Lead image by me.
Putting things off or postponing things meant to do has to be one of the most common things we do.
If you're a student, you probably had that course you delayed reading and kept procrastinating till the last minute or that topic in that bulky course you figured was easy until it was a day to the exam. It's now then you'll try to cram and memorize all you can.
It can go both ways, either it was successful and the last-minute cramming worked or it blows up in your face and you forget everything in the exam hall.
I'm so guilty of this.
I did something like this today, in the remote work I do, I was given a topic to research by the team's creative director around 8 am yesterday to be submitted by 5 pm today. I started researching around 3 pm today, so you can imagine how late I submitted it.
It's not because I didn't want to do it, I just kept putting it off because I felt it was easy, and wouldn't take up to 5 hours of my time and this made me almost miss my deadline.
Why do we put so many things off till it's almost late?
Why do we procrastinate things?
Procrastination, according to the dictionary, this is the act of postponing, delaying, or putting off, especially habitually or intentionally.
As I said before, we could get away with it or we could face severe consequences, the only reason I remembered to do the research at 3 pm is that I had set an alarm earlier in the day when I remembered when I was at church because I knew I was likely to forget. I don't want to think of the Query I would have faced if I hadn't set the alarm and had forgotten.
A friend of mine was told by his house owner to vacate his apartment about two years ago, he tried and tried to look for one but his pickiness slowed down his progress in getting a new one, in my opinion, he was being lax about the issue and didn't look as he should, he probably forgot that he doesn't have all the time in the world.
Now, the house owners told him to vacate the apartment before the end of the month, and now that it's last minute, he's starting to look for a new apartment and he regrets those times that he put it off.
Another friend of mine was given a project that was due in a week, he kept putting it off till the day it was due and he ended up not finishing it risking disappointment from his team leader.
There's also this exam I had to write in my first year at the university, there was this part I kept putting off, unfortunately for me, I forgot to read it till I entered the exam hall. I kept wondering how I forgot about it, luckily for me, the questions they asked from the part weren't that many so my inability to answer those questions didn't make me fail.
Procrastination tends to backfire when we least expect it so we should tackle it on time before it leads to severe consequences.
1) Do it immediately: to avoid putting it off further, do it as soon as you were given or as soon as you remember. If you want to pick up that material, do it as soon as you remember, don't put it off.
2) Take notes or set reminders: we're humans, it's understandable to forget information, instead when you remember, take note of when you need to do it and set an alarm. Make sure you keep to the alarm.
3) Use human reminders: sometimes when I want to do something at a particular time and I know I might be too tired to respond to an alarm. I tell a family member and beg them to hound me till I give in, it works pretty well.
Procrastination is hard but we can beat it with determination.
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May 8th, 2022.