Time Management – Why Do We Procrastinate?

Some say the surest way to avoid success in life is to PROCRASTINATE.

Occasionally we all do it. We underestimate how long a project will take to finish.
Then we end up doing things the last minute!

But for some, being a procrastinator is a way of life. It has a negative impact on their health, on work as well as on their social relationships.

Why do we procrastinate?
Procrastinators often tell themselves, “I work best under pressure” or any other rational lie.
There are many reasons to procrastinate. Including fear of failure, being tired, and overworked – just to name a few.

Some psychologists even say procrastination ca be a form of rebellion.

Finding out why you procrastinate is the first step to help you conquer this destructive habit.

Let’s discuss two major reasons why most of us procrastinate. One is when we do not want to do the task. Another is when working on big projects, many times we don’t know where to start or how to do it.

Don’t like doing the job
Sometime the reason is plain and simple: you just don’t want to do the job. It may be something you really don’t like doing – yard work, house work, etc.
When that’s the case, and if possible, have someone else do it. Even if you have to pay for it. If you can’t pay, maybe you can barter.

If you can’t do either one then just buckle up and do it. I’ll give you an example from my personal life. I don’t like taking Sunny and Flipper to the vet. Not even for grooming. I can clip Flipper’s wings but not Sunny’s. But since I really have no choice – I make the appointment and go. When we are at the vet I’m not sure which one of us is having a “worser” time. Yes, I know, there is no such word : )

Working on a Big Project and feeling overwhelmed
When they need to work on big projects, procrastinators generally start focusing on ALL that needs to be done.

If that’s what you do, either one or both of the following things will happen:
1. Your stress level will be sky-high
2. You’ll feel overwhelmed – so much so that you may even freeze yourself and won’t be able to take any action

Filing taxes is a great example (especially with April 15th just around the corner). A procrastinator would wait until the last minute then try to tackle a whole year worth of paperwork at once.

A much better course of action would be to have a monthly or a quarterly plan – time set aside – to work on the paperwork. And that’s the smart way of doing it – breaking a big project like that in small, manageable chunks.

My friend Donna Erickson adds a tip from Richard Wiseman’s book The “What If” Principle , no matter what the cause, you can overcome this heinous habit by using the “One foot in the door” technique. Make yourself do just a few minutes of the task. Give yourself permission to quit after five or ten minutes. Be sure to schedule that ten minutes at the start of the part of the day when you are at your highest energy level.

Effective Time Management Strategy
We all know what is the essence of procrastination – putting off things that you SHOULD be doing in favor of things that you ENJOY doing.

The truth is our health suffers from the added stress we place unnecessarily on ourselves. At work as well as in personal life, procrastination extracts a high cost.
You can change your behavior by adopting better working habits.

Next time you are on the Facebook (or elsewhere on the digital media) doing your favorite thing, maybe watching videos of cute puppies and kittens, ask yourself, “Is this the best use of my time right now?”
Of course, after your work is done, that could be your reward : )
Same goes for you gamers : )

Finding out WHY you procrastinate will get you to a good start on the road to have an effective time management strategy and be more productive.

Sharing this with your friends is much appreciated.
Thanks for stopping by.

/Comments/in Leadership,Productivity,Time Management/by Mariana Fieraru
Mariana Fieraru
Mariana Fieraru, an Eastern European transplant, fell in love with her new home shortly after landing in New York. She "discovered" pizza! Years later she still loves pizza. And so do her two feathered-kids, Sunny and Flipper

Mariana worked on both, the east and the west coast.
Big or small, each project she worked on helped define the importance of gaining and sustaining a competitive edge in an increasingly complex business environment.

Business know-how, love of teaching and writing – all combined in 2006 to form OBI.
Its mission: to make learning fun! And easy.

Through its training, consulting, and publications OBI builds bridges of knowledge to take you from where you are to
where you want to go. Using a mix of serious, informal, analytical, and optimistic approach, OBI truly makes learning fun.

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