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word number: 1991

Time: 2021-11-22 12:39:32 +0000

Have you ever been given an assignment which was due in a week but only to do them the day before? Or the words “I’ll do it tomorrow”, “I’ll do it later”, and “I’ll do it tonight”. When you often delay works means that you have succumbed to procrastination. In this article I will give opinion of what causes them and how I deal with them:

You Are Just Lazy

No matter what work you are given, it is just in your habit to delay. One the biggest cause is that you are too lazy to think about the future and live to much in the present. My solution is, think about the future. The motivation is either fear, greed, or both.

Using Greed

Think of the reward if you do it early, especially if you do it right away. For example, you remove a burden or worry early that will make you feel having more free time. What will you do in your free time without worry? Will you entertain yourself by watching movies, listening to music, or playing games? Will you read books? Will you travel around the world? Will you exercise? Or will you focus on other productive things such your entrepreneurship or business? Most rewarding of all, you will feel relieve after you finish which you can choose to rest early.

Using Fear

Think what happen if you delay. If you are tired, it is better to rest, but if you are well and you delay, it will only get worse the more you delay. What will happen if the job is harder than you thought? What will happen if there is a sudden disaster later for example you get sick, you friends of family having problems, and other sudden unignorable requests. Then what happen if you fail to meet the deadline? Will you be demoted or lose your job? Will you fail the class? Will you lose customer? Whatever the case is, the main thing is you will lose opportunity.

The Work Is Very Difficult

I’m known to be fast when I was in University because I finish things right away. That is because the tasks are easy or at least manageable. I remembered:

  • After a class and I was asked to submit a report by next week, I started doing it, finished it right there, and uploaded.
  • I have a conference in next two month and I already made the slides.
  • Right after the conference, I submitted the necessary documents to my professor right away for reimbursement while others delayed. Then, the others panic because the professor suddenly came and demands for the documents.
  • 24 hours prior departure, I always tried to perform online check in. Whenever I succeeded, I never have to queue in a long line with other passengers in the airport and queued with one or two passengers on the online check in line.
  • Three month before my defense, we were given an okay to start writing our thesis. Others decided to start two month later while I started right away. While I was able to get 12 hours of sleep everyday, others spent the night in their laboratory everyday.
  • During my harsh job in a manufacturing company, I woke early and took a shower then sleep again. While others woke up late queuing for a shower and rushed, I was going at a relaxing pace.

However, I became the opposite when I was given a very difficult task:

  • The first time that happened was at the end of my undergraduate. I was asked to operate an Imote2 wireless sensor network node and was asked to make a module to transmit images. Back then I didn’t understand C programming, Linux, etc, I don’t even know how to access the nodes, connect them, especially transmitting characters. Half a year I was doing nothing except attending courses and study C programming on my own. Another half a year, I finally have some clues of how to operate them. Still, so many difficulties, and I decided only to work on it one or two hours a day and spent the rest of my days playing video games. I finally finished everything in a year.
  • The second time was during my Doctoral program. Different during Master’s program when I only need to come up with improvements or innovative idea, here I was asked to have novel ideas. In other words, only full work is worth mentioning in my doctoral program while in Master’s, I can just submit 4 pages articles. In Master’s I publish 5 conference paper in one and a half year while in Doctoral, one failed journal paper in the end of first year, one journal paper in near the end of second year, and one journal paper in near half of third year. In my doctoral I became very lazy. I spent 12 hours of sleep everyday, worked only three days a week, while the rest, half was spent on learning history, economics, financial, entrepreneurship, business, and all the things that I missed during my younger days, and half was spent on watching movies, reading comics, and playing video games.
  • As I was doing my content creation, I was discouraged by how little audience I have and almost no money I earned. I stopped creating and decided to waste my time watching other people’s videos.

For myself, the solution is not as simple as treating laziness. Go ahead and use your enthusiasm to start right away, but you will just find yourself day dreaming without a plan. Here are my suggestions:

  • Do not overwork, it will backfire so make sure you have enough rest.
  • Instead, spent little time on it but often.
  • Start over and identify your task clearly and in detailed.
  • Break down your tasks.
  • Celebrate each time you finish a portion.
  • If you are motivated to do more, then do so.

Still it doesn’t work? Yes then the task is extremely difficult. Seek help, if you cannot, then spend an hour each day or something similar to think about it even if you don’t do anything. Even daydreaming about that extremely difficult task is better than doing nothing about. Do you know there is a research stating that procrastinating people are creative? That is half true. For example, they have one month to do their task but they started a week before the deadline. Their work tends to be creative, why? Because, they spent two weeks thinking about it and execute after, while ordinary diligent people start right away and finished within that week. The diligent people spent only a week while the creative people spent three weeks. However, procrastinating people who play around in the first two weeks and only start after will perform the same or worse as ordinary diligent people. Let’s summarize in terms of quality:

  • Pure procrastinating people who play on the first two weeks then starts later perform the worst.
  • Diligent people who start early and finishes early performs better.
  • Creative procrastinating people who keeps thinking about it on the first two weeks then starts later perform much better.
  • Creative and diligent people performs best. Why? because they start early and put more time. For example, first week they plan, second week they finish, and last weeks they evaluate and revise.
  • However, diligent people who start early but finishes early may also be best at other perspective. For example, they spent their free time afterwards doing their own entrepreneurship or business.

Too Much Burden, Responsibilities, Stress, ETC

Straight away I will say it’s actually beyond my capacity and get professional help like psychiatrist etc if you can. Too much burden for example, you have to take care of family members, you have to take care of a sick person, unfair work load (how? you finish early so they give you more, while other workers finish late and they are given less).

About family members and sick person, if you can’t get professional help, at least consult with your family and friends. If that’s also not an option, there are social medias online.

About unfair work load, straightly you should just quit and become a freelance where you are paid based on the work you finish and not monthly salary. I personally like to finish early because I want to do my own stuff afterwards. Those who finishes fast or early should be rewarded with more rest not more workload. You must not leave before the boss leave, you must come earlier than the boss, you must never decline the boss’s invitation, etc, that’s really going to far. If you can’t quit, then politely decline the extra work, and if you can’t even do that, then slow your pace. Steal time doing your own entrepreneurship, business, and other stuffs.

After Success

After you succeed in conquering your procrastination:

  • Do not overwork, it will backfire so make sure you have enough rest.

  • I remembered that I have almost no rest during my highschool. My school hour is from 07:30 - 18:00 from Monday to Wednesday, and still there are homeworks after that. Although from Thursday to Saturday is from 07:30 - 13:00, Thursday afternoon I have Karate extracurricular from 16:00 - 18:00 and Karate at my dojo from 19:00 - 21:00 (not including the route trips for all). Friday I have Chess extracurricular from 15:00 - 18:00. Saturday I have table tennis from 15:00 - 18:00. Sunday I have Karate extracurricular from 09:00 - 12:00 and Karate at my dojo from 17:00 - 19:00. Compared to common students back then, my schedule was extra tight. Third year I decided to quit Karate and all extracurricular because I was stressed out which I regretted up to today. When I became an undergraduate student, do you know what happened? I felt my body broken, always tired, I cannot sleep later than 21:00 and wake up earlier than 08:00. Often, I slept at 20:00 and woke up at 10:00 when I don’t have morning classes. Today, if I don’t sleep more than 12 hours a day, I will feel exhausted.
  • There’s a story of a girl whose parent pushed her hard to get into a good university. Everytime she finishes school at 13:00, she always have to attend extra tutors, then at home doing homework and extra studies. She barely have anytime for herself. Do you know what happened once she got into university? She moved to an apartment and lived on her own and do you know what happened? She partied every evening until midnight. She said that this was the first time she felt she was free and she wants to enjoy it to the fullest.

  • Instead, spent little time on it but often.

  • Simple personal experience, I was forcing myself a hundred total push up a day and it only lasted for a week. Later I tried again ten push up and working in a gym every afternoon and it lasted for two years.
  • I tried writing a whole paper in a day, got lazy and delayed for three weeks, while trying doing a portion everytime. A slow example; title and abstract on day one, introduction on day two, literature review on day three and four, method on day five, discussion on day six, conclusion and self check on day seven. A faster example; title and abstract on for an hour then rest, introduction for two hours then rest, literature review on day one, method on for half a day on day two, discussion on the remaining time on day two, conclusion and self check on day three.

  • Celebrate each time you finish.
  • If you are motivated to do more, then do so.

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