How to deal with procrastination? How to stop procrastinating? Methods and methods of treatment, exercises to overcome procrastination

How to deal with procrastination?

The term pro­cras­ti­na­tion comes from the Latin cras­ti­nus (mean­ing “tomor­row”) and pro (mean­ing the par­ti­cle “on”). The sec­ond ver­sion of the appear­ance of this word sug­gests that it comes from the Eng­lish pro­cras­ti­na­tion, which means “post­pon­ing” or “delay”.

Ways to overcome

Before we fight pro­cras­ti­na­tion, let’s fig­ure out what kind of ail­ment it is and whether it can be dealt with. Remem­ber your stu­dent years, when many of us, instead of start­ing to pre­pare a diplo­ma or term paper in advance, ran to a dis­co or a date, and left every­thing for lat­er. This is per­haps the most strik­ing and under­stand­able exam­ple of pro­cras­ti­na­tion. Although in more adult life it is not so easy to dis­cern the onset of the dis­ease. And there are sev­er­al types of this insid­i­ous dis­ease.

  • aca­d­e­m­ic - the one when we put off study­ing and doing home­work, writ­ing a term paper and a diplo­ma for lat­er.
  • Neu­rot­ic - when, due to fear and unwill­ing­ness to take respon­si­bil­i­ty, we avoid mak­ing any deci­sions in life. Per­haps the guy does not want to go to the reg­istry office, not because he does not love the girl, but for the rea­son that he has pro­cras­ti­na­tion.
  • behav­ioral - it seems to us that we will def­i­nite­ly suc­ceed in doing all the house­work and chores, as well as oth­er tasks that require our dai­ly efforts, next time, bet­ter than today.
  • work­ing - we are pulling to the last with some dif­fi­cult, painstak­ing or sim­ply unpleas­ant busi­ness for us.
  • Inte­grat­ed - hav­ing col­lect­ed all the above types or some of them togeth­er.

Some­times we just don’t notice how we put off impor­tant things, because we con­stant­ly find replace­ments for them. We come up with a lot of rea­sons and cas­es so as not to sit down for some­thing impor­tant or dif­fi­cult to do.. And in return we take both oth­er work and oth­er lit­tle things in life. We pour cof­fee three times an hour, every ten min­utes we run to the next office, sharp­en all the pen­cils in the office, wipe the dust even where there is none, and in the evening, going to bed, we under­stand that we didn’t do what was planned, but want­ed and almost tried.

And every­thing would be fine, because there will still be tomor­row, the day after tomor­row and so on. But even then we again find a lot of excus­es not to start the annu­al report, for exam­ple. But then the prob­lems begin. First­ly, soon­er or lat­er the work will still have to be done, and time will be run­ning out, and we will be doing it already in an emer­gency mode, which, as a rule, entails mis­takes, and what is even worse — stress and even depres­sion. We begin to reproach our­selves for not devot­ing time to this ear­li­er, col­leagues and man­age­ment are also not hap­py with our actions.

Some begin to con­sid­er us lazy, but we were just con­stant­ly busy with some­thing. And here hon­est­ly answer your­self the ques­tion — what? If you real­ize that you were sim­ply play­ing for time, and the true rea­son lay in the unwill­ing­ness to do some­thing, then this must be treat­ed.

And to begin with, it is worth under­stand­ing the caus­es of your dis­ease. There may be sev­er­al of them, get­ting rid of some is sim­ple, while oth­ers are much more dif­fi­cult:

  • you are an idle and irre­spon­si­ble per­son in life;
  • you feel that by set­ting time lim­its for you, man­age­ment lim­its the free­dom of your per­son­al­i­ty;
  • you are afraid that you will not be able to com­plete the task assigned to you;
  • you are “lost” in time and do not under­stand that min­utes, hours and days pass, it seems to you that they are end­less;
  • you do not need a salary, there is no finan­cial moti­va­tion;
  • you believe that tomor­row you will be bet­ter than yes­ter­day;
  • you have already failed in this field, and it seems to you that it will always be so.

If any of the above about you and what is hap­pen­ing does not suit you, it’s time to start fight­ing. You have to admit to your­self that you are sick. Go to the mir­ror and hon­est­ly and frankly tell your­self that not only are you charm­ing and attrac­tive, but you also suf­fer from pro­cras­ti­na­tion. And then pro­ceed to a step-by-step solu­tion to the prob­lem.

  • Write down your pri­or­i­ties. In the morn­ing, make a to-do list of the things you have planned. High­light the most impor­tant and dif­fi­cult, and start with this, leave the rest for “dessert”. At din­ner, you eat the main course first, and only then the dessert. Here are the small tasks, let them remain for dessert.
  • Plan. Set clear bound­aries for your­self — what and when you have to do. Write the plan on paper and hang it in front of you. Fol­low it like instruc­tions.
  • Don’t be afraid of fail­ure. Don’t be dis­cour­aged if some­thing does­n’t work right away. It is much eas­i­er to redo, fin­ish, fix than start from scratch. Repair is not con­struc­tion.
  • Fol­low the rou­tine. Don’t try to do every­thing at once. Rest is essen­tial.

Take breaks, do not work at night, rest on week­ends, and then you should have enough strength to per­form your duties dur­ing work­ing hours. Your vac­u­um clean­er will even­tu­al­ly over­heat and burn out if you don’t turn it off.

Treatment Methods

To stop pro­cras­ti­nat­ing, it is also impor­tant to under­stand the rea­sons. To defeat the ene­my, you need to know him by sight. The rea­sons may be as fol­lows.

  • The work does not suit you, it does not bring moral or mate­r­i­al sat­is­fac­tion. Start look­ing for a new one, oth­er­wise you will remain in pros­tra­tion, that is, in pro­cras­ti­na­tion.
  • Remove phras­es like “I must” or “I must” in rela­tion to work, replace them with “I can”, “I want”. Agree, this sounds more pleas­ant, and it will help us, free­dom-lov­ing ones, to over­come the psy­cho­log­i­cal bar­ri­er.
  • Try to under­stand why you do not want to take on this par­tic­u­lar case, try to start it from the oth­er end. Don’t wait to get scold­ed for work not done. Instead of a stick, buy your­self a car­rot as an advance pay­ment for the upcom­ing work. Please your­self with some­thing. With a good mood and things will go more fun. After you fin­ish the job, walk bold­ly, buy your­self at least a choco­late bar as a reward.
  • Find your helpers. Togeth­er we are a force that helps to get out of even the most dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions!

Useful exercises

As such, there are no spe­cial exer­cis­es to com­bat pro­cras­ti­na­tion. In addi­tion to, of course, dai­ly walks in the fresh air and sports, morn­ing exer­cis­es also count. Both will help deliv­er oxy­gen to our brain, which will make the head work faster and bet­ter. There are a num­ber of oth­er actions that will help to cope with the prob­lem.

  • Incor­po­rate pro­cras­ti­na­tion into your work sched­ule. That is, allow your­self time to do noth­ing. Just don’t over­do it. You can remem­ber about the chil­dren, call them and find out how they are doing.
  • Tidy up your desk­top. Remove any­thing that might dis­tract you. You have to work at work. But don’t for­get about breaks.
  • Set a fixed time for lunch. Then you won’t be tempt­ed to start it 15 min­utes ear­ly and fin­ish half an hour late.


  • To over­come your reluc­tance to do any­thing, remem­ber what div­i­dends you will receive after doing the work. (a good fee, respect from col­leagues, a bonus, “thank you”, in the end, a kind word, as you know, is nice for a cat).
  • You can’t avoid delays on your own, find among your col­leagues a per­son who can give you a moti­va­tion­al “kick”at the moment when you once again day­dream, look­ing at the land­scape out­side the win­dow.
  • Once and for­ev­er for­get the word “lat­er“it is bet­ter to do some of the work in advance.
  • To avoid delays, “close” for the dura­tion of the work from the out­side world. For­get about social net­works, sites with pro­mo­tions and sales. Tell col­leagues and house­hold mem­bers that you are gone for them for the next two or three hours. On the occa­sion of your return, promise a hol­i­day to them and to your­self. The phone, ide­al­ly, should also be turned off, well, unless you are wait­ing for a very impor­tant call, of course.
  • Write a memo to your­self with the algo­rithm for com­plet­ing the task. Remem­ber, in the begin­ning there was a word.
  • Turn rou­tine work into an excit­ing process. Start writ­ing each next sheet of the report, for exam­ple, with a new pen, with a dif­fer­ent ink col­or, for exam­ple. This is also pos­si­ble when cre­at­ing com­put­er doc­u­ments.
  • Make it a rule not only to make a plan for the day, but also to sum­ma­rize its results. What worked and what did­n’t, and why. Per­haps tomor­row you will drink not 10 cups of cof­fee, but one.
  • Do not set your­self impos­si­ble tasks. Be smart about sched­ul­ing. Clear­ly think about what you will have time to do in order to praise your­self in the evening, and not to scold.
  • Remem­ber that you can’t even pull a fish out of the pond with­out dif­fi­cul­ty. Yes, your task is dif­fi­cult, but it is worth it. Over time, things will go more suc­cess­ful­ly, you need to be patient and move towards your goal grad­u­al­ly, albeit in small steps.
  • Our best friends are our own feel­ings and reflex­es. As soon as you feel that an attack of pro­cras­ti­na­tion begins, imme­di­ate­ly stop it. Take a cold show­er, it will cheer you up. Go for a run, a burst of ener­gy is guar­an­teed. You can just lim­it your­self to light charg­ing. The main thing is to do some­thing.
  • In the sched­ule of work, do not con­sid­er weeks or months, but days. “There are three more weeks until the end of Octo­ber” doesn’t sound as spe­cif­ic as “a dead­line that expires in 21 days,” but it’s not as scary either. The same applies to a spe­cif­ic day.

For exam­ple, if you plan to spend 2 hours on every­thing, the sched­ule should show 120 min­utes. If it does­n’t get any eas­i­er, con­vert to sec­onds.

Time is run­ning inex­orably. And besides work (or house­hold chores), there is still so much to do. In the rou­tine of every­day wor­ries, do not for­get to please your­self. The fact that you will have time and ener­gy for this will also spur you to the pre­cise ful­fill­ment of your duties, which, of course, can­not always bring only pos­i­tive emo­tions. You must deliv­er them to your­self by com­ing out of the sit­u­a­tion as a win­ner and being able to over­come all obsta­cles, includ­ing pro­cras­ti­na­tion.

By the way, the World Health Orga­ni­za­tion cal­cu­lat­ed that 96% of the world’s pop­u­la­tion has expe­ri­enced an attack of this dis­ease at least once, in 52% this diag­no­sis is chron­ic. So let’s enter the bet­ter half of human­i­ty. And even bet­ter, among those few who are not threat­ened by pro­cras­ti­na­tion in prin­ci­ple.

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