We've all been there: The deadline is looming, but instead of getting a move on, we're watching cute animal videos, rearranging our bookshelves, or scrolling social media for the umpteenth time looking for a good ramen noodle recipe!
But what's stopping us from getting on with the task at hand? What keeps us fixated on our screens, stationed in our rooms and feeling totally defeated at the end of the day, wondering where it went? This notorious beast is called procrastination and it's deadly! As Muslims, we're encouraged to make the most of our time and spend it doing as much good as possible but that doesn't mean we don't all fall victim to a bit of procrastination every now and then. Why do we let ourselves be held captive by it? And more importantly, how can we escape its clutches? We're here to help!
WHY we procrastinate⌛
😱Fear of Failure: One of the leading causes of procrastination is the fear of not meeting expectations, be it our own or those of others. The thought process is somewhat paradoxical: "If I don't start, I can't fail." Annoyingly ironic, don't you think?
👌Perfectionism: Many believe that if something can't be done perfectly, it's not worth doing at all. This can lead to indefinite postponement. Perfectionism is tough but here's the thing - nothing and no one is perfect, so you're actually striving for something non-existent. If that doesn't take the pressure off, we don't know what will!
🤷♂️Decisional Procrastination: Sometimes, we delay tasks simply because we're unable to make a decision. Choosing one path means forsaking others, and that can be daunting.
🥱Task Aversion: If we perceive a task as too hard, boring, or unappealing, we're naturally inclined to put it on the backburner.
🎮Lack of Self-Discipline: This refers to our inability to control impulses. In the age of instant gratification, long-term rewards often take a backseat to short-term pleasures.
The 10-step plan to overcome procrastination
Now that we understand the psychology behind it, let's delve into some actionable steps to help us break free:
1. The Two-Minute Rule: If it takes less than two minutes, do it now. This simple rule can help clear minor tasks that tend to pile up and overwhelm.
2. Break it Down: Large tasks can be intimidating. Break them down into smaller, manageable chunks, and focus on completing one piece at a time.
3. Prioritize Tasks: Not all tasks are of equal importance. Determine which ones need immediate attention and tackle them first.
4. Time Management Techniques: Techniques such as the Pomodoro Technique (working in short bursts with regular breaks) can boost productivity and reduce the allure of procrastination.
5. Change Your Environment: Sometimes, the place where you're working can be a distraction itself. Find a quiet, clutter-free space to work.
6. Commit Publicly: Tell someone about your goals. The added pressure of someone else knowing can act as a motivation to get things done.
7. Reward Yourself: Set up a reward system for when you complete tasks. Knowing there's a treat at the end can be a strong motivator.
8. Visualize the End Result: Imagine the satisfaction or benefits of completing a task. This can often push you to start.
9. Self-compassion: Understand that no one is perfect. If you fall into the trap of procrastination, don't be too hard on yourself. Acknowledge it, learn from it, and move forward.
10. Seek Accountability: Partner with someone who can keep you on track. Checking in with them regularly can help maintain momentum.
Understanding the reasons behind our procrastination can better equip us to tackle it head-on. By employing a combination of psychological insights and practical strategies, we can boost our productivity and conquer the tasks we once dreaded.
You might be wondering why we're focusing on procrastination. Yes, we want you to be productive but we also know that it's easy for so many of us to delay the time we spend with the Quran and we're trying to help you skyrocket to success! Get out of that slump and onto Tarteel where you can track your Quran activity, incentivize wins by going up against the AI and organize your goals with challenges, reminders and more. Instead of saying "I want to memorize more of the Quran but I just don't have time", you'll be building a daily Quran habit, holding yourself accountable and feeling much better about your days!