Certainly, most of you reading this article right now, have one thing or the other that you’ve deliberately kept on hold or rather, procrastinated. Whether it is cleaning the cupboard or budgeting, you must have been procrastinating something or the other for some time now. Believe it or not, we’ve all been privy to the pleasures of procrastination at some point in our lives. That unavoidable urge to push things for later with only a slim hope of getting back to it, has entrapped us all for worse. The very etymology of the word “procrastination,” goes back to the Latin for “putting it off for tomorrow”.
Now, as beings of blood and flesh, we’re all a little inclined towards not sticking by what we should do (or should have done) at all times. It is understandable to not follow the clock and live our lives by the hour and minute hands. However, when “putting it off for tomorrow,” becomes more of a habit than a mere act of postponing something, problems begin to creep in, my friend.
You, as a parent, most certainly wouldn’t want your kids to take to procrastination and develop it as a habit. It is thus, beyond necessary to correct their course of action at the very beginning when little acts of procrastination begin to show up in their day-to-day activities.
At MS Dhoni Global School, which is counted as one of the best schools in Bengaluru, we involved our learners and their facilitators in multiple interactions. The aim was to identify the real challenge behind putting things off for later, that is, procrastinating. From what we concluded, these are the factors that cause procrastination:
Most students complained that they genuinely lack interest in what they are expected to do. Consequently, they find it challenging enough to draw lessons from completing assignments that lack value in their eyes.
The most common attribute that takes over one’s will to enthusiastically engage in an assignment is that students get overwhelmed with respect to where they should begin. Thus, when multiple tasks are assigned at once, students cannot push beyond the overwhelming feeling of where to start and keep procrastinating.
The fear of not having what it takes to do a good job often clouds the vision of students. The lack of self-belief in that moment restricts them from pursuing and achieving their goals wholeheartedly.
Setting very high expectations of doing every task with perfection is indeed contrary to what’s needed for motivation. Students get trapped in the vicious loop of not doing good enough and keep procrastinating on tasks.
As one of the best schools in Bengaluru, MS Dhoni Global School encourages students to “eat the frog”, metaphorically of course! In relation to Brian Tracy’s concept of “Eat that Frog,” where the Frog abstractly symbolises the tasks being put off for later, he suggests one to eat the frog first thing in the morning. A task when procrastinated, not only keeps you concerned about that but also impacts negatively on everything you do meanwhile. Thus, when you complete the task that you want to procrastinate, you free yourself from several unforeseen concerns as well.
Let’s see how to eat the frog, shall we?
Set a routine
Now, as cliché as this may sound, the key to the confusion is a well-set routine as to how to go about things, where to begin and where to end. Write what needs to be done, break it into do-able yet interesting parts and follow the process.
Use the 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 Rule is followed by most successful people where they seperate their tasks by categorising them as either of the top 20 or bottom 80 percent of their activities. This helps in prioritizing and completing the tasks that help them achieve their goals.
Pursue & embrace the FLOW
The Japanese concept of IKIGAI talks about being most productive when in flow. Flow can be achieved by doing tasks that are neither too challenging nor too basic and thus, sets just the right amount of complexity to engage one.
Identify the constraints
Successful people often take the time to reflect on themselves, their activities, successes, failures and other constraints that matter. Impose the question of what it is that’s holding back.
MS Dhoni Global School incorporates and suggests parents to focus more on the emotional attributes when they find children procrastinating. It is only with effective communication and consequent actions that children will eventually learn to overcome their urge to procrastinate.