Procrastination is an act of delaying essential tasks over non-essential tasks. Procrastination has been quite a buzz word lately which is haunting big organisations, managers, employees, students and almost everyone in a way or the other.
Let us deal with 3 major questions related to procrastinations – What is procrastination, why do people procrastinate and how to not procrastinate?
In a real sense, what is procrastination? Nowadays each one us faces a myriad of difficult tasks with stringent deadlines. We often find difficult to prioritise important tasks and end up doing tasks which are more pleasurable to us. This is called procrastinating important things which could have been done otherwise over non-essential things.
A procrastinator always stands in the firing line, likely to be panned, blamed and sometimes fired. Even from an individual point of view, procrastinating will make you feel guilty, less productive, frustrated and low.
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I would like to make myself clear that delaying trivial task is not necessarily procrastinating. Also, delaying important work momentarily for taking a breath of fresh air does not fall in procrastination category either.
Why do people procrastinate?
We do not want to perform a mundane task no matter how productive or valuable it could be. Rather we get hooked on things which can give us more pleasure. How many of you would agree with me if I would say that nowadays we procrastinate critical tasks over checking social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, etc.? I can see your head nodding in yes.
Let’s drill down further and categorise all possible reasons behind people who procrastinate.
Too many distractions
Now I am sitting at home writing this blog on a lazy Saturday. When I look around, then I could see many things lying within my reach like – iPhone, IPad, Television, Xbox, etc. Since morning I am trying to complete this blog, but I am not able to.
Do you know why?
Because till now I have attended few calls, checked few emails, read a couple of tweets, watched some shows, etc. Were all those activities required? Not really. I procrastinated blog writing and gave priority to additional tasks. In reality, today is the most unproductive day so far for me.
If you are lazy, then it is most probable that you must be disorganised also. Organised people tend to manage their task in the best possible way. They know how to follow a routine life, prioritise tasks, make a to-do list, etc.
On the other hand, disorganised people keep scratching their head when it comes to managing tasks. They have no clue whatsoever how to categorise important and non-important tasks. They also do not believe in following a routine life and majorly do things based on their instincts.
As a result, lazy people tend to procrastinate important tasks. They usually end up blaming others, system and situations.
Sometimes, you fail to analyse the gravity and overall perspective of any particular work. You just want to be a front-runner and grab things even before they get perceived to the right set of people.
Initially, the idea of multitasking may please your superiors or colleague, but in the longer run, you may land in trouble. Too many jobs on the to-do list are overwhelming. You lose your concentration and end up procrastinating most important tasks on your list. This creates a bad reputation with your peers and boss.
This happened all the time when I was in college. I always felt as Hercules and procrastinated studying most of the important subjects for the very last moment. I was overconfident and thus always focused on unimportant things keeping important ones at bay.
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As a result, I always had sleepless nights and stressful days before semester exams.
Do not know where to begin
Sometimes we procrastinate things because we do not know where to start? We keep delaying things till we do not have everything needed for a good start.
Apart from above reasons, there are other causes of procrastination such as lack of motivation, unaware of consequences, etc.
How do you overcome procrastinating?
Till now we must have understood that procrastinating is a habit developed over a period. It does not go away that easy. You may have to adopt not one but many strategies to overcome procrastination. Some of them are listed below:
Follow a routine life
Following a routine life squeeze out maximum time for you to focus not only on important things but unimportant things as well. Routine life also helps you in planning for any possible contingency.
Make a to-do list
Make a to-do list for each and aspect of your job. Categorise and assign deadlines based on job priority.
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One thing at a time
Do not multitask. Take on one thing at a time. This will keep you stress-free and composed.
Learn the art of delegation
Know your strengths and limits. Learn the art of delegation. You may have great peers around you who could perform on any particular thing better than you.
Discuss your goals
I often follow this method where I disclose my targets and goals with someone with whom I have the best reputation. In a way, this will keep you motivated to perform even better since you also have to maintain your stature.
Review your and team progress time to time. Identify gaps and try to adjust to doing list accordingly to match the target date.
Not motivated? Just do it
We may not be interested in all kinds of work what we get. Lack of motivation is another reason for people to procrastinate. No matter how boring a task may look but get on the job as soon as possible.Sometimes you got to run before you can even walk.Click To Tweet
Motivation will come along later.
Almost 20% people on an average are chronic procrastinators. Looming deadlines will make you bury your head in the sand. I am sure nobody wants to land in this kind of situation. You got, to be honest, accepting how and where you are procrastinating? We all know old habits die hard and same goes with procrastination. Have patience and work for success.