“Next month I’ll start my diet”… “Let’s see if one of these days I finish reading the book”… “I’ll quit smoking soon”, “I’ll do it tomorrow”... These and many other excuses are irrefutable proof that you are procrastinating in your daily life. Surely you have heard about this term that lately seems to be on the lips of many. Nowadays it is a more subtle way of talking about time wasting and unproductivity. So, do you know what is procrastination? In the following lines we tell you all about it…
How do I know if I’m procrastinating? Find out your daily routine!
How many times have you put off important tasks for later? Do you procrastinate to the point of never doing them at all? Do you feel that procrastination takes over you on numerous occasions? To understand what procrastination is and if you are a victim of it, you must first analyze how you are managing your daily routine. Reviewing what you do and don’t do every day is the first step to recognize the negative habits you have and to transform them.
That feeling of wasting your time, but not knowing how to avoid it and not doing anything to change it, has a name and it’s called procrastination. And it is more common than you think. 20% of the world’s population suffers from this habit where time plays a crucial role, because time is the most precious asset that man possesses and on it depends the tranquility to live better and achieve well-being. Therefore, knowing what is procrastination and how to combat it is the reason why we embarked on this adventure to change negative habits and have a better lifestyle.
What is the reason for this bad habit?
If the brain is not well trained, it resists starting any action that takes us out of our comfort zone where we obviously feel very comfortable. That is why people who procrastinate always look for excuses and delay the moment to start any action. And, undoubtedly, this is something that all of us, without exception, have experienced to a greater or lesser extent at some time in our lives. Willpower, in this sense, plays a fundamental role. In fact, it turns out to be more important than intelligence and luck. We need to be here and now doing what needs to be done.
What is procrastination?
Delaying your homework or not doing it based on excuses that give you a way out to avoid what you have to do at that moment. Procrastinating is not only a negative habit that makes you waste time, but it also generates a feeling of anguish and of not being released. And the problem will increase as time goes by. Deep down, you will know that you have something pending that keeps you awake, but you don’t do it and keep putting it off. Procrastinators immerse themselves in unimportant activities, leaving aside other more important things such as work. Which is left for later or never.
At ChVmpionMind, we know that procrastination is a more common problem than you think. That’s why we have rescued in this post important information about what is procrastination, some types of it and the ideal daily routine to avoid this habit, among many other things…
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today, let’s get started!
Recognize the signs of procrastination…
The first thing you should observe in yourself or in another person to recognize this bad habit is the action of putting off tasks or activities that should be done as soon as possible. The person who procrastinates tends to put things off for various reasons, such as fear of frustration, insecurity or discouragement and masks them in various excuses or unimportant chores to which they give priority over their real tasks. Here are the most common signs of a procrastinator Recognize yourself in them!
- Often retreats into a utopian world.
- They do not have a clear vision of the future.
- Constantly complains about the lack of time.
- There is a lack of organization in their daily life.
- They are easily distracted.
- He avoids his responsibilities and exchanges them for activities unrelated to his task.
Want to know more? Read on to learn more…
Why do we postpone the important things?
If it is the most important thing, why postpone it? Shouldn’t it be a priority? What stops us from doing it? Is it lack of will? Is it pure impotence? Or is it frustration? Is it depression?
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 is fine to rest from time to time, but postponing important tasks recurrently, because we do not want to face them is a problem. Often, this bad habit turns us into our own enemies. The brain wants to do the minimum effort every time.
- Because we replace them with other tasks that we find more pleasant. If you are one of those who take the unimportant as urgent, you are a victim of the ‘here and now’. This would not be a problem if it were not for the fact that you delay important projects for short-term rewards.
Behind these motives there are other deeper reasons…
Paradoxically, one of the reasons that makes us procrastinate is the fear of failure. This is an ambiguity when we know what procrastination is and we understand that this action is precisely the main cause of any failure.
Therefore, procrastination is not only a matter of laziness, but of emotion management:
- Fear. Fear and guilt take control of our lives on numerous occasions, leading us to leave for tomorrow the tasks that should be done today.
- 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 sense of frustration about our goals. In such a way 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 and unproductive lifestyle.
And why do you find it so hard to transform good ideas into reality? Behind procrastination there may be factors that go beyond poor time management. Among them, fear, frustration or insecurity. The delay of tasks responds to the mood that the person has at the moment, but can seriously affect future goals if the habit is established and maintained over time.
Not all procrastinators are the same, nor do they all have the same motives.
Types and chronotypes of procrastination, which one do you identify with?
Throughout history, many authors and psychologists have analyzed the types of procrastination. For example, 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 them for lack of time.
- He is overwhelmed. His mind never stops. He has so many things on his mind that he ends up blocking himself. And everything that seemed to be an advance, 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.
To postpone a situation is not to put an end to it. It is to leave it for later. The more 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. If you are still not sure, pay attention to the following lines…
These are the 4 most common chronotypes:
- The lion, the morning person, the one who can handle anything. He opens his eyes before the sun appears on the horizon. You want to be aware that your tasks are still asleep so that you can accomplish 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 in the morning. 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 am.
- Bears are 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. They are also those who have to get up at the first whistle for breakfast between 7.30 and 9 a.m. Their most productive time of the day is between 10 a.m. and 12 noon. 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. A 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 belonging to this chronotype. They are perfectionists and nervous, 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 lob, the evening lob, is the most productive at night. Nothing escapes him, even if it means being on edge all night. He likes to take risks, but tends to fall into unhealthy habits. He makes up for it with his 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 one o’clock in the afternoon. 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.
Common excuses when you are about to procrastinate…
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 from 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”.
What is procrastination? How to get rid of procrastination? Get rid of excuses, doubts, laziness, fear of failure and negative thoughts. Because all these things generate procrastination. And procrastination is a black hole for productivity.
The amygdala of procrastination: The scientific explanation for this habit
One thing is clear. The causes of this habit are to be found 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?