Procrastination – and let the whole world wait

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6 min read
Procrastination – and let the whole world wait
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The term “procrastination” comes from two Latin words meaning “instead of” and “tomorrow”.

The frequently encountered phrase “not today, tomorrow” can be aptly identified with the word “procrastination”. Perhaps people with great willpower and iron discipline will consider this term another beautiful word for elementary laziness.

But nevertheless, psychologists of all countries are convinced that procrastination is becoming more and more common. What is the secret of her popularity? This will be discussed in the article.

What is procrastination?

Procrastination is a person’s desire to postpone the most unloved and unpleasant activity for later. And moreover, the less desire to do this business, the longer it is postponed.
Picture: Anyaberkut | Dreamstime

Instead of sitting down and doing whatever is required, a person avoids an undesirable activity by inventing reasons or other things for himself.

The most striking and illustrative example can be students who, instead of writing a diploma, are engaged in cleaning, cooking, in a word, everything except what they really need. It is important to note that they would never undertake the same notorious cleaning in other cases.

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From a psychological point of view, procrastination is a serious deviation from the norm. In advanced cases, such simple basic things as, for example, brushing your teeth, combing, and the like can be postponed for later. Here, appropriate work is already needed with a specialist who will help solve the problem, because if you ignore it, it can lead to even more serious problems in the future and, consequently, a deterioration in the quality of life, because the reason here lies in psychological ailments.

The unpleasant side of procrastination is that, postponing everything for later, a person experiences a background chronic feeling of guilt. After all, not keeping within the framework of productivity, people experience dissatisfaction with themselves. In addition, things done at the very last moment are most often done poorly, which also affects the general condition and can bring trouble later.

How to deal with procrastination?

  1. First, let’s look at the to-do list. Choose one of them that causes hostility more than others and proceed to those that can be put in 2-3 place, so the time will be spent with benefit, and the most unpleasant thing will be done at the last moment.
  2. The second way to deal with procrastination is much more effective. It consists in finding the true cause of procrastination. There may be several, but in order for the search to be successful, you need to be honest with yourself and find the most appropriate motivation.

Reasons for Procrastination

Lack of personal motivation

Not all people are disciplined and can easily force themselves to sit down and get to work. Someone needs a motivator. It is different for all people and it is important to choose the one that will have the most effective impact. The main thing is not to try to drive yourself into any framework or canons, but listen to yourself and look at your feelings.

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Fear of failure

In this case, a person unconsciously runs away from cases that ended in failure in the past. This is a perfectly reasonable reason, but the work will still have to be done. In this case, it is necessary to analyze and understand what the failure was in the past and try to prevent it in the future.

Picture: Topdeq | Dreamstime

This also includes the fear of not showing up, not being able to cope with the task. However, the eyes are afraid, but the hands do. One has only to start, and then everything will go by itself. But even if it does not work out, you can always ask for help. It is also important to analyze whether the presence of problems is connected with ever-burning deadlines and rush? The more you delay, the more likely it is that the next task will not be done well enough.

Lack of freedom

If there is no personal interest in the task being performed, then the chances of success are rather low. After all, if it is imposed by someone from the outside and is carried out out of a sense of duty, then what kind of productivity can we talk about? In this situation, the solution is to replace the phrase “I must” with the phrase “I want.”

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There are people who find it easier to work under the pressure of deadlines

It will take a long time to eradicate such a trait, and at the same time it is not a fact that the tasks will be performed effectively, because perhaps the body is arranged in such a way that it is easier to apply maximum effort once than to apply them several times systematically. In this case, it is important to find a middle ground: there is little time left for execution, and the deadlines are already starting to run out, but at the same time there is enough.

Procrastination takes valuable resources and worsens the psychological state, but if you find a decent way to resist it, the quality of life will improve markedly.

How to get rid of procrastination – expert advice

Natalya Venerova (Storozheva), General Director of the Perspektiva Center for Business and Career Development, talks about effective methods of dealing with procrastination.

Procrastination is a real “black hole” in self-organization. The longer we put off a task, the more impossible it becomes. We ourselves can grow out of a completely insignificant question a huge and terrible beast.

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For example, you need to write a quarterly report. This requires several hours of concentrated work, immersion in the material and attention. But where in the schedule to find these “a few hours”? They simply don’t exist.

Try to “play” with yourself, fool yourself a little: take 10 minutes to simply create a file called “Quarterly Report” and fill out only the cover page. Then, the next day, take another 15 minutes to structure the document. The next day, another 15 minutes to work on any of the sections.

Picture: Kiosea39 | Dreamstime

As a result, work on the quarterly report will cease to be an eternally postponed task and will turn into a work task. And you yourself will not notice how you finish it. For me personally it works.

Regarding my experience, I can say that one of the most effective time management techniques that helps me is constant and detailed planning. I write a to-do list for the day every evening, I try to group the tasks in blocks.

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For example, “urgent emails” that need to be answered early in the morning so as not to delay other people’s workflow. Or calls from the car on the way to the office. Or Skype interviews that can be done over a cup of coffee while waiting to meet with a client.

For me, it is important not just to make a to-do list, but to mentally imagine: how the next day will be organized, where overlaps can occur, and where there are voids. And I try to fill each hour as tightly as possible, to perform several tasks at the same time.

For example, if I’m on the road, I look through my resume while I’m on the express train. If I participate in a seminar or conference, then I communicate with colleagues in between the speeches of the speakers. I write articles while I wait to board the plane. I try to use every minute. After all, time is our irreplaceable resource.

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