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When did you guys realize procrastination was something getting in the way of your life.?

When did you guys realize procrastination was something getting in the way of your life.

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Mike’s Answer

I would say middle school or high school. It starts off with, I can work on that later…which turns into missing deadlines.

It is something to stay on top of!
Thank you comment icon Thanks, can't wait to put this advice into action! Jhovanny
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Aaron’s Answer

It's a constant struggle. I think I first realized in high school.

I personally think procrastination is compounded if it's something you don't actually want to do.

I think procrastination is like candy versus exercise. It's easy to start eating candy but hard to start consistently exercising. One poisons the other. I've had months where i was going to bed at 8pm sharp and waking up at 4am and I felt amazing, things at work were always on time...and then the one weekend I stay up all night...I'm back to sleeping late and procrastinating because I feel behind on other things...sorry for my little rant.

Anyways, when I was in high school, I told one of my neighbors I wasn't ready to work for them because I just started the cross country team and wanted to figure out my schedule first. One of my friends ended up getting the job even though my neighbor said they'd really rather employ me. Well, I didn't think much of it until my friend told me how much he was making...20$/hour plus commission! I was mind blown and that's still a little mind blowing for that time and area. I went straight to my neighbor to let them know I had figured out my schedule...ooops.."sorry I gave the job to your friend...but I'll let you know when I can bring another person onboard..." well that was the end of that...I knew they wouldn't be asking me. They probably saw right through me. So it's not really a story about do it or you lose out on money...but I ignored someone who wanted to give me an amazing opportunity because I had other self interests I cared about more.
Thank you comment icon Loved reading this, thanks! Jhovanny
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Ann’s Answer

I didn't really notice procrastination as an issue until I was an adult. I think in school i certainly did procrastinate with things like doing chores at home, but with school work I didn't. I always enjoyed school and always knew that I liked to have my work finished early. As an adult I started to notice more and more after I had kids. It was becoming more difficult to focus on everything and I was putting things off. Now that my kids are grown and I'm working in a very stressful job I'm finding I procrastinate more and more.

When I'm feeling overwhelmed with everything I have to do, or everything happening in my life, I procrastinate. I need time to decompress, or downtime to do nothing productive but I often put off tasks that are important in favor of watching Netflix or playing games on my phone, or most likely just staring at social media for hours on end. This in turn causes more stress though because things pile up more and I feel more overwhelmed.

Make a to do list and use it. Blocking out time each day to complete tasks helps you take control of your time.
Prioritize the most important tasks each day and don't skip those! Do those tasks first, so if you do get distracted or decide not to finish everything you'll have the most important stuff done.

Just knowing that I have some control over my day by doing this helps me avoid procrastinating most days. I still have days that I'm overwhelmed and I have to shut down completely and zone out or get outside to decompress. I just try to make sure I don't allow myself to continue to do this for more than a day or two, and I never miss a deadline because I've completed the most critical tasks first.

Ann recommends the following next steps:

Figure out why you procrastinate. This will help you figure out how to overcome it.
Make a to do list and use it. List everything you need to do each day so you have a plan.
Prioritize the most important tasks each day and don't skip those!
Each night go through the to do list and move any unfinished tasks to the next day, prioritize by urgency or deadline.
Give yourself some downtime each week to focus on only fun or relaxing things
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Jared’s Answer, CareerVillage.org Team

I started to suspect that I had a procrastination problem in 8th grade but I didn't know what to do about it. In High School someone noticed that I wasn't organized enough, and showed me how to use a planner to start better organizing my school work. I made *some* progress by getting better organized. I went to college at some point, but I don't think that I made much progress on procrastination -- I continued to be aware of my procrastination tendency but was just sort of coping with it.

But I have some good news: When I became an adult and started working professionally I made HUGE improvements in managing procrastination. I started to notice the things that people around me did to combat their procrastination tendencies: they broke up their work into small chunks, they blocked their calendars, they announced their intentions to other people ("accountability buddies"), and they openly rewarded themselves for completing hard tasks early. After following their example for the past several years, I can now say that I feel much more in control of myself.

The biggest benefit for me personally has been using accountability buddies: friends, coworkers, or family members who pretty much agree to be present while I do something that I really don't want to do. It keeps me on task. Your mileage may vary, but this approach especially makes sense for me because I'm someone who cares very much about other peoples' perspectives. Knowing that I've made a commitment to them to get something done really helps to motivate me. If you'd like to give it a try, it could be as simple as putting a friend on FaceTime while you do your work, or you could go for something much more formal like using The Pomodoro time management system and scheduling pomodoro blocks with your friends/family. (Some of us on the CareerVillage.org team actually do schedule blocks of pomodoros on the calendar where we get on a zoom and basically just sit there silently getting hard work done!)

It's been a difficult journey, but I can promise you that the payoff and the self-confidence you will get is really worth it!

Jared, CareerVillage.org Team recommends the following next steps:

Practice rewarding yourself after the next time you do a hard thing.
Ask someone to try a pomodoro session with you when you have to do hard things.
Ask someone to be your "accountability buddy" to "hold you accountable" for doing something very specific that you know you have been avoiding.
Use your calendar to "block time" for important things, and set automated alarms to remind you to do those things at the appointed time.
Thank you comment icon Loved reading this, thanks! Jhovanny
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Ellie’s Answer

I realized the first time I got a C as a straight a student. That might not sound bad to most people, but to me it was detrimental, and that's when I got it together. Just remember procrastination is normal, and sometimes stuff happens in our life we can't control and your brain needs a break. Try to stay motivated but make sure you're not hard on yourself when you're not.
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