Mental Health: Why We Procrastinate & Tips to Tackle It

March 18, 2021

Mental Health: Why We Procrastinate & Tips to Tackle It

Do you often find yourself putting off some tiny task, only to be constantly thinking & worrying about it in the back of your mind? It could be a short and small task that takes less than a minute to do and yet for some reason, we find ourselves putting it off. On top of that, we waste more precious time just thinking about the task and accumulating more negative feelings towards that task, which unsurprisingly does not help motivate us at all. So why do we do that to ourselves? And how can we conquer the procrastination monster in us? Let's take a look at a few possible reasons.


Why We Procrastinate

Procrastination is the act of willingly delaying a task that needs to be done despite it making matters worse. In addition to making a small task into a huge issue, people who have a habit of procrastinating tend to have higher levels of stress and poor sleep habits. They tend to have a harder time advancing into roles that require prompt decision making skills. Procrastinating can also affect our relationships with others. When we procrastinate, we may take a longer time to get things done for others, replying to their texts/calls, or find ourselves easily breaking appointments - all of which can seem that we don't value or undermine our relationships with others.

It's easy to see why we procrastinate when the task on hand is a big or a difficult one. However, what about small tasks? We intentionally put them off because it's something that may make us feel insecure, fearful, or doubtful. For example, it could be something as simple as writing out a text response to someone and you are dreading their reaction. In reality, the procrastination takes place because of how we feel about the assignment. However, the longer we put off the assignment, the bigger the fear, uncertainty, and dread we feel. So what was originally just an unpleasant task now becomes a huge monster of a hurdle we don't want to tackle.

Another possibility as to why small tasks get pushed back could seriously be because of the lack of motivation or deadline. When we feel like we have all the time in the world, we tend to just put it off and think to ourselves that we can simply throw it into our schedule somewhere later. However, there is nothing motivating you to get the work done and so it keeps getting pushed back.

How to Tackle Procrastination

What can we do to fight procrastination? Instead of thinking when to do the small task, just do it right away. If you don't stop to think about why you don't want to do, it can help motivate you to get the work done. Also, instead of thinking about how you feel about doing the work, think about what steps of action you need to take to get the job done. Don't just add the task to your to-do list, try to get it done right away. The time it takes for you to plan when to do the task is already time wasted. Also, when you just get to work on the task, you tend to realize it's not as difficult or stressful as you originally imagined in your head.

The key to tackling procrastination is to reduce your emotional response to these small tasks. Don't give yourself time to feed those negative thoughts in your mind. The moment you realize you have this small task to do, just do it right away. Another great trick is to incorporate those dreaded small tasks into your normal routine, perhaps under another task. For example, as you wait for your meal to finish baking in the oven or on the stove, spend the timing waiting tackling your messy fridge or emptying out the trash bin or dish washer. This will help you feel as if you're not losing any extra time and can create a greater sense of accomplishment.

Another tip you can try is to change your mindset regarding the task. If this task always seems boring and dull to you, try to find something positive about the task. Think about what you can learn while accomplishing the task. When you can shift your attitude into a more positive one, it is powerful enough to motivate you to take action. Like these tips on tackling procrastination? Well what are you waiting for? Stop procrastinating and give these tips a try today!