How to Avoid Procrastination Traps

Procrastination traps, for any individual, can be a dreaded bane. We all know what needs to be done yet we simply avoid doing it. It is common to put undesirable assignments at bay until the very last minute. However, in such cases the stress and tension pile up which often leads to pulling an all-nighter. Then, after several cups of coffee and wide-eyed wakefulness, we are frustrated and exhausted. The task at hand may be complete but it hardly exhibits our best work. This, essentially, is a procrastination problem. Wondering what some of the common procrastination traps are?

Check them out so that you can steer clear:

Procrastiplanning: too detailed planning

When we are about to execute a task, it is easy to get caught up in the desire to give the perfect output. Indeed, perfectionism often becomes such a strong motto that we spend hours chalking out a detailed plan. However, breaking down the entire process in a step-by-step manner can often entail a lot of effort. This can exhaust us considerably, which leaves us with little energy to pursue the actual task. Also, too much planning makes the task appear to be way more tedious and complex than it really is. Finally, planning can be a convenient escape route from actually doing the task at hand. If we do not like the task or have some form of anxiety related to it, we plan it out in much detail instead, thus avoiding the actual work.

Excessive planning is a procrastination trap. Try to avoid it!

Procrastinalysis: over-analyzing a topic instead of making a decision

Another trap leading to delay is when we examine the topic or task too much. The pros and cons of the topic, time consumption required and consequences of having it done could weigh on our mind. This, in turn, can lead us to move around in circles or beat the bush instead of actually getting the task done. The result? We’re trapped in procrastination. So, avoid to over-analyze the pros and cons. Jump into the work and get something done. There are few decisions in life that are really final and irrevocable. Often, it is better to take the second-best route and get going than to keep on analyzing which way to go and staying where we are.

Paralysis of choice (procastination trap of not knowing where to start)

For a larger project there might often be several topics that need to be addressed. A new project usually appears to be unique, complex and challenging. Many people find it difficult to decide where to start. The challenge is thereby increased, if we have to manage several projects at the same time. Try to limit the choices you have to make, so that you are not slowed down too much by the need for making decisions.

Endless sorting and prioritization

Closely related to procrastiplanning and paralysis of choice is the trap of endless sorting and prioritization. Have you ever found yourself preoccupied in prioritizing various tasks? Broken the task into segments and still not been able to get the output on time? Too much of obsession with dividing and prioritizing work, again, leads to additional time spent on methodizing the process rather than executing it. So, you want to be careful regarding this and stop after a certain level on sorting out a task beforehand.

Procrastination through multitasking (Jumping from task to task without finishing any)

Multitasking is an often-overlooked trap for procrastinators. When lots of tasks need to be completed, it can overwhelm us and lead to mismanagement. We may flit from task to task without completing any one of them successfully. This is a big red flag for efficiency. We may have the satisfaction of knowing that we are working on tasks, but the net output remains close to zero. This is because in jumping tasks, we are not able to do justice to any of them. It basically turns into the long-winded road of procrastination. Avoid this procrastination trap!

Not just starting

At times, we resist the first step of simply beginning the task. There could be many reasons for this. We may experience considerable stress and fatigue from other work and be too bogged down. There may be a lack of confidence on our part, trouble in finding new ideas, unclear goals and discouragement from the people around us. A great tool to get started is the Promodoro Technique: Define a task. Work on it for 25 minutes. Take a 5-minute break. Repeat. The fixed and limited time frame makes it psychologically much easier to start, especially for tasks which have been postponed for long already.

Getting Distracted

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s not uncommon to face frequent distractions, be it through the digital media, filler tasks or other personal obligations. We need to check our email, text messages, and Slack accounts from time to time. On top of that, social media platforms tend to captivate and engage us for long, acting as a strong addiction. Meetings, interaction with people and side tasks also consume much of our time. All these distractions succeed in pushing us down the pit of procrastination.

Procrastination traps not only prevents the timely accomplishment of tasks but can also have a dampening effect on our goals and dreams as well as our mental health. In short, it is a dreaded roadblock to success. Procrastination causes sluggish progress.

Often, it is helpful when someone pushes us to do things at the right time. However, at the end of the day we love to be independent and the onus is on us to be productive in the best possible way. It is here that the Digital Tickler File System comes of use. Comprising 43 folders, it is a user-friendly system that provides a method to send a reminder to oneself in the future. According to prioritization of the items that need attention, you can concentrate on the task that you have committed yourself to for that particular day. It’s a great way to master how to avoid procrastination traps.

With procrastination traps at bay, we can move much closer to our dreams organically. It is important to not let this evil get the better of us and get a procrastination buster or procrastination cure in time. After all, it’s our sweat and toil that can make the pot boil.