Procrastination

Defeat Procrastination

Usually, procrastination begins as a momentary decision for many. But slowly it can reach a chronic level which leads into a lifestyle. Chronic procrastinators frequently underestimate the task. They have piled up desks. Regularly come late to meetings and are missing the deadlines.

Those who procrastinate regularly, because they feel they cannot handle it or they are not interested in the work. This creates anxiety, increases stress, brings resentment and the ultimate financial loss also. When institutionalised it threatens the productivity of the company.  Recognising and taking appropriate steps helps us to avoid many failures.

THE CAST: who are they?

They have difficulty in coping up with changes and transitions. When anyone is not comfortable with transitions they choose to go slow or procrastinate. Especially when they begin a new project they feel overwhelmed. Not sure where to begin, they avoid it. 

They are chronically late. Have you seen people running to meetings all the time. It is a sure sign that they are suffering with procrastination

They have a staggering to-do list. They invest a good amount of time in making their to-do lists, but it  only grows longer and longer, without being completed.

THE COST: what they pay

They focus on nonessential work instead of what needs to get done. We’re fooling ourselves when we engage in trivial work when we ought to be tackling the high-priority dead-lines. You may not feel like you’re procrastinating, but still you are not doing the right thing.

It may start very small but eventually the cost anyone pays for this disease is extremely high. Time is wasted, appointments cancelled, Deadlines are missed and opportunities are failed. if not curtailed, it ruins the entire outlook of a person and becomes the breakdown of the institution. Procrastinators often become anxious as deadlines get closer, which ultimately leads to chronic disorders and sickness.

The burden of a procrastinating employee falls on others as extra work and bringing resentment in the organisation.When procrastination becomes widespread and institutionalized within a work culture, companies pay a heavy  cost in its productivity. 

Procrastination, the loss of concentration, affects everyone around at some point, especially when the project needed to be finished on time. Postponing is delaying the business is equal to delaying the profit. Procrastination is a visible cost to businesses, and although it is often difficult to measure, it does have a great negative impact. Both the company and the individuals within it suffer when members procrastinate.

THE CAUSE: why to choose this? 

Procrastinators aren’t necessarily aware they are procrastinating; sometimes it’s done unconsciously. Understanding why we procrastinate, and what can be done to address it, is important for every member at all levels in any organisation.

Those who are not confident in their abilities are most likely to procrastinate, followed by those with low levels of self-regulation. This is logical, as we put off things that we are not good at and are more likely to procrastinate if we can’t manage distractions.

Those with low self-esteem are also likely to procrastinate. One possible reason for this is because procrastinating can be a self-protective strategy, providing a handy excuse to hide behind. some don’t want anyone to control them and they tend to avoid them.

Procrastination is associated with low self-esteem, irrational beliefs, a fear of failure and depression. Furthermore, those who procrastinate have been found to be more stressed and likely to fall sick before an examination or a deadline, often resulting in lower outputs. 

THE CURE: how to improve?

Procrastination can be cured only when you identify it and take steps to rectify. Some simple steps below will help you and even your organisation.

1. Just Begin 

Starting a task is often the hardest part. If they can persuade someone just to start it for a few minutes, the brain’s desire to see it through to completion should then take over. Procrastinators spend longer time distracting themselves by doing what is not required and  delay doing the right things. 

2. Ugliest the First

The harder the tasks are, the more uglier it looks. More energy and concentration we need to complete them. So begin the day with the most important and the most difficult task. Also trying to start them when you are tired is more difficult, often we put them off for another day. Even we are the most alert till about 10am before we suffer a mid-afternoon dip. So it is intelligent to finish all the important tasks by then.

3. Design Your Space

If they can see temptations, they are more likely to be distracted by them, and therefore procrastinate.  For example, a recent study found that having their phone in the vicinity can reduce the performance of an average individual by 20%. If the mere presence of a cell phone can distract then what about the other things to bring us into diminished production. Consider your working environment; is it conducive to the task at hand or one where procrastination can flourish? Now design it.

“Success is not obtained overnight. It comes in instalments; you get a little bit today, a little bit tomorrow until the whole package is given out. The day you procrastinate, you lose that day’s success.” 

 Israelmore Ayivor

4. Small is Always Good

When an event is further away then the impact it has on people is always less. So break down the task and give a short deadline for each part. If it seems enormous and overwhelming, simplify the project so it’s easier to manage and less threatening. Once  the project is reduced to a series of specific actions, it’s easily started.

5. Self-belief Increases Your Confidence 

This becomes a core of our being. Those who believe that they won’t be successful at the task at hand are more likely to procrastinate. The right example of someone who has been successful can make the task at hand seem achievable and provide a possible template to follow.

6. Be Single

Ideally something that seems the easiest or most enjoyable task . Complete that task and then the others, one at a time, using the action plan as a road map.

The best possible way to prepare for tomorrow is to concentrate with all your intelligence, all your enthusiasm, on doing today’s work superbly today. That is the only possible way you can prepare for the future.

Dale Carnegie

Remember the only difference between success and failure is the ability to take action. Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can’t buy more hours. Scientists can’t invent new minutes. And you can’t save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow.” 

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Thomas Jayaraj

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