Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Overcoming Procrastination

Procrastination, the habit of putting tasks off to the last possible minute, can be a major problem in both your career and your personal life.
Side effects include missed opportunities, frenzied work hours, stress, overwhelm, resentment, and guilt.
The behaviour pattern of procrastination can be triggered in many different ways, so you won't always procrastinate for the same reason.
Let's now address these various causes of procrastination and consider intelligent ways to respond.
1. Stress:
When you feel stressed, worried, or anxious, it's hard to work productively. A wise solution is to reduce the amount of stress in your life when possible, such that you can spend more time working because you want to, not because you have to.
2. Too many things to do at the same time:
Sometimes you may have more items on your to-do list than you can reasonably complete. This can quickly lead to overwhelm, and ironically you may be more likely to procrastinate when you can least afford it.
In this case the message is that you need to stop, reassess your true priorities, and simplify.
3. Laziness:
Often we procrastinate because we feel too physically and/or emotionally drained to work.
Once we fall into this pattern, it's easy to get stuck due to inactivity because an object at rest tends to remain at rest.
When you feel lazy, even simple tasks seem like too much work because your energy is too low compared to the energy required by the task.
4. Lack of Motivation:
We all experience temporary laziness at times, but if you suffer from chronically low motivation and just can't seem to get anything going, then it's time for you to let go of immature thought patterns, to embrace life as a mature adult, and to discover your true purpose in life.
5. Lack of Discipline:
Even when motivation is high, you may still encounter tasks you don't want to do. In these situations, self-discipline works like a motivational backup system.
6. Poor Time Management Habits
Do you ever find yourself falling behind because you overslept, because you were too disorganized, or because certain tasks just fell through the cracks?
Bad habits like these often lead to procrastination, often unintentionally.
The solution in this case is to diagnose the bad habit that's hurting you and devise a new habit to replace it.
7. Lack of Skill:
If you lack sufficient skill to complete a task at a reasonable level of quality, you may procrastinate to avoid a failure experience.
You then have three viable options to overcome this type of pattern: educate, delegate, or eliminate.
8. Perfectionism
A common form of erroneous thinking that leads to procrastination is perfectionism.
Believing that you must do something perfectly is a recipe for stress, and you'll associate that stress with the task and thus condition yourself to avoid it.
Procrastination is unfortunately something that a lot of us suffer from regularly. Procrastination can often hold us back from what we really want in life, and unfortunately, it's something that can crop up at any time of life, no matter who you are.
A lot of people often assume that procrastination is simply being lazy, but this isn't always the case.
Often, feelings of tiredness, hopelessness, panic or even depression can cause us to put things off and avoid reality completely.

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