One of the hallmarks of depression is a tendency toward procrastination. It’s easy for depressed people to say things like, “I’ll simply put this off until Monday when I feel better,” because of the exhaustion and hopelessness that accompany sadness.
Then the due date approaches, and you start to freak out. The gloominess deepens as the panic increases. The impulse to shut out the world grows in tandem with one’s depression.
Categories of Procrastinators
A person’s procrastination habits may cluster together under one of four general categories. You can put an end to your procrastination once you figure out what causes it.
These individuals worry about falling short because they believe there are strict rules regarding how things should be done. They have doubts and procrastinate.
This individual shies away from anything that can give them pain, difficulty, or worry. Tensions rise as a result of this avoidance, because avoiding an activity doesn’t make it go away.
Unfinished work is weighing heavily on the person’s mind. They put off taking action because they don’t want to deal with the guilt they feel for not taking action earlier.
This person’s habit of putting things off until later has become second nature. They have stopped questioning their motivations and now view it as intrinsic to who they are. Saying, “This is too hard” or “I’m too tired,” or brushing it off as a weakness in one’s character, might become second nature.
Methods of Overcoming Procrastination
It might be difficult to overcome procrastination when one is ingrained in the behaviors and perspectives that contribute to it. Any one of these strategies for boosting morale has a chance of succeeding.
Create a Checklist
Among the best things you can do for yourself is to start keeping things in order. Create checklists, enroll in a course on time management, or get a planner. Use your best judgment. A piece of advice: try to keep things as straightforward as possible. A sophisticated system of organizing will be seen as yet another chore to avoid.
- Invest in a planner, and make sure there’s a space for you to jot down notes.
- Create a list of tasks that need to be completed by making a to-do list. Don’t worry about arranging it just yet. Doing so will help you get perspective on the task at hand.
- One technique to prioritize is to use a due date. Put your to-dos in order of when they need to be finished. The priority of each task should be considered. For instance, you should probably prioritize paying your bills on time over organizing your closet.
- Divide up the time it will take to complete the major chores by looking at the things that are most important to you. Set today as the deadline if it’s a simple task. If it’s going to take a while, break it up into manageable chunks and work on them over the course of several days. Put them on your calendar with specified due dates.
- Fill your schedule up till you have time blocked off to complete all of your tasks on time. Avoid overcommitting, and factor in some extra time in case of delays.
- With this method, you can rest assured that you will get everything done in the time allotted. The pressure to get everything done at once has been lifted, and you may focus on completing one task at a time instead.
Don’t Think, Do
Instead of stating, “I’ll do that later,” adopt a Nike frame of mind. In other words, get moving! Don’t let your emotions stop you from acting right now. Feeling accomplished will far outweigh any temporary relief you could have from putting it off.
Plan in Some Pleasure Time
Your thoughts may wander as you go about your day-to-day responsibilities, making you wish you were doing something other than what you actually are. Knowing you have fun things planned for when you finish a project will help you stay focused.
To motivate yourself, you may say something like, “Today is Friday, and I have planned time to go fishing, so I will work hard to get my tasks done.” Once you know you’ve completed your obligations, you can kick back and enjoy your free time with less guilt.
Delaying your reward until you’ve finished everything on your to-do list is an effective way to get things done.
Manage Your Anxiety
Have you ever been nervous just thinking about doing something? You could start by attempting:
Take a full breath in and count your heartbeats to five (you may check this easily by feeling your pulse). Take a deep breath out and count five heartbeats before you inhale again.
With each inhale, you should feel your heart rate gradually decrease and your tension melt away. The time has come to take some action, however modest. Don’t hesitate to get going. Just getting things done will help you feel better. Visit this page to read about more healthy coping mechanisms you can utilize to manage your anxiety at home.
Cultivate A Sense of Momentum
Do the little things that are directly linked to the project at hand first if there are several of them. Even if there are still many substantial tasks to complete, you may be experiencing a false sense of accomplishment. It’s satisfying to know that you’ve worked hard and achieved something worthwhile. Remember that the work you do must contribute to something larger.
In order to keep track of what you’ve completed, cross it off your list as you finish it. It’s a visible sign that you’re making progress. A positive mental state is yet another benefit.
Take Your Time
Always assume the worst and plan accordingly. Give yourself a lot of time to complete each activity.
If you find that you don’t require as much time as you’ve budgeted, you can move forward early. A positive change in outlook is guaranteed to result from this. If nothing else, you won’t have to worry about having to rush through it.
If you find yourself running late, try not to worry too much. If you’ve given yourself a buffer of time every day, you can simply move everything forward until you’re caught up. You need to give yourself some wiggle room so that you can adapt.