For most of us procrastination has become an integral part of life. In spite of knowing that it is a negative trait, we take recourse to it, often involuntarily.
Many people feel that putting off a task helps reduce immediate stress and tension. This can be beneficial as it helps one relax and provides ample time to complete the task which may significantly improve the quality of work.
Often when you think about an instant decision you had taken, you realize that had you delayed your response, it could have been different – probably more collected and focused. Although procrastination does appeal many people, it may be a great idea to indulge in it more often.
Motivation: The biggest incentive to complete any task is the sense of enjoyment and excitement that we derive from it. It could be because you like doing that particular task or just the sense of fulfillment you get on its completion or any other reason under the sun. So when there is a lack of motivation, there is delay.
Priorities: With multitasking being the buzzword prioritizing tasks is crucial. Thus, subject to the priorities set, some tasks are postponed for a later date.
Perfection: Sometimes the desire to meet high standards and expectations lead to apprehensions even before starting a given task. The resulting anxiety is a common reason for procrastination.
Fear of evaluation: Fear of rejection of the fear of just being evaluated leads to delays in deliverables. In fact, there are times when people put off submitting a task even after having completed it on time.
Time: Time consuming tasks are a major turn off. As self employed professional A says very often our estimation of the timeline is incorrect. Many a times, the task is completed much before anticipated, thus making her wonder why she had put it off for such a long time. Had she started it earlier, she would have been more relaxed and could have enjoyed free time without any guilty.
Taking a chance:
We often delay, delay and further delay a task presuming that everything will be fine even if it is completed in the last minute. But spare a minute to think what happens if everyone starts thinking alike or if something doesn’t work out at the last minute?
Procrastinating beyond reasonable limits often leaves us with very little time to do a job well. It becomes a rushed affair and inevitable quality suffers. So, in spite of completing the job, a feeling of dissatisfied persists. Procrastination cases unnecessary tension, making it difficult for you to put in your best.
The worst and the scariest thing about postponing task is that it can lead to a vicious circle. The more difficult you find a task, the more you put it off and the less time you have in hand to do it, the more difficult it seems.
Mess up: Continually putting off work and lack of planning and organizing can lead to disorder and confusion.
Team Player: Can a procrastinator be a good team player? If the procrastination is a result of priorities then the team is saved. If not the entire team will suffer. In fact, often the work has to be delegated to someone else at the last minute. A habitual procrastinator is a self oriented individual who is taken up by what works best for him /her and is unreliable.
Dealing with delay:
If procrastination becomes a habit, you are heading towards becoming the black sheep. While dealing with procrastination it’s important to keep in mind two things: getting started and staying on track till the end.
One of the best ways to overcome procrastination is understanding the fact that even the most boring task can be made interesting if handled efficiently. This can be done by chalking out the possible big and small benefits that can be derived from it. For example, it might get you brownie points with your boss or you might just be able to step out early from work and catch a movie.
Procrastinators need to make themselves get over, go around, or somewhere plough through their mental barriers in order to get on with it. This, however, is dependent on the nature of procrastination.
As a final word, indulging in procrastination to some extent is fine. In fact, it is inevitable; however, it’s important to be discrete so that it does not start ruling your life.