Procrastination is something many of us are guilty of, some more than others. It usually results in stress, feelings of guilt and crisis. And yes, productivity often suffers as a result and thus can affect your profitability.
On the grounds that fully understanding something often opens the door to being able to control it, here are some definitions of procrastination:
the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time, sometimes to the “last minute” before the deadline.
Intentionally putting off doing something that should be done.
the action of delaying or postponing something.
the act or habit of putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention.
to keep delaying something that must be done, often because it is unpleasant or boring.
We all have things we like to do less than others. That’s a fact. So it is merely something that you need to face up to and decide to control. And if you do, you will be happier, more carefree and more successful.
You can probably find a dozen or so psychological “reasons” why you procrastinate but those are just explanations or labels. The real question is: how can you change the “habit” of doing it?
One technique I learned years ago and often use is to write down my battleplan of things to accomplish that day or week, and then take the item on the list that I least want to do and get it done. And so on down the list. It actually makes me feel better and better as the day or week goes along and I end it on a high note of doing more pleasurable or easier things.
Another is to ruthlessly schedule every major action that needs to be done and by what exact time, and then stick to it like glue, even if I have to stay late to get it done.
Yet another idea that works for me is to have “alerts” put in my scheduler a week before something is due (like an article for a magazine) so I get myself thinking about what I’m going to write about ahead of time.
Here’s a little trick that helps as well: break the project or task into little steps and write them down in sequence and reward yourself each time you tick a box when one is done. The tasks look simpler when they are smaller.
Anyway, I’ll get back to you later on more ways to stop procrastinating … 🙂
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