amygdala may feel more anxiety about the negative aspects of performing a given task.
- Procrastinators have more difficulty managing the emotions and distractions involved in their actions.
In short, the amygdala provides feedback to the ACC. The ACC decides what action the rest of the body will take. This communication allows the person to stay focused and avoid distractions. Are you caught between the instant gratification of putting aside pending work?