– understand what procrastination is and how it can impact your life/career
– learn about productivity and prioritisation
– be able to manage your time well and be more efficient
If you’ve found yourself putting off important tasks over and over again, you’re not alone. In fact, many people procrastinate to some degree – but some are so chronically affected by this habit that it stops them from fulfilling their potential and disrupts their careers.
So, what is Procrastination?
“Procrastination is the reluctance to act when it is in our best interest to”.
You procrastinate when you put off things that you should be focusing on right now, usually in favour of doing something that is more enjoyable or that you’re more comfortable doing.
Prevalence of Procrastination
Statistics show that procrastination affects over 20% of the population and is on the rise. According to some researchers, it has more than quadrupled in the last 30 years!
An online survey by The Procrastination Research Group at Carleton University in Canada posed the question:
“To what extent is procrastination having a negative impact on your happiness?”
Of the 2,700 responses, 46% said “quite a bit” or “very much”, and 18% claimed “extreme negative effect.”
The key to controlling this destructive habit is to recognise when you start procrastinating, understand why it happens (even to the best of us), and take active steps to manage your time and outcomes better.
According to psychologist Professor Clarry Lay, a prominent writer on the subject, procrastination occurs when there’s “a temporal gap between intended behavior and enacted behavior”.
That is, when there’s a significant time period between when people intend to do a job, and when they actually do it.
Now that you have a basic idea about the concept, let’s try answering a few questions to see whether or not you’re a procrastinator – most people don’t even realise when they engage in this bad habit!
– Thrill Seeker
http://bit.ly/2fmI2FQ(Optional) To know more about the different types, read this article:
http://lifehacker.com/use-this-flowchart-to-identify-what-type-of-procrastina-1615614759If you’d like to refer to this later (procrastinator!), you can find the link in the Additional Material section of this lesson.
“Perfect is the enemy of good”One of the most common causes of procrastination is perfectionism. Perfectionism can manifest itself in many ways, but the most common are:
– Having unrealistically high work standards
– Being thrown off balance when things don’t go exactly as planned
#2 Lacking Confidence
People who lack confidence tend to be perfectionists because they’re too ashamed of presenting an unperfect work.
#3 Being Easily Distracted
The worst offenders to good productivity are definitely fun websites and social media/texting, so it’s important that you take steps to ensure that you aren’t distracted by them. Other distractions include television, family/friends/co-workers and video games.
#4 Feeling Overwhelmed by a Task
Do you feel that when a task is long and complex, the fact that you have to start working on it makes you nervous? Break it up into smaller tasks! You will have a feeling of accomplishment for each sub-task you complete.
This positive feeling makes you feel more disposed to keep working well. Procrastinating a heavy task until the day before its deadline will stress you out and put you in an uncomfortable situation. Planning by splitting the heavy task into smaller ones that you can complete every day is much more motivating!
If you feel overwhelmed, split the work and get someone set you deadlines for each sub-task
A research study conducted jointly by Dan Ariely, a professor at MIT and Klaus Wertenbroch from INSEAD showed that having intermediate deadlines significantly reduces delays for a project.
The experiment consisted of making three groups of students proofread a long text. The first group received the sole instruction to finish the work in three weeks. The second group was instructed to deliver a third of the work each week. Participants in the third group were instructed to set themselves their own intermediate deadlines. The participants were all paid the same amount depending on the number of errors they detected correctly and were penalized if they delayed completion.
See the results of the study below.
Group 2 obtained the best results by far.
Conclusion: Having somebody else set intermediate deadlines to a project is usually the most productive way of working !
#5 Lack of Inspiration
Exercise! The philosopher and author Henry Thoreau claimed that his thoughts began to flow “the moment my legs began to move.” Now scientists have discovered that taking part in regular exercise such as going for a walk or riding a bike really does improve creative thought.
Cognitive psychologist Professor Lorenza Colzato of Leiden University in The Netherlands, found that those who exercised four times a week were able to think more creatively than those with a more sedentary lifestyle. When tested, the volunteers who exercised regularly performed better on a series of cognitive tests.
Prof Colzato: “Anecdotal literature suggests that creative people sometimes use bodily movement to help overcome mental blocks and lack of inspiration.”
– Recognise that you’re procrastinating
– Figure out why you’re doing so
– Adopt anti-procrastination strategiesAccording to Entrepreneur Magazine, here are some of the most effective ways to beat Procrastination:
Practicing prioritization at work in regard to your workload can improve your workplace productivity. And it’s common sense that most employers love to hear and know that you’re working on ways to improve your productivity.
Increased productivity is a goal of all companies and organizations, whether it refers to increasing productivity through improvements relating to processes or people.
The relation of procrastination to prioritization is that it’s something you might do if you’re overwhelmed with work tasks/projects and don’t know where to start. So you don’t start anything, or you don’t start with what’s important. Or you over-analyze where you should start and never get moving.Procrastination can get in the way of your prioritization skills, and thus in the way of increasing your productivity. This happens for the same reason that it gets in the way of other task completion – because prioritizing is a task too, one you put off. Thus, each of these three things are related and affected by another.We’re done with procrastination.
Don’t procrastinate in starting the next lesson!