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Better Today: Using Emotional Intelligence to Conquer Procrastination

On Friday afternoon, you take some time to reflect on how your week has gone. At the beginning of the week, on Monday, you felt energized and believed that you would achieve your goals. You thought that you would finally be able to finish everything that had been pending for weeks. However, as the week progressed, you realized that unfinished commitments were piling up. This created a mountain of tasks that seemed almost impossible to reach the summit of. You repeatedly postponed tasks and left their completion until the last minute, which has once again taken a toll on you. You now feel incompetent and stressed.

Procrastination is a common occurrence that affects people regardless of the type of tasks or the effort required to complete them. I am sure many readers can relate to this experience. To explain procrastination and find strategies to prevent it, several factors that cause it must be considered. These include a lack of motivation, difficulty managing time, fear of failure, or a lack of ability to regulate emotions. In this article, we will focus on the last one and review how emotional intelligence competencies can help us prevent this obstacle.

To effectively prevent procrastination, it's important to pay attention to our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that contribute to it. We need to recognize the patterns that lead to this habit and understand the possible causes behind it. This is where self-awareness comes into play. By asking ourselves what thoughts are associated with our procrastination behavior, what emotions we feel in those moments, and what other related behaviors emerge, we can intervene before falling into the trap of procrastination.

Once we identify the factors that make us procrastinate, the next step is to use self-regulation, which means managing our emotions and taking actions that promote our well-being. Our primary objective is to remain focused on the tasks at hand. To achieve this, we can adopt strategies like breaking down long tasks into smaller, more achievable ones, taking short breaks between timed work sessions, and prioritizing tasks. It is also necessary to address any possible negative emotions associated with procrastination, such as fear of failure or anxiety, through relaxation techniques.

Of course, intrinsic motivation plays a fundamental role in combating procrastination effectively. When we do something that doesn't align with our personal values and goals, we are more likely to put off tasks. Therefore, it's essential to align the tasks we need to complete with what motivates us to move forward. It's also helpful to identify and focus on the most rewarding aspects of a specific task and visualize the accomplishments associated with its completion. Additionally, allowing oneself a degree of control and autonomy when working is crucial. We should be able to choose how to approach a problem that needs to be solved.

And how can empathy help to reduce procrastination? On one hand, we can apply empathy towards ourselves by practicing self-compassion. Instead of punishing ourselves and feeling guilty for procrastinating, we should treat ourselves with kindness and understanding, recognizing the challenges we face. This will help to reduce potential anxiety related to tasks and help us perceive them in a more positive light. On the other hand, when we understand and acknowledge the impact our responsibilities have on others and comprehend how they feel when we don't meet our commitments, it can motivate us to complete our work more efficiently.

Finally, our social skills also have a crucial role in managing procrastination. When working in a group, fostering a sense of shared responsibility helps motivate us to meet deadlines. The feedback and support we receive from our colleagues enhance this motivation. In addition, assertive communication is powerful and allows us to express our priorities and obligations clearly to friends and family, which facilitates their understanding.

As we see, emotional intelligence can help us overcome procrastination and achieve our goals effectively. Each of these emotional competencies has specific strategies that can be incorporated into our daily routine to improve both our personal and professional lives. By doing so, we can enhance our effectiveness at work and improve our overall well-being.

If you're interested in learning more about procrastination and its connection with emotional intelligence, you can check out the following resources:

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