Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow – or, better still, never do at all?!
If you thought that was a management tip, then you definitely need to continue reading this article!
What is Procrastination?
According to Wikipedia, procrastination refers to the ‘act of replacing high-priority actions with tasks of low-priority, and thus putting off important tasks to a later date.’
Why We Procrastinate
Some people procrastinate in an effort to avoid doing that task altogether, in the hopes that it will magically “go away”.
Some of the underlying reasons we procrastinate could be:
- Lack of purpose – no clear goals or purpose
- Absence of priorities – no system or structures in place for ordering tasks
- Lack of motivation – no perceived reward or pay-off for effort
- Lack of confidence - lack of knowledge about how to do the task or self doubt
- Lack of time - poor time management skills
- Poor health - low energy, laziness
- Emotional issues – fear of the task or its consequences; hopelessness
- Perfectionism – fear of judgement; you won’t do the thing until you know you can do it perfectly
- Adrenalin addiction – leaving things until the last minute for the charge it brings!
- Habit – feeling it’s a part of your character, an endearing flaw
While we all procrastinate, if we do so to a degree that seriously impacts our performance on the job and/or in our wider life, then it may sometimes indicate a deeper problem, with candidates including depression or attention deficit disorder (ADD).
Some tips for getting on with it!
Set a Goal
Select one task that you have a history of putting off – make sure it’s a significant task, but it doesn’t have to be the biggest, baddest one in the box; just a medium size one will be a good starting point.
With the task in mind, write out a goal. Make sure that your goal statement has the following elements. Ie, it is:
- Dated (“tomorrow” won’t work; tomorrow’s date will)
- Precise (numbers would be good)
- A positive statement of what you want as an end result
- In first person (ie, it contains the word “I” followed by a verb)
- Achievable (set yourself up for a success on which you will build)
For more business tips, business coaching assistance, speak to TA Fastrack today on 07 3040 3588.
Write out your goal at least 3 times a day, then recite it (softly, in private is OK) three times a day for more than 27 days. (Why “more than 27” – we could tell you, but we’d have to kill you, and that would defeat the purpose of this exercise, so just trust me!)