It’s common for many teenagers and even adults to procrastinate. Procrastination is when you aren’t in the mood to handle a cumbersome (or simple) task and put it off.
Procrastination might feel uncomfortable and induce overwhelming guilt, but why do we continue doing it?
We procrastinate for many reasons, including self-doubt, stress, boredom, or just not feeling like it. However, chronic procrastination can start to affect your emotional and mental health.
Let’s take a look at why we procrastinate and what our youth empowerment coach recommends for finding motivation for procrastinators.
Is Procrastination Connected to Mental Health Concerns?
Procrastination is commonly linked to certain mental health issues like ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Chronic procrastination can also be contributing to your mental health struggles, if not a result of it.
Research shows that procrastination is strongly associated with one’s moods and emotions. You aren’t procrastinating because you’re lazy; it happens because of all the emotional distress and dread that you’re experiencing.
Here are a few symptoms of chronic procrastination.
- Getting easily distracted and being unable to complete a task at a time
- Difficulty meeting deadlines
- Putting things off at work, social life, and home life
- Difficulty initiating tasks even if you’re aware there will be consequences
- Feeling like the stress is getting too much, and it starting to affect your sleep and physical health
- Not being able to admit that you procrastinate
How to Combat Procrastination
Become More Aware When You’re Procrastinating
Firstly, try becoming aware of when you’re procrastinating. If you’re delaying the task briefly, that’s all right, but if you want to avoid doing it at all because you can’t handle the stress, then that’s procrastination.
You could also be procrastinating because:
- You’re just not in the mood, or you’re waiting for the “right time”
- Starting an important task, but you get distracted and go make coffee
- Filling your day with less stress-inducing tasks that are low-priority
Secondly, find out why you’re putting off doing that project. Is it because it’s too boring? Find an enjoyable aspect of it or get creative and think of ways to make it more fun.
You can also try making to-do lists to become more organized and prioritize tasks that need to be done urgently.
Promise Yourself a Reward
One of the most effective techniques that really work is rewarding yourself after you accomplish a difficult and overwhelming task. If you finish your work on time, give yourself a little treat like a slice of cake, take a warm bath with scented candles, or watch your favorite show.
This will also generate a lot of positive feelings!
Don’t Be Too Harsh On Yourself
If you find yourself procrastinating, be more compassionate and forgiving toward yourself. This will also reduce the chances of your procrastinating in the future. Self-forgiveness will enable you to let go of any past events of procrastination and ease your harsh inner dialogue of self-blame.
Looking for more tips to stop procrastinating? Enroll in the comprehensive mental health programs by Jesse LeBeau. Being an experienced and knowledgeable teen motivational speaker and mentor, Jesse can help you become more confident and feel empowered.
Reach out now to learn more about his youth life coaching programs.