Are you one of the twenty percent of people who identify as a chronic procrastinator ? I have felt the negative effects of procrastination throughout my schooling, and I have made decent strides at improving my attitude toward time management in college and grad school. Now that I am working full time, trying to maintain a social life, attempting to work out regularly, and trying to become a CPA, I have plenty of excuses to avoid studying.
With deadlines approaching, it’s imperative to put those days of procrastination behind me. I researched some facts to learn more about the consequences of procrastination and the benefits of getting out of this insidious habit.
What are some reasons people procrastinate & why?
• “I don’t feel like doing it.” -- Lack of motivation
• “I don’t know how.” -- Feeling like you lack the skill set to complete a task
• “What if I can’t cut it?” -- Fear of failure
• “How can I top this?” -- Fear of success
• “I’m bored.” -- Lack of interest
• “You can’t make me!” -- Rebellion and resistance
It's easy to lie to yourself with lines like, “I’ll get to this tomorrow” or “I work best under pressure.” It can be tempting to actively look for distractions, like watch Netflix, check email, or take care of other less important tasks that have been put off.
What I think it's more difficult is being able to identify the "why" behind your procrastination and to remedy it. A lot of people think they procrastinate simply because there are other things they'd rather be doing. While this is true to some extent, I think there's always more to it than that and it's important to take a step back and really dig into identifying why you're procrastinating. Once you figure that out, whether it's fear of failure, lack of motivation, or whatever the case may be, you can reevaluate why you feel that way and find remedies to fix it. Then the next time you find yourself procrastinating, you can come up with ways to nip it in the bud and regain control.
What are the costs of procrastinating?
There are very real costs to procrastination. Negative health consequences are just one drawback to putting off the task at hand . Some health-related consequences of procrastinating include compromised immune systems, gastrointestinal problems, and insomnia.
An obvious cost to the CPA Exam would be pushing back multiple sections by spending too much time on one section. You will want to use your 18 month window of time wisely by keeping your motivation as high as possible.
Here are some tips to avoid procrastinating:
- Focus on the success you will achieve when you pass the CPA exam and how happy you will feel once it is over.
- Follow the Roger CPA study schedules closely to stay on track. Breaking your studying down to bite-sized tasks will make the seemingly enormous task manageable. There is such a thing as having too much study time as well.
- Come up with a consequence that will deter you from avoiding studying .
- Reward yourself for sticking to your study plan.
- Eliminate digital distractions by shutting down Facebook, Netflix, Hulu, Snapchat or whatever is in your way.
- Oftentimes, the hardest part is just getting started. Crack open your laptop and fire up a lecture and you’ll find it isn’t as hard as it seems.
- Make you intentions public by telling your family and friends about your new study schedule to get their support.
- Don’t avoid achievements in life by letting procrastination get in the way! Clear all the obstacles in front of you to make way for CPA success.
Shannon Neumeyer, Guest Blogger for Roger CPA Review