SMART Ways To Overcome Procrastination

Saiyan Health

May 09, 2022

I'll rather become an Extra in Extraordinary than become Pro in procrastination - Author unknown

We all agree with the above statement considering its veracity. Regardless of this, some of our impending tasks are either pushed below the carpet, swiped right or shrugged off like hair fall. Though you may not be serious about your hair fall, the reason for procrastination should be diagnosed. 

The myopic definition of procrastination means being lazy or failing at time management, needs to be expanded because the inability to perform a task on time can have some underlying psychological issues.

Procrastination does not arise from your thoughts but from your feelings.

Do you sometimes feel that although the deadline is approaching, that important task seems too daunting for you? Do you blame it on your lazy behavior? Right, then you are wrong. 

Procrastination is beyond boredom, and it could be due to our inability to manage our negative feelings towards the task. The more you feel aversion towards the task, the more you seem to push it off tomorrow, which never comes. This feeling of aversion or hatred could build up stress, guilt or even anxiety within you when you do it on a regular basis. 

Why do we procrastinate?

According to Harward's research paper, our brains don't have the capacity to procrastinate. It's the emotional part of our brain that allows us to surrender the rational part of our brain. Meaning when you choose Facebook over your work, it is not logical, but still, you do it because of your interest and short term happiness, which ultimately decides your priority. Also, your brain gets triggered by instant gratification rather than long term payoffs.

You consider accomplishing your work as a future long distant goal, and that's the reason why it's easy to trade it off with some other thing to pass your time or avoid the work. Your future self wants you to be healthy, but your present self is craving donuts. Therefore, your future goals and your present moment are always at loggerheads giving you extra space for procrastination. 

Also, sometimes we believe that when we work under pressure, we can perform better. And we do it with absolute grace. But we fail to realize that the same brain cells that were laxed a few days back have got crushed, and your hormones are going crazy due to these uncertain changes playing devil on your wellness chart. Although it may give you better results, later on, this chronic procrastination can hamper your mental health. 

If you've tried being self consciously involved or have expertly managed your time management skills and also swallowed, burped and digested the entire bible of 'how to end procrastination' yet you feel lost, you are not alone. 

Here we have shared new SMART goals, similar to the business goals that may help you to overcome your procrastination and also discover the hidden roots of procrastination.

1. Be Specific

Ambiguity and an unstructured path lead to procrastination in the first place. When you are not sure about 'why', it's difficult to bring the 'how' in the scenario. Procrastination brings in small joy but long term pain laced with stress. So you need to be specific as to what you feel about a certain task and why you feel about it. Do you feel it because of some fear that has remained unaddressed so far, or is it anything else? Figure it out before procrastination sets in and gain control over your time, mind and happiness.

2. Measure your Efforts

Your mind is continuously sending you cues about your impending task. Be it a soft nudge or an inferno of reminder; it doesn't let you sleep but still avoiding it feels like winning a champion trophy. 

Why? Because you fail to measure your progress while you are accomplishing the task. When you make it a habit of slicing your tasks in bite-size portions, they are easy to accomplish and to measure. 

Measuring your small progress gains momentum over time, which means you can finish your large or bigger goals more easily.

When you measure your progress, you know how much is done and left to be done. Make a note of your accomplished work, even if it's half baked. 

3. Assess your feelings

When you procrastinate, how does it make you feel? Does it make you feel stressed, frustrated, guilty or anxious? Assess your feelings and understand the reason for the same. Similarly, when you finish the desired task, how do you feel about it, happy, positive or productive. Do you want more of that? The friction that causes procrastination is not because of not doing the work but starting the work. So think how motivated you will feel when you will start the work and throw yourself into that momentum. 

4. Set Realistic goals

Goals, when achieved, are considered as successful, or they are as futile as setting them. Setting goals that don't overwhelm you but challenge you to push yourself harder is what realism is all about. 

Setting a morning alarm for a workout, but you hate to wake up early, is not a realistic goal but taking time after work in the evening to exercise and doing it on a regular basis is what realistic goals are.

5. Time-Bound

Your procrastinating can go on for days or years, but when you have to overcome it, you need to tie it up with a time period. Set short time and long time goals and celebrate them as you achieve them. Similarly, you can also 'eat the live frog' which means you can complete the most difficult part of your task at the beginning so that the easy or less important task can be dealt with afterwards.


Points to be noted while working on procrastination:

1. Perfectionism is a myth

Don't go overboard to become perfect. In the chase of perfection, boredom sets in and once boredom comes, procrastination is not far. Your aim should be to complete the task; perfection can come later; unless you're a surgeon and need to operate on someone anyway, you don't procrastinate your surgery. 

2. Kill it with kindness

We feel bad about procrastination and often blame our laziness for it. But when you shake hands with your past procrastination, the more likely you are to overcome your current procrastination and take action. Self-compassion sometimes can work wonders for you. 

Remember to work within your resistance level, don't force yourself to get started on it, and most importantly, list the costs of putting the task off.


These are just a few of the ways to get your work done, but if they don't help, we recommend seeing a therapist. Therapists are not just for crazy people; they can set you on a psychotherapy plan to beat procrastination. You can contact our website to learn more about it. Now go forth and do your stuff!


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