What is Procrastination?
Psycho analysts describe procrastination as " the act of replacing high priority actions with tasks of lower priority, or doing something from which one derives enjoyment, and thus putting off important tasks to a later time. " which means in simple words putting off things to an indefinite later date.
Most of us have this tendency to tackle easier jobs first and tackle the more difficult ones later, sometimes even putting it off indefinitely ! Unless I make a conscious effort I too do the same, tackle the easier ,less time consuming jobs first and then go on to the more difficult and time consuming jobs. Probably the fact that one can finish more number of smaller jobs instead of getting stuck on one is a reason for doing this. This is how procrastination begins and then continues.
Here , I am reminded of an advertisement I saw long back on the TV. It showed a woman sitting in her kitchen with unwashed utensils, clothes and other jobs all calling or rather demanding her attention. Later she has the drink that the ad agency promoted and is transformed instantly like a lightning -finishing one job after the other. Most of us tend to do those jobs that need to be done and has a deadline, otherwise simply put things off ..
On the other hand, when you actually think about it seriously , difficult jobs and pending jobs should be done first , and we can take on the easier ones later...But, in most cases people do the easier jobs first like I said before. Most people especially those who are known to perform well and donâ€™t believe in putting things off to a later date believe that it is the right attitude especially when you have a time limit . It is always better to take up the more difficult task first and finish it. This in fact spurs one on to do more and seek newer goals.
Causes and effects of Procrastination
1, Normally people who are overtly anxious about outcome and their own performance tend to put things off waiting for an appropriate time and opportunity to finish the work. Many a times the right moment never comes their way.
2, Also a low sense of self-worth, and a lack of self confidence is another major cause.. In fact many psycho analysts are of the firm opinion that procrastination is strongly connected with lack of self-confidence.
3, Another very common cause is laziness. Many people put things off because of laziness. Overcoming this is the only solution to do things on time. When you relaise that you are able to do only 50% or less than what you are capable of because of laziness, you should be able to get rid of the habit.
4, Other than slowing down your progress and efficiency , the tendency to procrastinate may also result in added stress, a sense of guilt which arises out of non performance or reduced performance.
5,This also may make one believe that he or she is low on personal productivity, which in turn makes such individuals stay away from what they are supposed to do or achieve.
6, Procrastination and especially when it goes beyond a certain limit can also result in social disapproval for not meeting responsibilities or commitments. People get fed up of such an attitude and give up on such people altogether.
7, All of these above feelings combined may promote further procrastination, which becomes an endless circle whereby it impedes normal function.
How to overcome this tendency ?
1, First of all we should remember that things are very much within our control and what is needed is a strong will power to overcome all the negative influences. Once you have that it is not difficult to go ahead and do things on time.
2, Try not to get distracted from your goal. At times we while out time by watching too much TV or When we engage or immerse ourselves in watching others behaviors or actions and forget to do what needs to be done.
3, At times people tend to trivialize the task as being not that important , this is especially true of health complaints and issues.
4, Blaming others and circumstances is another very common reason. The cause of procrastination is due to external forces beyond our control . There is a popular saying that a bad workman blames his tools.
When you decide to take up any task, try not to delay it instead get immersed in it and find ways to do it to the best of your capacity. This one action is enough to keep you motivated. In effect this interest and awareness should be there from day one and should spur you on to finish the job without any delays and distractions.
Taking an interest in ones immediate surroundings and being aware are two very positive aspects of life. This, in itself drives away procrastination since you would want to better yourself.