Winter is the Best Time to Work on your Procrastination List

Procrastination is the resistance that is created by you and not the activity itself. It is the act of delaying your to-do list1. Procrastination is not uncommon in this culture. Many of you have developed a habit of continuously postponing your scheduled tasks just because of being lazy. However, laziness is not the only reason. You will see many perfectionists delaying important stuff. Despite being aware of the negative consequences, you postpone your daily tasks. Despite how organized they may appear, procrastination affects everyone. 

Origin of Procrastination

The word “procrastination” derives from the Latin word called “procrastinatus,” meaning to delay on tomorrow.

Types of Procrastination

Influencers have classified procrastination into various types according to their perception. According to one classification, procrastination can have two types as follows,

  1. Active procrastination:

To postpone your to-do list intentionally because of the increased workload and pressure of not getting stuff done.

  1. Passive procrastination:

To delay your tasks because of poor decision-making capabilities2.

Some people have classified procrastination into the following three types,

Classic Procrastination

It is a conscience delaying of something that you know you should be doing.

Creative avoidance

It is different from classic procrastination in that it is subconscious. It is to fill your day unknowingly with plenty of trivial work. What is wild about creative avoidance is that you might be moving faster throughout the day. You might be attending plenty of seminars or conferences, pushing papers, and replying to emails. In this race, you will neglect some crucial tasks. Nevertheless, if you are honest with yourself, you will realize that you were nothing more than busy. It happens because your attention gets fragmented.

Priority Dilution

It has nothing to do with being lazy or disengaged. This type of procrastination probably affects all of you. It affects people you might never think could be procrastinated. The people like leaders, executives, and other successful people get influenced by priority dilution.

As a result, your attention is diverted to less important but more urgent tasks, leaving your most important tasks undone.

Identify Why You Procrastinate

You might procrastinate due to several reasons. To eliminate the phenomenon and pull out its roots, you must understand why you delay your tasks. Though the types have highlighted a lot about when and why people often procrastinate, let us dig a little deeper.

Sometimes there are no specific reasons, and you keep delaying stuff because they seem tedious. While the rest of the time, you have reasons that might not be genuine sometimes. Some people do not like to follow commands. If someone instructs them to do a specific task, they may not like it and will not consequently engage in that task.

In some cases, you may delay the task because you feel unprepared or lack self-confidence. The chore might seem stressful, and you end up holding on to it. People have seen to procrastinate when they associate pain with doing it. This pain can be in the form of effort. Sometimes, you end up procrastinating because of not getting desired expectations at the workplace. Everyone expects rewards in return for good work. You will start losing interest in the job in case of not getting appreciated3.

Consequences of Procrastination

Time is gold. Keep pace with it, or otherwise, be defeated. There are hazardous consequences of procrastination, some of which you already be acknowledging. This article is to remind you of the harmful outcomes to bring you back on track.

One out of five of you is a chronic procrastinator. Being a chronic procrastinator means that you are used to deferring your chores for various reasons. You underestimate how much damage this behavior can cause. Doing work is hard, but when you prioritize stuff like watching a season based on ten episodes each of 45 minutes over doing the laundry, you have initiated a battle in your brain.

Your brain has two areas called the prefrontal cortex and the limbic system. The prefrontal cortex works realistically while the limbic system assists your emotional self. Procrastination makes your limbic system rule out the prefrontal cortex. In other words, it puts you in a happy place. Though it makes you happy, it is not necessarily good for you. Several studies have calculated the effects of procrastination which are,

  • Procrastinators secure lower GPAs in their academic careers as compared to non-procrastinators4. So, procrastination lowers your academic performance. Procrastination can take two forms in academia: from delaying tasks to the point of being incomplete or completing them in a rush just before the deadline.
  • If you procrastinate much, you will end up blowing opportunities and missing your goals. The result will be an increased workload than usual because you must fill the gap and achieve your future to-do list, which may be tiring. You will see your mates and colleagues excelling in your fields while sitting at your bench, making excuses.
  • Procrastinators are more likely to get sick.
  • Bedtime procrastination leads to habitual insufficient sleep, thus increasing the incidence of physical and mental impairments5.

How to Stop Procrastinating

Today, you have plenty of books and technology to guide you through time management than ever. Yet, this generation is suffering from more problems. Why would this be happening? We go through many books to conserve our energy and time, yet we lack enough self-control to stop procrastinating. Therefore, let us see how you can successfully eliminate procrastination in a few steps.

Steps to Overcome Procrastinating

There are several steps you can take to stop this bad habit from destroying your academic life, career, and personality.

  1. Identify your goals and make a realistic to-do list. It will avoid overburdening yourselves and thus preventing unnecessary delaying of achieving goals.
  2. Now, be realistic enough to admit that you are delaying your tasks unnecessarily and make amendments to the delays.
  3. If there are reasons for delaying, seek them.
  4. Take steps to overcome those reasons to avoid procrastinating.
  5. Now, keep going with the tasks with more energy and zeal to get them accomplished6.

Things like these take time, but you must be realistic to change several of your behaviors. There should be some room for entertainment and fun not to overload yourself with work.

Why Winter is the Best Time for This

Everyone gets a little down during winters. Many students complain of not being able to study with their previous zeal during winters7. You want to be warmed up in your comfy blankets while grabbing a bowl full of nuts or coffee and enjoying some thrilling movie with friends or family. A sunny day seems like a blessing to get out of your comforters and keep your outdoor tasks going. Winter has just arrived, and it is crucial to see why you can work n your procrastination during this season.

Following are the reasons why winter is the best time you should start working on your procrastination,

  1. You Are Procrastinating More In The Winter

You might be surprised to comprehend it. But it is the reality. You can target this habit more efficiently while it is at its peak. Whether you are a perfectionist or a worrier type of procrastinator, you will see yourself delaying tasks more in the winter.

Being indoors, eating unhealthily, and skipping your workout habits lead to increased procrastination. Several studies have unveiled that people often procrastinate more during the winter season8. It is like a vicious cycle that never stops until you start targeting it intentionally. If you want to break a bad habit, you should do it when it is at its peak. In winter, your procrastination is at its peak, so you can observe your behavior closely to tackle the situation like a pro.

  1. You Have Enough Time To Reflect

During winter, you will notice yourselves killing time by rolling in your cozy beds and doing nothing. While you are in your bed and cannot get up, you can do one thing, and that too, spot on. The thing that you can do efficiently is to reflect on your deeds. If you are a student and procrastinating in your academia, winter will be the best time to work on it. It is because you get lengthy winter breaks and have plenty of time to think and amend your negative behaviors.

It is human nature that you restrain from accepting that you are doing something wrong. Once your mind acknowledges that something is going wrong, it will start to take some actions to improve the act. Takedown the reasons you might be deferring the most significant chores of yours. Ponder on what you can do to make your daily routine better.

The solution must be practically achievable. The importance of setting approachable goals cannot be overstated. When you try to overload yourselves more than your capacities, you end up wearing out. Then you start to delay your chief tasks.

  1. Your Brain’s Functioning Boosts Up In The Winter

Winter is supposed to make you sluggish but, it does not do the same to your brain. Your brain functions improve as the winter arrives. Some scientists planned to study the seasonal effects on cognitive capacities. Some of the brain’s activity reduces during the winter season, but that does not depict the decline in brain functioning.

The relatively slower activity showed that your brain enters in an eco-friendly mode during winter to respond effortlessly while depending upon lesser sources. This point must have busted some myths in your mind. Still, if you think that winter makes you lazy, you better work on your attitudes rather than blaming it on brain functioning. You will have to put little effort to get the same results as compared to other seasons. It means half the energy is needed to do your daily chores.

Do not let your limbic system override the prefrontal cortex, and be realistic with your aims and goals. Start with organizing yourself. It begins with a better sleep-wake routine. When you do not have a list of preset desired outcomes, you are more likely to procrastinate.

Then, limit your distractions. The number one distraction is your bed. Try not to work on your bed. Make a corner in your room, or if you have a study room, that is eventually the best place to work. Different people can have various distractions. Identify your distraction and keep yourself away from them while working. Be creative in this regard to keep pace with time.

Then, one of the most critical and crafty things to stop putting off tasks is to prioritize your tasks. Keep the most important stuff on top with a realistic deadline. Deadlines energize you to keep going. Without them, you will automatically leave your today’s tasks on tomorrow, and that will only pile things up. Taking breaks and cherishing in between is another way to keep your energy stores full. Continuously working will only wear you out.

The last and most important way is to include the phenomena of reward and punishment. Reward yourself if you achieve the deadlines with a sweet treat. Scientists have seen that this phenomenon ensures positive reinforcement9. On the contrary, if you fail to achieve your target, punish yourself. It might be in the form of restricting yourself from eating your favorite food for a week.

The Bottom Line

This article briefly emphasized the phenomenon of procrastination, its types, what makes you procrastinate, and the best ways to get rid of this disturbing deed. It also highlighted why winter is the best time for you to work on it. Winter has arrived, and you should tighten your seat belts and get started to eradicate the habit of delaying stuff unnecessarily from your life.

Make reforms and work for a better present and future. It is wise to divide your time for work, rest, as well as fun and entertainment. There should be room for everything to not exhaust your spirits by working too hard in a row. A successful person conserves time to relax to have an energetic and soulful tomorrow.