Procrastination

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Procrastination

We have all at a point in our lives, or perhaps even now, put off doing something that could have been accomplished at an earlier date, to a later date.

Procrastination is that habit of delaying or putting off things, usually out of habitual laziness or because they are unpleasant or not exciting. Sometimes it is simply because we do not want to do them.

Let us carry out a short reflection exercise.

  • What ‘one thing’ have you been putting off doing?
  • What impact would achieving this ‘one thing’ have on your life?
  • What has been the reason for putting off doing this ‘one thing’?

Admittedly, there can occasionally be good reasons for deferring an action, such as if we delay releasing a report because the data we would rely on is not ready for a few days. In circumstances like this, leaving something undone till later could work to our advantage. However, the sad truth is that procrastination tends to have a more negative than positive impact on us because the negative reasons for procrastinating by far outweigh the positive reasons. In support of this view, there is a proverb that goes like this, “Procrastination is the thief of time.’’ It implies that if one delays or wastes time in doing something, they will run out of time or subsequently not have enough time to do it well. We shall consider four of the common reasons why people procrastinate.

1. Overwhelming

When a task is very large, clamped together, and / or lacking clarity, it can make one feel like he / she has so much to do. This feeling usually gets one to a state of believing, ‘I don’t know where to begin from.’ As a result, they put off doing the work.

2. Boring

Normally, work that is not enjoyable is seen as tedious and that is a strong enough reason for many people to procrastinate. One would prefer to spend their time on doing something exciting.

3. Plenty-of-time

When a task has a long deadline, it is very common for one to think to themselves, ‘I have long enough time, I will start it tomorrow.’ As the popular proverb goes, ‘Tomorrow never comes’. This is because by the time tomorrow arrives, it becomes ‘today’.

4. Fear of failure or disapproval from others

Thinking about what others would say about you, or thinking, ‘what if I fail?’ could make one become overly self-critical. Self-criticism is not a bad thing. At an appropriate degree, it can serve to spark desire, enthusiasm or energy to help one pursue personal development. On the contrary, being overly critical can cause one to lose confidence in tackling pieces of work. One might experience the feelings of, ‘I am not adequately prepared’ or ‘I need more resources in order to produce a perfect piece of work’ and so procrastination sets in.

In conclusion, we have seen how procrastination could be used to our advantage or disadvantage. The cause of these opposing effects on us is the reason behind one procrastinating. At large, procrastination does have a more negative than a positive impact on us. It is therefore important for one to analyse their life from time to time to:

  • Become aware of the areas in their lives where they are procrastinating.
  • Identify the reason(s) for procrastinating.
  • Seek help where necessary to help deal with the issue of procrastination.

Priscilla Hackman-Asamoah

Priscilla Hackman-Asamoah

My mission is to help you create effective and efficient ways of working to achieve your desired results. To see if you could benefit from our dedicated 1-2-1 coaching services, book your free discovery call today

https://phacoaching.co.uk/about/

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