How to stop procrastinating?

It is believed that schoolchildren, college students and academics are the ones who suffer the most from procrastination. And Professor Tim Peachil, a psychologist at Carleton University in Canada, who studies the phenomenon of "procrastination", calls it "the main problem of modern education." What to do? publishes a translation of the BBC material , in which the scientist gives useful advice to procrastinators.

"I'll deal with this later."
Procrastination can greatly affect the life of a student or student: on his grades, physical and mental health. It also increases the chances of a person dropping out of school altogether. Moreover, teachers no less than students suffer from the habit of procrastination. And given the fact that many people choose online education today, procrastination is becoming an even bigger problem: one click of the mouse and an essay is replaced by a video with a touching sneezing kitten or photos from Facebook in which your ex-girlfriend is enjoying the holidays with her new boyfriend. But in order not to be distracted by other things, you need to focus on writing an essay. For this, there is a coursework writing service that will help you quickly and efficiently write a work. And the writing will be a pleasure for you.

Professor Tim Peachil, who studies the psychological phenomenon of procrastination at Carleton University, Canada, says procrastination is a choice made to avoid an affair, even when we realize that procrastination will backfire in the long run. According to the scientist, there is a big difference between such avoidance and deliberate, planned postponement of work. In the first case, the reason is not at all bad time management, as it might seem, but problems with controlling emotions.Moreover, emotions fall when you understand that you really need to write. To get rid of negative thinking, there is which will help you write a work of high quality. It will serve you very well.

“When we procrastinate, we try to improve our mood by giving up the unpleasant business,” says Pichil. "It's a way to feel better for a little while, to distract yourself from problems with simple and quick pleasures."

What to do about it?
Procrastination is more common among impulsive, perfectionist people who depend on other people's expectations and fear mistakes. Adolescents and young people are especially susceptible to it, because with age, due to the gradual development of certain parts of the brain, we learn to better control emotions.

Yet even avid procrastinators have a chance. Drawing on research conducted with Dr. Fewsha Sirua of the University of Sheffield, Professor Pichill argues that it is possible to reduce the amount of procrastination through specific steps.

1. Learn to control negative thoughts
“You can use mindfulness techniques and admit to yourself that you don't want to do this or that at all. But at the same time, you do not need to condemn yourself for such feelings. After that, it's worth reminding yourself why it is still important to do an unpleasant task, and thus convince yourself to start doing it, says Pichil. "When we make progress in solving our problems, we feel better, and it is actually much easier to continue than to take the first steps."

2. Break the path into steps
Another reason for procrastination is that we set ourselves goals that are too ambitious and too vague. This approach makes them much more unpleasant and intimidating than they really are. So instead of “getting in shape” and “writing a novel”, it’s better to write down other items in your list of tasks: “put on running shoes” and “come up with a name for the protagonist”.

To explain this strategy to students, a colleague of Professor Pichil's, Paul Roberts of the University of Warwick, even began teaching "mind mapping" workshops. This technique helps you break down ambitious goals into the individual steps required to complete a project. Roberts argues that this helps students overcome "starting inertia," so they don't stop along the way.

3. Don't punish yourself
Tim Pichil's research shows that students who are able to quickly forgive themselves for procrastination are less likely to postpone new assignments later. In other words, the more angry you are with yourself this week, the less likely you are to achieve your goals next week.

4. Use your good habits
The professor admits that he himself began to use the dental floss recommended by the dentist only when he incorporated this action into an already existing habit of brushing his teeth. Tim put the floss on the shelf in front of him every time he used his toothbrush, and this was the only way he could get used to a new daily task, no matter how basic it might seem at first glance.

5. Think about "future selves"
When young people are shown portraits of them in old age, compiled with the help of special programs, and then asked how they will deal with their earnings today, they are more likely than usual to say that they are going to save money for retirement. Indeed, at such moments you can feel closeness with your “future self”.

Of course, if, for the sake of motivation, you put your own “aged” photo on your desktop, classmates or colleagues will most likely begin to glance at you strangely, or even offer to take a little rest. You don't have to go to extremes. It is enough in a situation when the next morning at nine in the morning you have a study deadline, to imagine in paints how you are scribbling an essay in despair at two in the morning. Such a picture may well convince you to get to work early.

6. Before starting, remember why this is important
Procrastination, according to Pichil, can indicate deeper existential problems. Sometimes a person simply does not understand who he really is or in what direction he wants to develop. People often shy away from tasks that they find boring or meaningless. Therefore, it is helpful to remind yourself why you are doing this or that activity and how it will help you achieve your big goals. Thinking about the long-term benefits of today's job can help you overcome the temptation to be distracted by something simpler.

Master class for procrastinators
Today, many universities - the University of East Anglia, Goldsmiths College, the University of Bradford and others - are producing anti-procrastination manuals for students. However, as Professor Pichil says, most of the advice in them is about time management, and not about working on the causes of the problem.

“Teachers need to keep track of how students are feeling during the semester and help them understand why they are procrastinating until later,” he explains. "After all, if the children learn to manage their emotions, it will help them in all spheres of life."

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