Do you ever feel like doing absolutely anything other than the task you were assigned to do? When it comes to the topic of schoolwork, it’s definitely no secret that most students would much rather be binge watching Netflix shows or hanging out with friends in lieu of spending time on assignments or studying. Recent technological innovations that were created to aid in doing work, ironically, have only made it easier to procrastinate. The internet provides activities that pander to almost every facet of society. Distractions like checking email, surfing the news, listening to music, and hanging out in virtual social organizations like Facebook can all pointlessly delay the job needing to be done. As a result of this, at one point or another, most of us have been guilty of putting off important tasks despite whether or not they could bring us closer to our desired goal. But where does this stem from? Surely the primary reason for shirking educational responsibility can’t just be blamed on humanities natural inclination to avoid work or our fascination with technology.
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Maybe the motive behind procrastination has something to do with how our everyday obligations overpower us. Amidst all the imperative tasks that we know we have to complete, we somehow persuade ourselves into believing that none of them have to be finished at that very moment. In other words, we decide that relaxation in the short term is what's generally more important. So rather than completing that 6-page essay, we take time off, read another blog entry or watch another TV show. That is, however, until the due date sneaks up and pounces on us like a hungry lion who just found one very unlucky gazelle. We are then left scrambling to complete our assignment in time not knowing whether or not we'll make the grade. So why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we procrastinate? To answer this question we must understand that there are numerous factors that come into play when we discuss a subject that plagues the wide majority of society. So in order to pinpoint the cause of our hesitancy to complete tasks in a timely matter, we must first investigate the details that encompass the subject as a whole. We must determine how focus, motivation, laziness, and fear of failing can feed the beast inside us all that call "procrastination."
Lack of focus is a major player when looking at the causes of our procrastination. If our true objective lacks clarity, then it will feel practically impossible to predict and plan every one of the steps we have to take to achieve that objective. At times when we can't reach the objective or even define the means to achieve that objective, we are effectively setting ourselves up to fail. And oftentimes, rather than taking the effort to gain clarity upon realizing this, many people tell themselves that they'll do it later, but later never comes. To put it into perspective, have you ever talked to someone with a heavy accent and you can't quite understand what they're saying? If you're anything like most people you eventually gave up and just started nodding in agreement at everything, praying to your respective god that the conversation would just end so that you wouldn’t have to find a way to bridge the communication gap. Procrastinators who lack focus are the same way. They build up the tasks into some unclimbable mountain by refusing to figure out the tools needed to scale it. For this reason, when you ask this particular type of procrastinator why they didn't finish their homework they're likely to tell you that they “didn't get it.” More often than not, they are actually telling the truth, but they have no one to blame but themselves for not seeking help or clarification in the days leading up to the deadline. Many people would identify this as “lazy behavior” and while this may be a factor of lacking focus, people who exhibit signs of “lazy behavior” tend to have different motives behind their procrastination.
Laziness is easily the highest on the list of reasons people give for why they procrastinate. For example, when the task is something as basic as taking out the trash, the reasons people give for not doing it seem negligible. No one likes taking out the garbage. Not only does it stink, it also seems tedious to have to pick it up and walk it outside. But in reality, it’s not a hard chore. It would probably take a grand total of 4 minutes, at most, to empty the garbage. Yet for some reason, we wait until our trash is overflowing and spreading the pungent stench of decaying fruit and old coffee filters throughout our entire house to do anything about it. This kind of procrastinator’s motivation to complete an action comes down to how much effort it will require on their part versus the possible rewards of getting it done. When the trash is initially starting to build, it’s not of high priority because it’s not an issue yet. However, as the trash begins reaching critical mass, they are more likely to do something about it because the feeling they get from taking care of their home and getting rid of the overwhelming trash stench overrides the feeling of not wanting to leave their comfortable couch. But what can be said about the more important and sometimes personal tasks on which we procrastinate? Such as applying for that new position or parting ways with your significant other. These are deeply emotional, and sometimes upsetting occasions. And as such, we go to extraordinary lengths to distance ourselves from them, effectively avoiding them for days, weeks, months, or even years, despite the fact that we know they're best for us. In these cases, we are procrastinating for fear of the final product.
Procrastination, when not deriving from some petty discomfort, is usually rooted in some type of fear. The most common type of fear, in this case, is the fear of failing. Fear based procrastination can be an indication of perfectionism. Since detail -oriented people dread being unable finish a task to perfection, they continue to put it off as long as possible. This comes from the fear that not reaching the objective implies that there is something terrible, wrong or unworthy within them. Further, perfectionists expect that disappointment will create negative feedback or scorn either from internal voices or external powers and companions. The higher the fear of the product, and the more perfectionists procrastinate. As a rule, the more something threatens to change how you see yourself, the more you will put off getting around to doing it. For example, you might abstain from writing that screenplay you've longed for in light of the fact that it might raise doubt about the choice you made to become a sales associate. You refrain from informing a toxic friend that you would prefer not to see them any longer since it might affect your identity as a nice, soft-hearted person. These are big, important choices that we repeatedly turn a blind eye to because they might change how we view and feel about ourselves. It sounds crazy, however, it's the reality for people who let their procrastination take control. Everyone has an arrangement of values that creates their identity. So, generally, we avoid circumstances that could conceivably poke holes in those values for fear of our identities falling apart. Someone who believes that they are a wonderful cook will locate chances to demonstrate that to themselves again and again. Our values consistently outweigh everything else. Until we change how we see ourselves, what we believe we are and what we are not, we can't embrace the choices and practices we invest so much energy staying away from.
Finally, we have procrastination due to lack of motivation. People often have hard time investing hard work into something that doesn’t feel like it’s important, even if in actuality, it is. This stems from a misguided theory about how motivation functions. More often than not, individuals surmise that they should be motivated first before doing assignments. But if that’s how you were to function, then you’d never be able to get anything done. Chores like shoveling snow with numbingly cold fingers, or raking leaves in the fall would always be put on the backburner. These errands may not be the most pleasant but people still do them. Why? Because inspiration truly comes after the task has already begun. Once the ball starts rolling, the yearning to finish it can be sufficient inspiration to continue onward. To truly understand how motivation affects procrastination, it is important to note that there is two kind of motivation that can give rise to action. Internal motivation comes from within and is created by our genuine interest in a task. External motivation refers to our inclination to complete a task not for ourselves per say, but as a means to an end such as taking action for a reward or recognition. The present day education system makes the students strive for multiple goals in limited time resources. Such a scenario leads to motivational conflicts. Students face a plethora of attractive activities they might want to take part in but experience a conflict between downtime activities and school assignments. They can decide to invest more time into recreation and postpone learning. In this case, time spent learning will probably be cut and the quality of education will decrease. Or they hold on to their education goals and furlough the leisure option. In this situation, students experience motivational interference during learning. In which case, motivational conflicts will have a negative impact on academic work and may lead to a procrastination habit in the students. This is why setting goals that balance both your hobbies and work is so important.
In conclusion, the fight against procrastination is ongoing. We make a thousand excuses for why we shouldn’t do something even if there are so many more for why we should. Because of this, we let procrastination take control of our lives. By taking the time to comprehend your own particular purposes for procrastinating, and delegating a little energy to moving forward, you can beat procrastination. Everyone can. This is because the root of procrastination is not the things we are distracted by, it is rooted in us. In Buddhism, a religion based on thought and self reflection, there's an accentuation on relinquishing the idea that we even exist at all. What this implies is that, mentally, our concept of identity is built on arbitrary experiences we have in our lifetime. Buddhism contends that these experiences entirely trap you and that you'd be in a better place by simply relinquishing them. There are some real mental advantages to this. When we let go of the stories we tell about ourselves, to ourselves, we allow ourselves to really develop. As we develop, we begin to understand each of our particular reasons for procrastinating. When we accomplish this, we can take steps to overcome the roadblocks keeping us from experiencing a full life. We are able to defeat procrastination.
A number of individuals feel relief when they put off an errand. It is this feeling that causes many people to feel reassured that procrastination relieves stress. They come to believe that procrastination lessens stress. However, this is not true. In most cases, it may increase it exponentially. Eventually this procrastination turns into panic and stress. The unfinished errand hangs over your head like an otherworldly force breathing down your neck. It becomes hard to completely unwind knowing in the back of your mind that you have something vital to do. As you put off one assignment, another surfaces, and after that another, and soon, you have three, four, or five tasks to finish and a restricted amount of time to finish them in. The outcome? You get to be overpowered. In addition to this, some people procrastinate since they believe the job that needs to be done is excessively tedious. Most undertakings are not as troublesome as we envision and putting them off absolutely won't make them any easier. While relaxing may be seem far more appealing than the latter, it is up to us to get past the notion that we’ll “do it later.” We need take charge of our lives and nip procrastination in the bud, once and for all.