STRESS and TENSION the two most unforgiving words, which are a part of everyone’s lives…the reason for our frustration, unhappiness, anxiety, insomnia and of course bad health. The first step in reducing stress and tension in life is to know what they mean. I define stress as: “Something that should have been done yesterday but has not been done till tomorrow”

And that’s all. Yes, believe it or not, that’s all there is to it. These big words called stress, tension, high blood pressure, etc are essentially all tasks of yesterday which haven’t been done till today!

In simple words, when a job, be it at work or something in your personal life, becomes pending for whatever reasons, a gap is created. The gap between yesterday (when it was supposed to have happened) and tomorrow (the time till which the job hasn’t been done), creates a psychological pressure in the individual’s mind, the common term of which is stress or tension.

If you have still not got the drift, let me spell it out bluntly – TIME MANAGEMENT.

– Your only key towards locking that huge door on the face of stress.

Time management vis-à-vis procrastination

So it is safe to say at this point that stress is largely an internally created affect, unlike what we think it to be. Our workplaces do not give us stress. It only gives us work, the stress, we create ourselves. At home, we get happiness, sorrows and responsibilities, not tension. That, we create ourselves by keeping tasks away for that distant tomorrow.  Thus, proper planning and effective management and keeping procrastination at bay is the best medicine for your high blood pressure, trust me!

Effective tips for procrastinators

Procrastination refers to the bad habit of putting away important things for later and instead focusing on things that are enjoyable or more comfortable at that point of time. According to mental health professionals, it can be define as the gap between one’s intended behaviour and the his/her actual behaviour.

Step 1: Recognize that you are a procrastinator

Unless you recognize that, nobody can help you. So ask yourself these…Do you fill your day with low priority tasks? Keep reading mails without starting to work? Keep things on your ‘To do’ list pending for days even if you know its important? Or, start an important task and then immediately get up to make yourself coffee or start reading your messages? If most of your answers are yes, you know where the issue is!

Step 2: Identify why you are a procrastinator & take anti-procrastination measures

The next crucial step is to identify the reasons behind your procrastination. These can broadly be three:

  1. If the job is unpleasant
  2. If you are disorganized
  3. If you are overwhelmed by the task at hand

Step 3: Take those bold anti-procrastination steps

Remember, procrastination is just a bad habit which one needs to work on and inculcate the good habit in oneself again. Some tips to get you on the track are:

If the job is unpleasant, you need to motivate yourself in doing it. Tips can be:

  • Break up the job into smaller tasks and plan your own reward on completion
  • Ask friends to poke you about it. Peer pressure helps!
  • Think about the bad stuff – the consequences of not doing the job

If you are disorganized, you need to take measures to organize yourself

  • Maintain a To Do List and update it every morning and keep ticking it off as and when you get stuff done.
  • Break jobs into smaller manageable task units and give yourself time bound goals
  • Create a routine or a schedule and stick to it
  • Distinguish between important work and urgent work and prioritize intelligently.

If the job is overwhelming:

  • You might need training to feel you are competent enough to do it
  • Just get going and start working on it, however small a part it is. Usually the fear of not being able to perform leads to avoiding the job. Once you start off, you become confident
  • You might be a perfectionist and avoid tasks coz you want to be the best at it and subconsciously don’t consider yourself in that level. Understand that completing the job on time is more important that completing in perfectly after deadline. Hence, forget about doing it well. Just do it. The quality would come along!

So now that you know what your stress and tension is all about, no point procrastinating about it. Take out your To Do List and get going! All the Best!