So, you get ready to complete that super important essay that’s due tomorrow. You get all comfortable in your desk, have all your research out— but Before you know it, it’s an hour later, and you’ve checked Instagram, Tumblr, and YouTube for all the updates on the Miami Boat Show more times than you can count. Your essay? You haven’t even started. Yup, procrastination is no joke. You may think that the reason you procrastinate is that you’re lazy. I’m here to tell you that just isn’t true. Find out the REAL reason you procrastinate!
Is that essay overwhelming you? It could be the real reason why you procrastinate. You feel dread around the assignment, and that’s why you don’t get it done. I get it! No one wants to write an essay on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. To rid that negative feeling you scroll through Instagram again for those Miami International Boat Show pics. So many cool boats, so many fancy people…. wait—weren’t we just talking about something? Oh right! Here’s the thing, the more you put it off said assignment, the more shame you feel. My suggestion? Take your mood out of the equation. You’re not in the mood to write your essay, sure, but try to let that go and get it done. You’re going to feel so much better afterward.
People who aren’t procrastinators are thinking in the long term. “If I get this essay done now then I’ll be able to edit it, write a second draft and still have time for Instagram scrolling!” Good for them. So happy for the non-procrastinators of the world.
The rest of us though, we love the idea of instant gratification. The best part? Instant gratification is everywhere right now. So, even though we know that hard work will get that essay done, our brain decides to go elsewhere. It sometimes feels like procrastinating is something that we can’t control. So, when we’re told to get down to business and do work, we’re like “get outta here! I’ve got boat show things to do!” Our brains are overwhelmed as it is!
So, what can we do?
Research suggests that one of the best things we can do to overcome procrastination is to be gentler on ourselves. Instead of berating our selves for not getting the work done, forgive yourself. Because procrastination is linked to negative feelings, giving yourself some positive feelings can reduce the guilt you feel when it comes to not doing something—helping you feel less stressed rather than overwhelmed. So, take a chill pill, tell yourself you love yourself and see how easy you can overcome procrastination.