Procrastination – There Is Always Tomorrow

If you were asked to choose one word to describe disorganization, not getting the work done, lack of achievement, or lack of self-fulfillment – that word would have to be “Procrastination”!

Procrastination Procrastination – There Is Always TomorrowThe problem is that we put things off, and they never get done. Or when we finally get around to doing them, we are under so much pressure, that quality simply flies out the window! I believe that all of us procrastinate occasionally. For example, when we decide to check our emails, rather than do that report that is due tomorrow; or when we avoid playing with our children, or making time for our wives or husbands, because of something we perceive to be more urgent?

Procrastination is part of human nature! But when it becomes a habit,or a consistent pattern in the way we act, it can have disastrous consequences. Tasks take on urgency they do not merit and you spend more time – not less – on them; rather than the higher priority tasks that will take the most thought, concentration and energy, and pay the biggest dividends.

Probably the main reason for procrastination is fear of failure. We want to succeed and we are afraid that we won’t do the task right – so we simply postpone it, leading to a rushed job, and increased risk of reduced quality because of time pressures.

waste of money Procrastination – There Is Always TomorrowWhatever the reason, and whatever the tasks we postpone,we cannot ignore the fact that procrastination is costly – not only in terms of time and money, but also in terms of health and good-will. When procrastination starts to become a habit, the quality of our work, and our relationships with others, will suffer. Big time!

So what do we do about it? First of all admit it! Admit that you are procrastinating, and try to determine the reasons for it. Then consider the consequences if you continue to delay remedial action! Start with small steps first. Break large tasks into smaller bites, and focus on one piece at a time.

Five suggestions for stopping procrastination in its tracks include:

  1. Make a list of the tasks you have ahead of you, (a to-do list) and assign a priority ranking to each task. Then start with the highest priority and work your way down the list. For each new task assign it a priority ranking as well. In this way you can always be working on your highest priority.
  2. Use a planner (one that is inside your computer is ideal). At the end of each day, take some time to plan your next day’s work. Then when you come in the next morning start with your highest priority.
  3. For each new task either:a) do it, b) delegate it to someone else who might enjoy doing it, or c) trash it! If you decide to do it, assign a priority to it, and enter it in your planner.
  4. Set a deadline for each task. The pressure of a deadline can often be enough to motivate us to act. These deadlines should be entered in your “Planner” along with the time you need to spend on that task.
  5. Reward yourself when you finish a task and/or give yourself pep talks along the way. This will maintain enthusiasm and motivation

Remember that success is not always certain, but following a plan will ensure that you will increase your rate of success. And that is worth celebrating!

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