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Change the Routine of Delaying Urgent Work
What is the Reason Behind this Delay? Where you Went Wrong? Why did you not Focus?
Answers to these questions are quite simple; you spent your precious time checking social media and unimportant posts, you took extra breaks, had a chit chat with colleagues, and thought about some of your relatives or friend. If all this or one of these happened, then you are the only one!
Procrastination works like a trap, and we often fall into it. The speaker and researcher, Piers Steel, said that 95% of individuals procrastinate at some level. It may be a matter of relief that you are not alone in the boat of procrastination.
Procrastination holds you back, and with time it may become a chronic habit. Ideally, you would like to start and complete your work on time without any delay.
Are Procrastination and Laziness Same?
People often confuse procrastination with laziness, but in reality, these are different. Procrastination is a deviation; you opt to do something else instead of the critical or urgent task that you are required to do. On the other hand, laziness refers to inactivity or being idle.
Procrastination means an intentional delay of important tasks despite knowing the implications. Sometimes, important work sounds unpleasant, and people think they would start their job after doing some casual stuff such as checking posts on social media, talking to a friend/colleague or taking coffee/tea.
When individuals involve themselves in these things during work-time, they become demotivated and start showing disinterest in work. Also, persistent procrastination leads to depression, and it may even result in job loss.
How to Get Rid of Procrastination?
Like other habits, procrastination is controllable. The following steps are helpful to overcome this behaviour.
Step 1: Identify Your Habit of Procrastination
You may be delaying some tasks for rescheduling your workload. If you are putting off your work briefly for setting the things in order, then it is not procrastination because you have a genuine reason for a slight delay. However, if you have started delaying your work for a more extended period and you are thinking to avoid the necessary tasks, then these are the signs of procrastination.
Other procrastinating acts are:
- Doing low-priority tasks
- Leaving your essential work unfinished for a long time
- Going through emails repeatedly and not deciding as to what to do with them.
- Taking unnecessary breaks in the middle of an important work
- Spending your time in doing least important tasks that other people may ask you to do rather than taking up the urgent tasks on your to-do list
- Feeling that you are not in the right mood to get on with the job
It is essential to know how much you procrastinate because the diagnosis of a problem leads to effective remedies.
Step 2: Investigate the Reason Why you are Procrastinating
You need to know the idea as to why you are procrastinating before practically dealing with it. For example, are you delaying any task because you find it less exciting or unpleasant? If this is the case, then start focusing on the elements of the job that you find more exciting or enjoyable.
Poor work management may cause procrastination. Disciplined individuals effectively control that because they believe in prioritizing “To-do-lists” and making regular schedules.
Even if you are disciplined and well-organized, you may still feel overburdened by the task. Probably, you do not feel confident, and fear of failure is at the back of your mind, so you delay your jobs and find comfort in doing work that you know you can effectively complete.
Some individuals have a fear of success; they are of the view that success will engage them in more tasks, and it may be difficult for them to handle the bulk of work.
Interestingly, successful people or perfectionists are also procrastinators. Often they feel reluctant to do a task as they think they do not have the skills to carry out the work. They believe that not completing the task perfectly may tarnish their image, or they may lose confidence.
One of the essential causes of procrastination is poor decision-making. If someone is unable to decide what to do, they may delay their actions because of the confusion.
Step 3: Take Anti-Procrastination Measures
Procrastination becomes a habit, and with time it turns out to be a way of behaviour. This indicates that you cannot overcome this habit overnight. The best way to control your bad habits is to avoid practising them. Therefore, adopt the following strategies so that you could control the habit of delaying work.
- Do not be harsh to yourself for procrastinating in the past. Researches indicate that self-forgiveness helps you to feel more comfortable and positive about yourself and in this way you may avoid procrastination in the future.
- Show commitment to your work. Concentrate on doing instead of avoiding. Make a list of the tasks that you should complete and set a time for achieving them. This will facilitate you to do your work efficiently.
- Switch off distractions. Turn off social media and all the apps that may cause a distraction to your work. In this way, you will be in a position to focus on your work.
- Prioritize your tasks by making a To-do-list. Write down the most important task at the top of your list, followed by the tasks according to the order of importance.
Procrastination is the habit of putting off important tasks and shifting focus to unimportant or enjoyable tasks. The concept of procrastination is different from laziness, which is inactivity. Procrastination over a long period may cause depression and low self-esteem.
The initial step to control procrastination is to identify that you are procrastinating. Secondly, you should understand the reasons behind procrastination and the third step is taking appropriate anti-procrastination measures.