Episode 36: Part 3 - Procrastination: Time and tide waits for no one
Music: “Just A Blip” by Andy G. Cohen
From the Free Music Archive
Released under a Creative Commons Attribution International License
- Procrastination is the habit of delaying an important task, usually by focusing on less urgent, more enjoyable, and easier activities instead. It is different from laziness, which is the unwillingness to act. Procrastination can restrict your potential and undermine your career. It can also disrupt teamwork, reduce morale, and even lead to depression and job loss. So, it's crucial to take proactive steps to prevent it.
-But giving in to this impulse can have serious consequences. For example, even minor episodes of procrastination can make us feel guilty or ashamed. It can lead to reduced productivity and cause us to miss out on achieving our goals. If we procrastinate over a long period of time, we can become demotivated and disillusioned with our work, which can lead to depression and even job loss, in extreme cases.
"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today."- Abraham Lincoln
- Step 1: Recognize That You're Procrastinating. You might be putting off a task because you've had to re-prioritize your workload. If you're briefly delaying an important task for a genuinely good reason, then you aren't necessarily procrastinating. However, if you start to put things off indefinitely, or switch focus because you want to avoid doing something, then you probably are.
- Step 2: Work Out WHY You're Procrastinating. You need to understand the reasons why you are procrastinating before you can begin to tackle it. For instance, are you avoiding a particular task because you find it boring or unpleasant? If so, take steps to get it out of the way quickly, so that you can focus on the aspects of your job that you find more enjoyable. Poor organization can lead to procrastination. Organized people successfully overcome it because they use prioritized To-Do Lists and create effective schedules . These tools help you to organize your tasks by priority and deadline.
"Don’t wait. The time will never be just right."- Napoleon Hill
- Step 3: Adopt Anti-Procrastination Strategies. Procrastination is a habit – a deeply ingrained pattern of behavior. This means that you probably can't break it overnight. Habits only stop being habits when you avoid practicing them. Forgive yourself for procrastinating in the past. Studies show that self-forgiveness can help you to feel more positive about yourself and reduce the likelihood of procrastination in the future.
Commit to the task. Focus on doing, not avoiding. Write down the tasks that you need to complete, and specify a time for doing them. This will help you to proactively tackle your work.
- If you're procrastinating because you find a task unpleasant, try to focus on the "long game."
Research shows that impulsive people are more likely to procrastinate because they are focused on short-term gain. Combat this by identifying the long-term benefits of completing the task. For instance, could it affect your annual performance review or end-of-year bonus?
"If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done." - Rita Mae Brown
- At the same time, it can be useful to reframe the task by looking at its meaning and relevance . This will increase its value to you and make your work more worthwhile. It's also important to acknowledge that we can often overestimate the unpleasantness of a task. So give it a try! You may find that it's not as bad as you thought, after all!
"It is only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth – and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up- that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross