Procrastination is a productivity killer. It can delay you from doing tasks you really need to do and reduce the overall quality of work. This wasting of time can promote negative feelings and may also lead to mental health issues.
However, not all procrastination is procrastination. Being able to determine what is and isn’t procrastination can help you be more mindful and keep you on track.
How can you determine if you’re procrastinating or not?
Being aware and conscious of your activity here helps. When you are indeed aware of what you’re doing, ask yourself the question, “Is what I’m doing leading me to the task or is it something that is totally separate and out of the way?”.
For example, a classic thing my clients procrastinate on that I help with, aside from general work, is reading. If you’re on social media checking out photos and videos, when you should in fact be reading, this can be procrastination.
If you’re on social media, but you’re mostly reading, then this can be a good “warm up” activity to get you into the actual reading you’re holding off. It may feel like procrastination, however the reading here can lead you to reading there.
Let’s take another example, this time exercise.
If you’re doing a task other than exercising, then you could be procrastinating. Especially if you’re not moving your body. However, if you’re doing any physical activity such as cleaning, cooking, washing, shopping, anything where you’re moving your body, this can also be a good warm up activity to the actual exercise itself.
It’s important to note, not all warm ups lead to the actual task. It does however bridge the gap closer as the effort and energy during the warm up can easily be transferred to the actual task.
Actions you can take to stop procrastination
Know what tasks you have to do.
Be mindful and ask yourself the question, “Is what I’m doing leading me to the actual task I need to do or is it something that is totally separate and out of the way?”
If it’s out of the way, it’s procrastination. If not, then be aware that that particular task is there to lead you to your actual task
Practice. Practice. Practice. The more effort you put in to this process the more you will start to see positive changes.