Procrastination is something that stops us from living our ideal life. It prevents us from achieving our full potential and it is the thing that destroys our dreams and makes us fail at our goals. So how can you tell if you are a procrastinator?
Everyone procrastinated at times, even the most successful people you know procrastinate some of the time.
When you delay writing the article to be published on your blog, the world may not come to an end. And we all put off unpleasant tasks from time to time. Myself included.
Wasting time on Facebook and talking to your colleagues in the pantry are acceptable, if done moderately.
The problem with most people is that they allowed procrastination to become part of their life. It becomes a chronic habit that kills their dreams and destroys their productivity.
When procrastination becomes a part of your life, you must be careful because the cost you have to pay in the future is high.
It is alright to procrastinate, moderately, for the right reason. However, if it is done on a habitual basis, it can make you miserable, not to mention that this habit can also affect others who are close to you as well.
Understanding the signs of your procrastination is the first step to deal with it. If you don’t realize that you are procrastinating, you cannot overcome it.
As the saying goes:
[ctt template=”9″ link=”At_cH” via=”no” ]”You can’t fix what you don’t know is broken”[/ctt]
When you are aware that you are procrastinating and perhaps, you are doing it on a regular basis, you should make a change.
Never let procrastination gets over your life. Here are the 10 most common signs of procrastination. Check if any of them describes you and try to get rid of this bad habit.
1. You hit the snooze button over and over again
If you are hitting the snooze button every morning over and over again, you know that something is not right.
First, you set the alarm to wake you wake on time. What is the point of hitting the snooze button and refuse to wake up when it is time to get up?
If you need the snooze function to get you up 15 or 30 minutes later, you’d rather set your alarm to fire later so that you can have more sleep, right?
Next, if you are doing this every day, you should change. But if this is only happening once a while like you have a late night supper with a long-lost friend, it is still acceptable.
So just make sure that hitting the snooze button does not become your habit.
According to this article from TheThirty.com, when you hit the snooze button, you make your brain and body confuse. Here’s what the article says:
“When your alarm goes off again, your body and brain are confused, resulting in that foggy feeling called sleep inertia. Sleep inertia can stay with you throughout the day, making you actually feel more tired throughout the day.”
This small little bad habit can affect other areas of your life if you let it. It can become your character and eventually, it becomes the way you treat everything in life.
2. You waited until the very last minute to do things
Get it done now when you have the time. You don’t have to wait until the very last minute only to take action and work on your tasks.
Most people choose instant gratification and have fun right now instead of doing the hard work. They waited until when the deadline becomes a pressure only to work on the task.
Never let this happen to you. This can be a serious problem if it becomes your habit.
Just like when you are in school, you can choose to work on your homework on Friday or you can do it on Sunday night with pressure and stress as your friends.
By the way, do you know that getting things done earlier gives you a sense of fulfillment and you can truly enjoy the time after?
Think about it. If you are supposed to do the work but you choose to have fun first, can you really have fun? Can you really enjoy 100%?
While you are enjoying, you may think about the work. You then feel guilty and can’t really enjoy your play.
Thus, don’t procrastinate until the last minute. Choose to take action and work on what you are supposed to get done first.
And when you get the work done, you can truly enjoy your time and play, guilt-free.
3. You are always late for appointments
Do you always late on appointments? Regardless of whether it is with others or with yourself, this is a clear sign of procrastination.
When you date someone and you are late, and you always did that, you know that you need to change your habit.
The Hong Kong billionaire and one of the richest Asian, Li Ka-Shing, wears a watch that everyone talks about.
Even Bloomberg did a short video about it. You can read the article from Lite.my.
So what’s so special about his watch?
First, it costs only about $400 USD. It is a very robust watch that Li said he can wear the watch for most occasions like sports and exercise.
But what is the most important is that his watch is set 30 minutes earlier.
Yes, you read that right, 30 minutes earlier.
According to Li Ka-Shing, he said that this helps him stay punctual for every business appointment. But why 30 minutes? He said that’s the time he needs to travel to any part of Hong Kong.
Hence, never be late and always be on time.
Learn from Li Ka-Shing. If you value your life, learn to master your time.
4. You feel that your weekend is boring
Do you feel that your weekend is boring and you have no idea what you can do during the weekend?
If this is happening to you, it only means one thing, that you don’t plan for your weekend.
And planning is one of the keys characteristics of proactive people.
Well, maybe you will think that the weekend should be free and you shouldn’t plan for it.
While you don’t have to plan for every minute or hour for your weekend, but you do can include a few anchor activities that you want to get done on your weekend.
For example, you can exercise in the gym in the morning, read a book for an hour in a local coffee house, and for the evening, you can just enjoy time with your family.
You don’t have to plan every minute, but you must at least have something to look forward to.
When you have something to look forward to, your weekend becomes fun and you can fully recharge your body, mind, and soul.
If you have no idea what to do over the weekend, read this article from Forbes:
5. Your house/room/workplace is messy and unorganized
Someone who is productive and proactive will never leave his house, room, or workplace unorganized and messy. That’s the work of a procrastinator, not someone who is productive.
So if you are showing this sign, you may want to reflect on your habit and check if you are someone who always procrastinates on things.
If you do, make a change.
In order for you to be productive and effective, your workplace and your living place must be organized and cleaned.
This is because our environment affects our thinking and mood.
Read my previous article, 10 Tips How to Change Your Environment for Greater Motivation, to understand how environment plays a vital role in determining your success in life.
So spend a couple of minutes to organize your workplace each day before you leave your office.
And for your house, perhaps, you can use an hour or two to clean up during the weekend.
A positive and supportive environment will drive and motivate you to achieve your goals. A messy and unorganized surrounding will make you procrastinate.
6. You dream about the future and spend too much time thinking
Do you spend too much time daydreaming and thinking about the future but never really do anything about it?
While it is good to think about your future and to daydream about what you want to achieve in life, overdoing this can be bad.
You don’t want to spend your entire day to daydream about what you want. You must act.
Thinking and doing are two different things. Thinking is only the first step and taking action is second.
Most people stop at the first step because they spend too much time thinking but never really doing.
Don’t let this happen to you.
Overthinking can be a clear sign of procrastination. If you are someone who always thinks but is not acting, you know that you need to make a change.
So stop thinking and start acting.
You don’t have to worry about your past because you can’t change it. You don’t have to overthink about your future because it is yet to come.
So just focus yourself on the present and take action.
Remember, it is what you do today that will determine what you get tomorrow.
Thus, don’t think too much and just do it. Don’t allow your habit of overthinking becomes a reason you procrastinate on your dreams and goals.
7. You are on social media most of the time
Obviously, this is one of the most common signs people procrastinate.
Social media is all over our lives now. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc, have become part of our lives.
According to The Huntington News, social media is cited as the largest source of procrastination. This is what the article says:
“Research conducted by Stop Procrastinating, an app that disconnects users from the internet in attempts to boost productivity, finds social media and other internet time-wasters, to be the leading culprits behind millennial procrastination trends. The survey, analyzing the study habits of 1500 US undergraduate students, consistently found students identifying relatively new technological luxuries as the cause of their procrastination.”
Just do a quick reflection on your daily life and see how many times do you check social media like Facebook and Instagram, and how much time do you spend on them.
Social media and instant notifications don’t just distract you, they take away your attention and make you procrastinate on your current work.
You have to overcome the urge and addictiveness of social media if you want to have full focus.
Do not let social media controls your life. Use them as a tool to help and support you to achieve what you want, not against you.
8. You leave things until tomorrow
Another clear sign of procrastination. Whenever you have to do something and you leave it to tomorrow, you are clearly procrastinating it.
Well, maybe you can do your laundry tomorrow, but the thing is, the more you try to delay things, the more it becomes your habit.
The worst comes when you try to delay things that are important, like achieving your dreams and working on your goals.
Guess what, this is why most people fail to reach their goals. They procrastinate. They delay the work until tomorrow.
They choose instant gratification and enjoy the pleasure right now rather than delay gratification and work on what is important.
Whenever they can choose between playing games or watching TV and writing an article or reading a book, guess what most will choose?
Playing games and watch TV. They choose instant gratification.
Therefore, change your habit. Do what you are supposed to do right away. Don’t delay or push the work to the next day.
It is true that tomorrow will be a new day and you can always have a fresh start tomorrow or do it by then, but make it a habit to NOT procrastinate.
Develop the habit of doing it now. If you are supposed to write an article today and you forget to do it, commit yourself to do it even if it is late at night.
That’s how you build the habit of commitment. You fulfill the promise that you made to yourself.
Thus, don’t wait until tomorrow. What if tomorrow never comes?
If you push your goals to tomorrow, highly likely, you are going to do the same thing again when tomorrow comes.
This is because things can get habitual.
So decide now that you are going to do things that you say you are going to do. Don’t delay and don’t push it to tomorrow.
9. You give lousy excuses most of the time
Do you always give lousy excuses like why you are late or why you fail to reach your goals?
This is also a sign of procrastination. Productive and proactive people will never give excuses.
The more excuses you make, the more you are going to make them.
Like I said, procrastination is a habit. It starts with small tiny actions that you do each day. When you make an excuse to procrastinate, it becomes habitual.
And when the making excuses become your habit, you will do it every time when you have the chance.
Listen to how you talk to yourself.
Take exercise as an example. Every time when you want to go to the gym, what do you tell yourself?
“I’m tired today, let’s do it tomorrow”
“I don’t have the time today”
“I need to meet with John later so I can’t workout today”
Whatever self-talks you have in your head, take note, because the way you talk to yourself will determine if you are going to procrastinate or do the work.
So every time when you make lousy excuses, be it to someone else or to yourself inside your head, stay conscious and tell yourself otherwise.
For example, if you need to write an article for your blog but you hear your mind tell you that you are too tired and should just leave the work to tomorrow, stop your inner voice right away and talk to yourself positively.
Replace the negative self-talk with positive self-talk.
This is one of the best ways you can overcome making lousy excuses.
Suggested reading: The 10 Most Common Excuses For Not Reaching Your Goals
10. You always fail to reach your goals or hit your targets
There are many reasons why people fail to reach their goals and targets. Sometimes they set unrealistic goals and sometimes the timeframe is too short.
However, one of the most common reasons is that they procrastinate on their goals.
They don’t act according to their plan. They know what they need to do, but they just don’t.
For instance, if you want to lose weight, you know it very well that you need to exercise and eat healthily. Unfortunately, you choose not to.
You know that in order to build a great blog, content is important and you need to spend time coming up with valuable content that your readers love.
But you just don’t do it. You choose to watch TV, play games, check social media, and so on.
Procrastination or the lack of action becomes why you fail. If only you stick to your plan and take consistent action, you can surely reach your goals and targets.
Hence, if you always fail to reach your goals and targets, maybe it is a sign of your procrastination.
You know it well if you are working hard to achieve what you want or you procrastinate and do something else. Only you can tell.
After going through these 10 signs of procrastination, do you think you are someone who procrastinates often?
If you do, don’t worry. Here’s an article that can help you overcome procrastination:
I’m not going to leave you hanging after showing you the signs but not sharing with you the solutions.
Read the article I shared above if you want to get rid of procrastination.
By the way, before you do so, let me know which sign describes you the best, or perhaps none of the signs above describe you?
What do you think about this article? Share your opinion with me in the comment section below. Cheers.