Procrastination isn’t a personal flaw. As anyone who has ever been angry at themselves for procrastinating will know, it’s a phenomenon that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Even when you know a task is important or have a strict deadline looming over you, procrastination has the ability to sneak up and rob you of your motivation and focus.
The reason for procrastination isn't because we are lazy. We procrastinate because we’re trying to avoid the way that working makes us feel. If your parents, teachers, or work colleagues call you lazy, they’re wrong. We do it because working makes us feel bad, bone-deep. The basic reason for procrastination is we’re running away from a feeling by running away from work. Tasks can seem overwhelming, and we don't like to feel overwhelmed. So we avoid it completely until we have no choice left but to do the overwhelming task.
For many people, working from home has made it even harder to block out the devil on our ear telling us we need to stop working to check Instagram again. Not only are there more opportunities to procrastinate when working in a home environment, but without the physical ‘work’ atmosphere of the office to keep you on track, it’s much easier to slip into procrastination mode when presented with a particularly stressful or overwhelming task.
Procrastination is rarely due to laziness, incompetence or lack of pride in our work. Procrastination is a conflict between our present and future selves. Even though we know that future you will pay the price, the immediate boost we get as a result of delaying a task seems worth it in the moment.
We exercise our cognitive function when assembling a jigsaw puzzle increasing our focus capability and increasing concentration.
We recommend this Frank Stella Firuzabad art jigsaw puzzle.
Try not to beat yourself up for the urge to run away from things that make you feel bad, but follow these five rituals that will help keep you from running in the future:
1. Remove distractions and temptation.
Turn off your phone, close your browser and close any open doors.
2. Arrange your workload by time, not task.
Set an alarm for 15 minutes and work only on the task for this amount of time. Why? Our concentration usually only lasts for 20 minutes so the time slot should be less than this. Then take a break, no matter where you are in the job, for five minutes. You’ll be surprised how long 15 minutes can seem and also how much you can get done in this time.
3. Do the job you hate most last.
If you’re struggling to get started on the task in front of you, schedule in a project that you find more boring for after you’ve finished the task at hand. Find a task that you hate or are even more fearful of and schedule this in. It’s amazing how easy it is to get on with something that you’ve been putting off for ages when there’s something even more tedious on the horizon – it’s all relative.
When you are happier and less stressed, it is easier to focus. When your concentration improves, your productivity skyrockets. The truth about jigsaw puzzles, in addition to being a fun activity, they have numerous mental health benefits. We LOVE the unique shapes of these wooden Agate puzzles!
4. Be rewarded.
Treat yo self. Although it’s important to reward yourself for making progress, if you want a powerful motivator for a particularly tricky task, get someone else to withhold the reward until the task is done. The reward is best placed with someone who will keep you to it. Our minds are extremely clever and will ignore self accountability if the consequence is not too serious.
5. Start puzzling.
If you're having trouble staying focused on your studies or work, consider taking a short break to do a puzzle and reset your brain. Many offices are beginning to include puzzles and similar games in their communal areas. These games help employees disconnect from work for a few minutes and come back refreshed and ready to start again. Jigsaw puzzles exercise the left and right sides of your brain at once. Your left brain is logical and works in a linear fashion, while your right brain is creative and intuitive. When you're doing a jigsaw puzzle, both sides are engaged. Think of it as a mental workout that improves your problem-solving skills and attention span.
Rest In Pieces jigsaw puzzles double as fun pastimes and mental exercises to prevent you from procrastination. Seems counter-intuitive, but they're not!