Procrastinating on what needs to be done is a very bad habit and can, most of the time, lead you to regretting your action. As humans, we have a tendency to always avoid pain related tasks and pursue things that bring us momentary pleasure and happiness.
As managers, with a responsibility to look after the employees and to make sure that the work project is completed on time, making sure you help your employee stop procrastinating is crucial including helping them understand the general effect of procrastination on productivity, projects-on-hand and the end results of the actual cost of not completing a task.
The end result of procrastinating is regret. However, as we procrastinate on tasks that are painful to do we oftentimes end up bringing more pain on ourselves. Putting off our assignment to the last minutes, going to see the doctor a week after you noticed a problem, getting down to doing the company work the night before are all ways we procrastinate that certainly brings along some severe consequences.
Main Causes Of Procrastination
Fear Of Failure
One of the most common causes of procrastination is the fear of failure. There is this deeply rooted fear that failure is lurking around the corner in any given endeavor we undertake, and so the logical step that comes to mind is to avoid taking up the task of taking action.
The truth is, if you don’t take action, you certainly will not fail, but failing to take action on the other hand leads to failure to achieve a goal. Procrastinating on what needs to be done can be comforting when you fear to fail, its more like a protection mechanism shielding you from making that steps to fail.
However, what many do not know is that failure is not as fatal as they thought because most mistakes you make can be corrected especially when you don’t have a mindset of failing.
Trying to be a perfectionist hinders someone’s ability of completing certain tasks, especially when these tasks are – somewhat – hard to achieve. In such a case, such a task will not get completed at the right time. When so much pressure is placed on getting a task done, it will lead to a reduction in productivity and more or less to self-criticism.
The best way to sail out of this situation is to attempt every task one at a time and make sure you improve on every one of them. This way, it’s better for everyone (including for the task itself… if we may say so) than making sure that the task laid before you is perfectly executed.
Decision making can sometimes lead the brain to become tired and fatigued. This is especially true when the brain has to go through many inconsequential decision-making processes. For instance, deciding on how to handle the workload in the office, when to take the car to the mechanic, how to attend your child’s school visitation day, etc. are some of the ways the brain can be overloaded and thus hit the fatigue level.
When such decisions build up through the day, it eventually affects your productivity which leads to you becoming fatigued and so you tend to look for alternative routes to relax your brain which in most cases is binging on social media to waste more time.
And thus making you postpone some crucial tasks that needed attention to a latter day.
How to Overcome Procrastination
Questions And Answer Time
Procrastinating can be very annoying especially when you discovered that you need to complete so many tasks that you would have completed earlier without much stress. However, to overcome this ugly habit, you need to understand the reason why you constantly indulge in such a destructive habit.
If you are putting off your task for just some minutes so you can take a break, then that is OK. Everybody needs a break at one time or another. But if you are avoiding to get started on a task, then you need to ask yourself why you are doing so, why you are procrastinating on the task.
Asking yourself some pertinent questions concerning your action can sometimes open up a way to get started with your task and get it completed in no time.
Get Rid Of Perfectionism
Trying to play Mr. perfect with your task? Then get ready to fail as many times as you continue to hold on to that notion that if something is not perfect, then it’s failure. This mindset is one of the leading causes of procrastination and it needs to be yanked off your subconscious mind or you will never get anything meaningful done.
Nobody is perfect and that includes you!
However, this does not mean that you should not work toward perfection – your job is to try and do your best within the timeframe you have available. Just make sure you get the job completed. Remember that a completed task is much better than a perfect thought.
Harness Your Fear
Fear is a powerful emotion that can get things undone. It can hinder you from getting you started on a project and can also stop you from reaching your ultimate goal. To get over your fear and overcome procrastination, you need to understand the source of your fear.
Ask yourself what are those things that make you afraid to start a task, could it be as a result of not failing in your task, or that your end result might not be good enough? Or could it be something that you can’t really place a finger at?
Whatever the cause of your fear may be, you are better off overcoming your procrastination when you understand and accept your fears.
Take A Bold Step
As the saying goes, “A thousand-mile journey starts with a bold step” which means that whatever seems hard to do, the best way to get over it is to get started.
Most of the time, even the most difficult of all tasks just need you to get the ball rolling and everything will fall into places. And the best way to get a task completed is to start small. Focus on getting the task done – one at a time if there’s more of them – and forget about completing the entire project all at once. The human brain is designed to work with smaller tasks better than with larger ones and it feels good when it acknowledges that it had completed a task. And we want to reward our brain with as many good feelings as possible so that, in return, it can reward us with the power of completing even more tasks.
Taking the project one bit at a time can be a lot less overwhelming as you would shift your focus away from the bigger task and concentrate on completing the smaller tasks. Just do something to create a momentum that will help you accomplish your tasks bits by bits and you will begin to notice good results.