Procrastination – To do or not to do? That is the question…

Fact – “If you do nothing, nothing will happen”

We’ve all been there, I’m too busy, it slipped my mind, something came up, whatever the reason you’ll often find the route of the problem is procrastination.

Procrastination is the act of putting off, delaying or deferring an action to a later time and in business this can become extremely costly and stressful.

But where to start?

The first step to beating a problem is to understand the problem and the typically cause.

“You need to understand the problem in order to recognise and beat it!”

There are four characteristics that lead to procrastination:

Value – Do you value your current project high enough?

We all put off things we don’t like to do and if we don’t put a high enough value on the task at hand you can easily move onto something that seems more rewarding.

Expectancy – Do you think you’ll under achieve?

If you expect the task to be difficult or you expect to perform badly then it won’t be long until you ask yourself ‘what’s the point?’ – a self destructive attitude will cause work paralysis; believe in yourself.

Delays – The more delays the more disruptions…

The more delays encountered during a project the father away completion feels… Avoid delays and do not become disheartened when they’re encountered.

Impulsive – are you easily distracted?

An impulsive person is easily distracted by what is perceived to be more interesting or urgent. Make efforts to remove distractions  from around you to create more focus.

Recognise when you’re procrastinating

The second step to beating procrastination is becoming aware of when you are procrastinating; if we’re honest with ourselves we all procrastinate but in different ways; do you often find yourself:

  • Reading your emails more than once without actually starting work on them.
  • You make a start on a heavy project and almost immediately get up to make a coffee.
  • Working through your easy to do low priority jobs on your task list first.
  • Flick between high priority jobs and daily routine tasks right in the middle of an important job.
  • Easily drawn into background conversation.
  • Find yourself often simply staring at the screen.
  • Regularly scan your to do list for new easier jobs.
  • Say YES to many new job requests while leaving other important work behind.
  • You find that you’re constantly missing deadlines.
  • Struggle to actually sit down and make a start on a project or transition from one project to the next.
  • Your constantly checking your phone or social networks.
  • Often late for work, appointments or meetings.
  • You find yourself clock watching for breaks, lunch time or even the end of the working day.
  • The list goes on but take notice of what you’re doing when you’re doing it and ask yourself ‘Is this really more important than my current project?’.

Checkout Part 2 – How to Beat Procrastination.

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