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Avoid procrastination

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Tips for becoming a good time manager.

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Avoid procrastination

  1. 1. WHY TOMORROW? Avoiding procrastination Lecture delivered by Ismail Sogbade at The AMETS Intellectual Forum, LAUTECH 15th April, 2016
  2. 2. Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be done. Emotions create the blockage, and reasons for procrastination which include feelings of guilt, inadequacy, depression, and self-doubt. Poor organizational skills compound the problem by making even small steps to complete the task difficult to seemingly impossible. What is Procrastination?
  3. 3. Reasons for procrastination include: Fear of failure. Lack of interest in the task. Feelings of anger or hostility toward someone—usually the one who gave you the assignment The impression that the task is too time consuming—the task will take large blocks of time, and nothing can be done until you have one large chunk of time. Lack of knowledge or skill. Low self-confidence and low self-esteem. Too busy—real or imagined. Stubbornness—"Don't think you can tell me what and when to do it." Manipulation—procrastination may be used to control or manipulate the behavior of others. Why Procrastinate?
  4. 4. Types of Chronic Procrastination Thrill seekers wait until the last minute to complete the task to get a “rush.” They believe they work better under pressure. Unfortunately, when you wait for the last minute, the work you produce is often of inferior quality—because there is no time to make corrections. Avoidance procrastination occurs for many reasons, including avoiding perceived unpleasant tasks; fear of the completion of the task will be a reflection of self-worth, lack of self-confidence in ability; or fear that successful completion of the task will instill high expectations for future performance on similar tasks. Avoidance procrastinators may prefer being viewed as lacking in effort instead of lacking in ability when they fail.
  5. 5. Recognize that you have the ability to be in control and then make a commitment to yourself to change. • To learn a new habit, set up a new routine that contrasts with the old one. Create reminders to keep yourself on task, and announce your new plans to friends for their support. • Practice, practice, practice the new habit. • When you make exceptions, it takes much more effort to recover control than to maintain it from the beginning—it is like binging during a diet. Set deadlines for yourself and keep them – use reminder notes! Break down big projects into smaller steps and set deadlines for each part. Tell people about your deadlines, so they can check up on you. Set up a reward system for each part and then reward yourself when you have completed a deadline – Give yourself a treat! Curing the Procrastination Blues
  6. 6. Ask yourself questions to determine why you are procrastinating. • Is this a recent or reoccurring pattern? • What is the root cause? Fear? Avoidance? Self-confidence? Perfectionism? • Is this a personal problem beyond school? • Is it the assignment the problem or placing social activities over school activities? • Are you afraid to be labeled a “nerd”? Do you think that college is just an extension of high school, and you can get away with incomplete work without consequences? Change your self-statements and restructure your thoughts to take responsibility for your actions. These statements blame others for your failure: ◦ It’s not my fault. . . . ◦ I could have done it, but. . . . ◦ Yes, it was due, however. . . . ◦ Yes, but. . . . Focus on when and where external attributes versus internal attributes may cause the problem. Could you have avoided the problem by beginning earlier? Battling Procrastination
  7. 7. Bits and Pieces Focus on the smaller subsets of the task, rather than the entire task. Write out the steps necessary to complete the steps and then go through them step-by-step. The “5-Minute” Plan Break the task 5-minute subsets and do them step-by-step. This is for people who prefer to have a set amount of time to work on things. 80% Success Rule Be realistic with your goals. Complete at least 80% of the task. This is a good start, and after completing the 80% you know you can go further and complete the whole task. Social Support of Task Completion Seek help from people who complete tasks. Build a social network of support, so there is someone who can push you on when you lose sight of the goal.
  8. 8. Think of one thing you are currently procrastinating doing. Write the task on a sheet of paper. It might be personal, school, or work- related. Now write all the reasons for your delay. Take five or ten minutes because some of them may be hidden from you. These reasons are the controlling influences. Write down as many as possible. List arguments against delay and argue against all the reasons for delay in a convincing manner. If you can argue against them successfully, you will be able to start the task. Practice What You've Learned
  9. 9.  Plan for tomorrow and establish priorities—some students find that simply writing down reasonable starting and stopping times help them get going – wrist watch during exams (start/stop time) Expect some backsliding. Occasionally, your plans will not work. Accept the setbacks and start again. Do not fixate on failure, but rather learn from it. Why did you have the setback—now figure out how to prevent them in the future. General Hints
  10. 10. Take control by learning new habits: Understand why you are procrastinating, so observe what you do (or don’t do) and then determine the underlying cause. When you know the cause, focus on ways to overcome your procrastination. Create a plan and then practice the new habits until they become a part of you. Break tasks down to small steps Learn how long it takes to do a task Organize tasks Find models to emulate Practice, practice, practice good habits Don’t beat yourself up if you backslide, just start practicing the new habits again. Review
  11. 11. Thanks for Listening

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