Do you remember that time when daily schedules and routines helped you to stay on track? This helped in achieving those specific goals and targets. The pandemic struckand created a ripple of change in the daily routines, targets and plans. You started feeling directionless. Even when you knew, work is piling up, you just could not convince yourself to go at it. This is something a lot of us are going through in the current pandemic scenario. Do not worry, you are not alone. This is called procrastination. There were a majority of people who were working remotely from home for the very first time in their life and realized how challenging it is to strike the work life balance and create a demarcation between workspace from home. They were not used to working from home for the entire day and the day next and so on. Today it is their office. Researchers advocate that ‘procrastination’ is a self-regulation failure (Prem et al., 2018) however, there are ways one could overcome the same.

It is easy on the human brain to associate with things in a manner that they turn into habits. If you associate your travel with music, then you get into the habit of turning on the radio the moment you get into a car even when you are not listening to it. Similarly, if you associate eating popcorn with watching a television series, you will yearn for some snacks the moment you plan to watch a movie even when you are not hungry. Now, the thing to ponder is if you have a demanding job and are currently working from home, you will observe associated stress in the workspace you have set up at home. This kind of a sudden lifestyle change may prompt you to procrastinate and think, "Let me watch one more episode from the The Vampire Diaries, and then I will finish my assignment." And there are also instances where it could lead to productive procrastination wherein you avoid one job to complete another unrelated job, for example "Let me do the laundry first, and then I can start working of my project." The pandemic has led certain peculiar behavioral changes in people and procrastination is one such change. This can be brought into control. Let us learn how.

 Overcoming procrastination:

Things to do-

  • List the tasks you need to complete, along with their due dates.
  • Prioritize the tasks by rating them in the order of 1 to 5, where 1 is the top priority task and 5 is a non-priority task that can be looked into a relatively later.
  • Determine the time required to complete each task.
  • Once you complete these tasks, make a habit of ticking them off your Sticky Notes/Calendar/ To-Do List.
  • Keep your goals short and achievable. Short term planning helps in such situations.

The above may or may not help you get rid of procrastination completely. So, take one day or one week at a time and things would improve. They say practice makes one perfect, and the optimist way of thinking is perfection is certainly better than procrastination.