Under the Hood

Procrastinating While In Quarantine? Here’s How To Overcome This Problem

One of the common concerns of bosses when the government allowed people to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic is their reduced productivity because of procrastination. Delaying work can be a problem to everyone but there are simple ways to stay productive while outside the office.  

Procrastination has been tied to being lazy because people delay tasks despite deadlines and without getting any benefit from being less productive. But to some experts that is not the case. 

Mood regulation is more likely the reason that people stop working and put their focus on other activities. The task may be causing stress and anxiety, pushing them to “something more appealing,” according to DrAxe.

A study, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, associated procrastinating to personal, cognitive, emotional and motivational factors. These factors commonly encourage people to seek “last-minute,” thrilling experiences.

However, procrastination still has more negative effects. Whether it is because of stress or a way that people use to relax, it will lead to activities that have little value and away from important, meaningful tasks. 

A 2018 research estimated that adult employees spend 90 to 180 minutes procrastinating per workday. That may cause an annual loss of an estimated $8,875 per employee. 

Ways To Stop Procrastinating

Know your want-self and should-self

The want-self focuses on spending more time on social media, watching movies and shopping online. The should-self puts more focus on important tasks. 

People usually find the want-self stronger. But following your should-self could help you manage your time. 

Know the difference between the two to help you notice when you are procrastinating.

Limit your activities

When procrastinating, people ask for “a few more minutes” before they start their tasks. Setting limits for yourself, such as 10 minutes of social media or web browsing, could help you become more aware of the time and encourage you to work ahead of the deadline. 

Set schedules

Aside from time limits, you can also follow a specific schedule for your daily activities. Research suggested that tight deadlines could increase productivity because having less time encourages people to act faster. 

Take short breaks

People start procrastinating when they feel the task has become stressful, difficult or boring. Taking a scheduled break from tasks could help boost mood, which contributes to productivity. 

“Include breaks from work and personal time in your daily schedule, and stick to it,” according to DrAxe. “Take the time for yourself without feeling guilty about it. Some great ways to spend personal time include outdoor walks, yoga, sharing meals with family, reading an inspirational book, cooking a healthy meal and gardening.”

Imagine your future self

Picture your future self to see the benefits of working earlier and avoiding unnecessary delays. This could help you focus on your priorities and to make a realistic plan. Know your goals and what you want your future self to be.

Work from home A study, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, associated procrastinating to personal, cognitive, emotional and motivational factors that encourage people to seek “last-minute,” thrilling experiences. Pixabay

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