If only I could master that demon of procrastination that goes about like a roaring lion and devours all my good intentions”~ Aaron Spelling
I am a procrastinator. Are you? It turns out, about one in five people procrastinate. Joseph Ferrari, a professor of Psychology at DePaul University and a leader in this field, found in his research that we are all guilty of procrastination, but 20 percent have a chronic issue.
Today I am wallowing in the depths of procrastination, and it feels similar to having my car stuck in the mud, and I can’t quite get it out. I’m almost there; maybe this last effort will do it.
Each day is different, and I know tomorrow will be better, I’ll get it done tomorrow. That is what we tell ourselves anyway, but it does not always work that way. Procrastinating can be a habit if we let it.
I have to be focused on a task to be successful. It is easy to do the things that do not challenge us, but when we are intimidated by a project, or even what should be a simple task, we put it off. We find excuses to wait until later in the day, or even until tomorrow, or next week.
The greatest amount of wasted time is the time not getting started.”Dawson Trotman
When there is something you are avoiding – Do it first. We usually are the most productive first thing in the morning. We are rested, have more energy, and are more focused on getting work done. It makes sense to focus and do the hardest thing first.
Sometimes we cannot complete the whole task in one morning, so we want to put it off until tomorrow. Do a reset. Go to lunch, and then go back to work and begin your day again. Divide your day into two equal parts, and treat each half equally. Change your viewpoint about afternoons. We tend to treat the afternoon as the end of the day, and we slack off. We are wasting time. Don’t do that. You should be just as productive in the afternoons as you are in the mornings.
Stop doing the things that distract you; set an allotted time for them, do them, and then stop until another assigned time. Look at your email, and then forget about it until a specified time in the day. It is not necessary to continually check your email. The same goes for your cell phone; shut it off. check it on your own time, such as lunch and after work. Avoid the internet. It is easy to get sucked into the latest news, Facebook, Twitter, etc. If you have to do research fine; do that and then shut it off. It is a time-waster.
Break the project down into separate tasks. Sometimes, we are overwhelmed, and we do not know where to start. It is easy to procrastinate when we may be frightened to move forward. By dividing the project into smaller sections, it will not look so intimidating. Start with the first step and complete that, then move on to the next. When you do this, you are making the task at hand much easier to do, and before you know it, the project will be complete.
When you are a perfectionist and want any project you are involved in, or responsible for, to reflect your values; they must be perfect. You believe your self worth will be at risk if the project does not meet your standards. Because of this, you may procrastinate and put it off as long as you can. Having high standards is good, but you also are responsible for seeing the projects finished. Just do it and move on to the next.
“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”– Abraham Lincoln
In the long run, procrastination is not a good thing. It will always be there if we do not address it, and it can overrun our lives, both professionally and personally.
If you procrastinate at work, it will affect your performance. Either you don’t complete projects on time, or if you rush to complete them to meet a deadline, your work will not be up to par. Both will affect you negatively at work.
Your personal life can also be affected. Procrastinating over life decisions can be detrimental to your relationships, your education, your financial success, and even your health.
You may spend days, months, and eventually, years staying in place and then realize that you are letting time slip through your fingers, and you have missed opportunities.
As with most everything in life, we can make an effort and take the necessary steps to stop procrastinating. It is an effort and one we have to continue to work on. Make a new habit and stop procrastination.
“My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.”– Charles Dickens
As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a successful and happy day.