Procrastination is a delaying tactic where one tends to put off tasks that need to be done now, for later. Typically all of us at some time or the other procrastinate to an extent, but there others who are affected by the diseases of procrastination on a more serious level. So much so that it affects them to achieve their personal goals and disrupts their daily lives as well as careers.
It is vital thus, to analyze this destructive habit and devise different ways of avoiding procrastination. If we understand the reason why this problem of procrastination has affected us, then we can learn effective time management and the forthcoming results springing from it.
Let’s first understand why we procrastinate. Typically we put off things that need attention instantly for something more enjoyable or that we are more comfortable doing. It would be incorrect to say that procrastinators do not work long hours or as many as others do; in fact they put in as much work, only the focus is on the wrong tasks. Perhaps, the reason for this is that they lack essential time management skills and don’t understand the difference between ‘urgent’ and ‘important’. They may get on with the urgent tasks right away without realizing that they can be tackled after finishing the important tasks first.
They may feel that they’re doing the right thing by reacting fast and taking care of the urgent tasks; or they may not even think about their approach and simply working on their tasks mechanically. Either way, by doing this, they have little or no time left for the important tasks, despite the unpleasant results this may eventually bring.
One more reason to procrastinate is when a person feels overpowered by the tasks at hand. If an individual doubts his skill at completing the job, or feels he lacks the resources and does know where to begin, he will procrastinate. In such as case, then he simply does what he is comfortable doing and puts off all other tasks that cause him anxiety. Unfortunately for him, the important tasks that need to be taken care of do not simply vanish; they remain as the unpleasant chore that has to be taken care of some time or the other.
For some people procrastination is simply waiting for the right mood, the right time to tackle the problem, indecisiveness, poor organizations skills and fear of failure to complete the task at hand.
So, then how does one overcome procrastination?
Recognizing the problem of procrastination – If you truthfully examine your psyche, you will know when you’re procrastinating. Ensure that you know your priorities by maintaining a personal goal setting schedule and tackle them in order of importance. Maintain a To Do List by preparing daily schedules in order of priorities and use it every day.
Analyze the reasons for procrastination – The reasons behind procrastination maybe you as well as the task at hand. Understanding the ‘why’ in every situation, will allow you to select the best approach for triumphing your reluctance to get moving.
Getting past the hurdle – If you are procrastinating because you just don’t want to do it, and you have no one to delegate the work to, you need to find ways of motivating yourself to get moving. You could make your own rewards program where you promise yourself a treat if a certain task is completed by a certain time. Ask someone else to check on you, external pressure can be extremely effective as the need to prove to someone else that you are capable is much higher.
Most importantly think of the unpleasant consequences of not doing the task – Work out the time cost ratio – are you getting value for money and are you delivering as you promised? If you are delaying because you are overwhelmed by the tasks then break the project into more manageable tasks by creating an action plan. Taking on small tasks will give you a sense of accomplishment and motivate you further to complete the whole.
It is important to identify and analyze the problem of procrastination. Then resolve it by developing good time management skills, project management, organizational and personal effectiveness habits. It will help you to prioritize and create opportunities to complete all that you need to do.
William Brister – http://www.determination.tv – overcoming procrastination.
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