There is an ancient aphorism ‘ Don t put off till tomorrow what you can do today.’
Over the years this has made quite an impact in professional life and bosses place such plaques in the office discouraging procrastination.
Company bosses hark at employees imploring them to use the guideline and get on it but despite everything the problem persists.
What is procrastination, What are its effects both on one’s personal life or professional life?
The literal meaning of procrastination is avoiding to do an assigned task and preferring to engage in other pleasurable activities. This could also imply doing less important work as compared to more important work.
Procrastination does not involve the workplace only, One can put off cleaning the stove, the car, doing the laundry, failing to see a doctor or discussing a sensitive subject with a partner.
According to experts on the subject, procrastination can cause anxiety, stress depression, and self-doubt.
There are several reasons for procrastinating, maybe one puts off filing a report knowing the boss will not be pleased with the outcome, or simply out it off as one is not in the mood or simply one keeps putting it off as one tends to forget in most cases.
Many employees are fired, factory workers given the pink slip, and time is lost due to procrastination of employees.
So the question arises how to control these problems. How to motivate employees to desist from putting off their daily assignments.
There are guides to how to overcome this phenomenon and get cracking again.
Lets us try to study some ways and means to avoid putting off that which has to be done.
All assigned tasks whether in office, schools or factories or government offices have to be met by an absolute deadline which is a curse to many employees.
Failure to do so usually results in grave consequences. Despite a looming deadline, you are engaged in other activities such as checking your e-mail, watching Facebook, looking at the video, and surfing blogs.
The long and short of it being that Instead od constructive work, you are squandering your’s as well as the company’s time.
Many people are caught up in this process throughout their professional lives.
Here are a few tips how to deal with the problem.
First of all, according to experts, we tend to procrastinate because they find the work overwhelming what should be done to break it into parts.
Do the initial work and take a break, if you find it dull then break it up further, and soon you will begin to enjoy yourself. For example writing a book is an enormous task for it involves research, deciding a topic writing or drafting the contents, writing chapters all at once is overwhelming.
A change of environment is very essential to avoid procrastination. People tend to become tedious and lethargic working from their desk and prefer to doze off or relax if one were to change one’s workplace one would feel better and work off.
Set different timelines for work to sum up the total deadline. Having a single timeline gives one the impression that one has a lot of time on one’ hands s hands.
It is better to make a daily checklist of things and set a deadline daily and tell yourself if I do not do this today I jeopardize my schedule.
It is advisable to do way with things that are a source of distraction such as browser bookmarks, your e-mail notification. Block your facebook account etc. and get on the work.
“You ride with outlaws, you die with outlaws ‘ is a saying heard in a western movie. This aptly applies to procrastinators also. If you work in an office environment where everyone has a tendency to procrastinate, then you are very likely to pick up the habit also.
So what should be done to offset this negative aspect? The answer is to seek inspiration. For example, if one were to talk to the likes of say Sir Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates how would one come out of the meeting. Inspired or motivated or morose.
The answer is of course super motivation. So the best thing to do is to hang out with people who are ‘ go-getters’ who truly inspire you to work hard and meet deadlines. Read books about such people and get going.
It is better to have a friend and colleague with whom you can share your ideas. Goals and you can readily inspire each other. An idle companion can be of no use to you for he or she will not help you all to meet the deadlines.
It should be known to all that procrastination has never led to success in life for those who have not seized the moment have let a great moment slip.
To avoid procrastination, one should establish a set of goals with a clear vision. It ‘s nice to take a break, a short vacation or weekend off to assess one’s motives and goals. Think as to where you are and where are you heading. The sooner your goals in life are clear there will be no room for procrastinating.
It is best not to complicate issues such as waiting for a perfect time or anything for there is a never a perfect time. To seek perfection has been one of the greatest reasons to procrastinate.
One must seize the initiative and get things moving or lose the moment do it is better to expedite matters.
The World is averse to all those who procrastinate for companies and bosses want results asap. We live in a highly advanced technological age where the digital world is fast, rapid and changing at a very fast pace. Those who do not keep up with the times are bound to lose themselves in it.
One should also build up one’s mindset as to what to do, how to go about it and how best to cope with the situation.
Although procrastination is not a physical disorder, it certainly has to do with one’s mental faculties for it is quite clear that no one in their frame of mind would like to lose their jobs just because they do not feel like doing their assigned task.
However, putting off a trivial task isn’t necessarily procrastination: it may just be good prioritization!
Feeling tired to get the work also done means that you are not necessarily procrastinating either, so long as you don’t delay starting the task for more than a day or so, and this is only an occasional event.
If you have a genuinely good reason for rescheduling something important, then you’re not necessarily procrastinating. But if you’re only “making an excuse” because you just don’t want to do it, then you are.
We have all procrastinated in our lives on one thing or another. Children tend to put off their homework for as late as possible until their parents admonish them.
Parents put off the demands of the children at times for some reason or another, but this does not necessarily mean procrastination as they have their priorities.
If one has a genuine reason to delay things it may be acceptable but to put off for no rhyme and reason is not acceptable.
Some companies are very strict on such matters and do not hesitate to fire employees found procrastination while others give companies ample time to show cause as why the work was delayed.
In the underdeveloped countries of the world where the standard of work ethics is very dismal Procrastination is an acceptable practice especially in Government offices.
Sometimes one has to grease the palm of officials to get things moving while in other cases bureaucratic hurdles come up.
Procrastination is very much prevalent in the developing countries of the world like countries in Africa, Kenya, Tanzania. Uganda and Nigeria and in Asia countries like Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and the Philippines, etc.
People should learn that putting off things has adverse effects and does not reap rewards at all.
It does not contribute to the productivity and progress of a nation, and the economy is affected due to these late starters.
Governments of the world should train workers on the negative aspects of procrastination, training seminars and workshops must be held to make employees understand these matters.
In conclusion here are a few famous quotes on Procrastination.
“I never put off till tomorrow what I can do – the day after.”
― Oscar Wilde
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.”
― Charles Dickens
Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can’t buy more hours. Scientists can’t invent new minutes. And you can’t save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow.”
― Denis Waitley
So it is best to make maximum use of your day productively.