Tactfully managing procrastination

Vector concept of time management. Target goal with arrow in the center, hand making sign on to do list/
Photo: © Serhii Vasiutin / 123RF Stock Photo


Most of us have known the horrors of procrastination. We think we will get to a task and keep postponing it till the deadline is upon us and there is just not enough time to complete the task at hand. Somehow the activities I need to do seem like work and my brain attaches all kinds of negative feelings around it making the activity even less pleasurable. My mind which is always in a buzz therefore seeks distractions which will give me a greater sense of pleasure and maybe happiness. But in reality I end up feeling guilty, bad about myself and unaccomplished as I have not fulfilled the task at hand. So here are some tricks that I have learned which make me manage procrastination rather than battle it.

Time as your friend
When I have a hard task to accomplish I attempt the Pomodoro Technique, developed by Francesco Cirillo, where we take a timer and only attempt the task for 25 minutes and then take a scheduled break. Since 25 minutes is a short period of time it makes it easy to start the task. Plus the scheduled break or a scheduled quitting time can make focusing a lot easier as there is a 5 minute break just round the corner.

Reward cycle
To manage procrastination well it is important that we replace the negative feelings towards work with anticipation and pleasure. Thus, till you reach the stage where you yearn for the sheer joy of learning (yes that can happen too…) it is really useful to intersperse your focused time of study with simple rewards.

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Shivani Manchanda
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Shivani Manchanda

Shivani Manchanda, a post-graduate in Counselling from the USA, is a warm and vibrant counsellor. Her expertise lies in counselling students on career development, stress prevention and international education. She is an enthusiastic speaker with over two decades of experience.