Why I procrastinate & how I avoid it

I like to describe myself as a master procrastinator. Perhaps you are the same way, when you have a deadline looming, an essay to write, or homework to tackle, you suddenly transform into the most efficient cleaner and organiser. You’re motivated to clean your flat top to bottom, to sort through your email inbox, to chat up old friends…you get the idea!

Even starting this blog post in the early afternoon impresses me because usually, I wait until late in the evening to begin writing. But by that time, my mind is ready to relax after our nightly dinner and movie routine. Writing a blog post then becomes tedious and I find myself wanting to finish it as fast as possible. I know that the quality of my writing suffers when I wait until the last minute, and publishing anything that isn’t up to my standards bothers me to no end! So why do I continue to procrastinate?

I procrastinate not because I’m lazy but because I’m secretly worried my writing won’t be good enough. I worry that I’ll have difficulty transferring my thoughts into writing, so I’d rather put it off until I can’t avoid it any longer.

I also think I procrastinate because I’m conditioned to multitask. Even now, as I’m writing this post, I find myself distracted by Facebook and Instagram notifications. Instead of just closing the Facebook tab, I keep it open just in case someone messages me. That way I can easily respond to their message and continue on with my writing. I allow myself to become distracted by keeping my phone next to my laptop, so anytime someone comments on one of my Instagram photos, I immediately see the notification.

Why can’t I just focus on one thing? On this blog post? On this present moment?

Allowing myself to be distracted from my present task, whether it’s due to social media notifications or cleaning or organising our flat, gives me a mental break from dealing with my current “problem” of writing this post. I’d rather be distracted than deal with the uncomfortable feeling that perhaps this post won’t be good enough or absolutely perfect. Maybe I’ll struggle to convey my thoughts, maybe no one will find it useful.

But today is different. For some reason, I’m more motivated than usual. I’m able to acknowledge my faults when it comes to procrastination, close the Facebook tab and flip my phone on the desk so I can’t see any notifications. If I want to write the best blog post I can every day, I need to give that task 100% of my attention.

The same applies to anything in my life. When spending time with a friend, like meeting up for coffee or lunch, it would be incredibly rude for me to be scrolling through Instagram while they sit in front of me. How could I possibly be fully engaged in our conversation if I’m distracted like this? In this situation, this is common sense to me but today is the first time I’ve realised that I should apply this to other aspects of my life.

In anything I do, I owe it to myself and to the task at hand that I devote my full attention to completing it to the best of my ability. This isn’t to say I can’t take breaks if I’m writing a longer piece, but I need to fully commit to my work. This also inspires me to focus on the present instead of thinking about all the other tasks I’d like to complete.

It’s nearly 1530 here and I’m pretty sure this is the earliest I’ve ever written a post. It feels good to have it completed so early in the day. I hope I can keep up this motivation! I just need to train myself to start writing posts in the morning. 😉

Do you procrastinate?

Do you have any tips to minimise procrastination?


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