How To Fix Chronic Procrastination To Improve Overall Well Being?
I recently read a book that covered a phrase that actually cracked my mind, “Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.” Now, you might understand how toxic procrastination can be in terms of time management, wellbeing, and reaching our goals.
Do you know when people procrastinate a lot, they are not only behaving negatively but are also taking their personality traits, motivational, and cognitive processes in a negative direction?
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What is Chronic Procrastination?
Chronic procrastination is the constant practice of not completing or avoiding responsibilities or tasks. According to the research, around 20% to 25% of people struggle with chronic procrastination. Chronic procrastination can have negative impacts on the overall life and well-being of an individual.
Excessive procrastination or chronic procrastination is a self-regulation failure associated with numerous situational and personal factors. Additionally, procrastination can inhibit success and increase the risk of developing chronic mental health issues such as anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, and more.
Chronic procrastination is not a clinical mental disorder but it can be associated with different mental health disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In this blog, we will be learning about the symptoms of chronic procrastination and different ways to fix chronic procrastination. So, let’s get started!
Symptoms of Chronic Procrastination
Someone who’s dealing with chronic procrastination is not able to complete important tasks as well since they constantly avoid things. For example, they might cook the meals for the whole week but they will not clean the bin due to procrastination.
Signs of chronic procrastination can include:
- Chronic stress
- Constant delay in daily tasks or performance
- Constant distraction
- Constant regret
- Inability to complete tasks
- Reduced productivity and performance
- Reduced wellbeing
The anxiety related to not being able to complete a task can be so stressful that it can impact their overall well-being. The longer they put a task on hold, the higher the levels of stress or anxiety can be!
Causes of Chronic Procrastination
Research shows that there could be various reasons behind chronic procrastination. Generally, chronic procrastination is associated with a lack of self-control. However, lack of self-control cannot only be a specific contributor to chronic procrastination but there can be other causes as well, such as:
Chronic procrastination can lead to anxiety or we can also say that people who constantly deal with anxiety can have procrastination as a symptom. Additionally, research shows that procrastination can be a way of dealing with unknown fear or worry.
Distractions play an important role in the development of chronic procrastination as someone who is not able to focus might be impulsive or distracted. For example, people who are working from home use social media as a tempting source of distraction while working. This can have a long-term impact on their work life and personal life.
3. Fear of failure
Unknown or undiagnosed fear of failure can also be a leading factor to chronic procrastination especially when someone is prone to fear of rejection or humiliation. Additionally, such people also deal with a lack of self-esteem.
4. Irrational beliefs
Some underlying beliefs related to productivity, unknown fears, or stress can also result in chronic procrastination. For example, if someone believes that they are not worthy of success, they might do everything to avoid getting success.
5. Learned helplessness
Learned helplessness can also be related to undiagnosed depression or traumatic events which came out as chronic procrastination.
Someone who loves to keep everything at a perfect level can also struggle with chronic procrastination since the mindset of doing everything perfectly can ruin the productivity level.
Chronic Procrastination and Mental Health Disorders
Did you know that procrastination can be a symptom of various mental health disorders such as:
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is related to distractibility, organizing things, hyperactivity, and anxiety. But did you know that all of this can also be related to procrastination and ADHD combined with procrastination can be really tough to diagnose and manage? This combination can be referred to as ADHD paralysis.
Chronic procrastination can also be part of depression as feelings of helplessness or hopelessness can make it difficult to start or end a task. Additionally, lack of energy is one of the main symptoms of depression and chronic procrastination.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
OCD can also be an underlying cause behind chronic procrastination as OCD is also related to perfectionism or being more focused on a single task. People with OCD and chronic procrastination also struggle with making decisions.
If you think you or your loved one might be struggling with chronic procrastination know that, chronic procrastination can be really bad for overall well-being and it’s always better to seek help.
Chronic procrastination can be associated with symptoms of depression, stress, anxiety, loneliness, reduced quality of life, unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, or the presence of physical health issues. Therefore, if you think the case may get worse, please get a proper diagnosis and treatment from a professional.
Below are some of the common and effective treatment options for chronic procrastination:
According to mental health experts, there is no specific treatment for treating or managing the symptoms of chronic procrastination. However, psychotherapy or counseling can help people teach healthy coping mechanisms to overcome chronic procrastination and reach goals.
In cases of chronic procrastination combined with the presence of other mental health issues, there might be a need for a proper diagnosis and treatment approach.
There’s no specific medication for combating the symptoms of chronic procrastination. However, if procrastination is combined with the presence of other mental health conditions, medications might be prescribed to treat specific symptoms such as depression, anxiety, sleep problems, and irritability.
10 Effective Ways to Overcome Chronic Procrastination
Apart from psychotherapy, you must try coping mechanisms or healthy strategies to overcome chronic procrastination. Below listed are the 10 effective ways to stop being a procrastinator and work towards your goals:
1. Explore the causes behind procrastination
If you think you or your loved one might be dealing with chronic procrastination, the first ever step towards healing is to find the cause behind procrastination. If you will explore the cause, it will be more effective for you to find the right solution according to your needs. For example, if you find you’re procrastinating a lot due to negative thoughts or lack of motivation, you might need to find a solution to overcome negative thoughts or lack of motivation.
2. Take the help of short-term goals
Now that you’ve explored the right reason behind your chronic procrastination, it’s time to find the right solution with the right approach. If you are feeling stuck on a large project or long-term goal, you can break the task into short tasks so that every day you can achieve small goals and reach your goal productively and efficiently.
3. Set strict deadlines and use time-management tools
After breaking down your long task into short pieces, set strict deadlines so that you can complete each part on time and gain motivation throughout. Additionally, if you feel overwhelmed in the middle, take the help of time management tools or apps that will prevent last-minute panics.
4. Seek social support
If you’re feeling stuck on where to start or where to end, you can take the help of your mentor or loved ones who will help you gain motivation, and sense of being, and organize the steps. Just avoid being too focused or a perfectionist on details as it will prevent you from reaching the end point.
5. Induce creative thinking
One of the main reasons behind procrastination is that your tasks might be boring or tedious, therefore, after breaking your long goals into short-term goals, induce creativity so that you can enjoy and stay motivated while being productive. In the meantime, you can also rotate between two tasks to keep your motivation and interest level high.
6. Avoid distractions
While you prepare yourself to accomplish a task, limit distractions during that time. for example, keep your phone aside, stop looking over emails, or look into the surroundings. Focus on your task and avoid those little things that prevent you from accomplishing a task.
7. Fight the negative thinking pattern
Do you avoid accomplishing a task because of negative thinking? Well, it’s time to beat the blues and challenge your fears. Learn some effective ways to beat the negative pattern and increase resilience to bring in the action the right way. You can also learn some effective cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques to help you identify the negative patterns and replace them with positive ones.
8. Challenge your beliefs
If you think it’s impractical to reach the long-term goal in a short period of time, challenge your belief and prepare yourself resiliently to accomplish your goals. start your first 10 minutes productively and you’ll see a lot of motivation coming your way to complete the task on time.
9. Create rewards for accomplishments
Whenever you accomplish a task or reach goals you might have set in a schedule, reward yourself with something small so that the motivation level and energy can be carried forward to the next day. Sometimes, it’s important to make yourself happy and retain the motivation again. Therefore, keep rewarding yourself and take the help of positive affirmations.
10. Seek professional support
If you still feel stuck in some place or not able to deal with negative thoughts, anxiety, stress, or any other mental health issues, connect with a mental health professional to learn about your challenges. Include psychotherapy or counseling in your plan to prevent procrastination or the presence of other mental health issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does chronic procrastination resolve on its own?
Chronic procrastination is not a serious problem but it can prevent you from reaching your goals therefore, it’s always better to understand your weaknesses and convert them into strengths. Never make procrastination a part of your personality as it can lead to a lack of self-discipline, lack of self-control, and more.
2. What’s the difference between procrastinators and non-procrastinators?
The only difference between procrastinators and non-procrastinators is that non-procrastinators focus more on completing a task and have a great level of conscientiousness. Meanwhile, the procrastinators are not lazy but they are distracted beings who lack self-control or self-discipline.
I hope this blog helps you understand how to fix chronic procrastination. Comment down and share your views on the same or you can also write us at Calm Sage.
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Thanks for reading!