All of us want to be more productive at work, no matter how stressful it is in the workplace. To achieve that, we need to stop some bad habits such as delaying and putting things off. You might already experience this scenario: you need to finish an assignment soon, but you keep on scrolling on your social media and watching videos. Aside from that, you enjoy surfing the Net and keep on finding trending news online, thinking that you still have more time to finish the task. In your mind, you know you should be working, but you do not feel starting any away. That’s procrastinating – and the more you practice it, the less you can achieve in work and life.
At some points in our life, we are guilty of procrastinating. We sometimes forget to prioritize essential tasks and panic, working on them upon realizing it’s almost too late. The good thing is that it is still possible to avoid procrastination and become productive and more organized.
Reasons Why We Procrastinate:
A voluntary postponement of a particular task is procrastinating – an attitude that has put a lot of people’s work and career on the edge of failure. To be able to do something about it, we need to understand first the reason why we do procrastinate. Here are the main reasons:
#1 The Lack of Sense and Direction
A workplace must be a conducive place to spend time working on specific tasks. However, if there is no particular direction to be imposed, it will be easy for employees to create a delay and excuses. For instance, checking their Facebook accounts is one of the common practices, but if there is a rule that forbids them to do so during working hours, they will develop a sense of responsibility. The management must have punishment for those who will not abide by the rule.
#2 Weak Self Confidence
In times of pressure and difficulties, people with low self-confidence often feel doubtful of their ability to finish to do the task. With their weak belief in their capability, they tend not to get started resulting in them to miss the opportunities and reach the target goals.
#3 Tasks that may not be Interesting
Some tasks may appear challenging, and some others are boring. When someone finds a job unpleasant, they lost the motivation to work for it and get the job done. Remember that no task is big or small. Once you accepted the assignment, you need to provide focus and dedication to it. Just think that if the jobs seem to be a less challenging one, you can finish it earlier, and you can still have more free time for other activities.
# 4 Timing
Timing is another factor to consider when learning the reasons why we keep on engaging with procrastination. When a person is given a task to do and knows that it will take time to get a reward for it, the tendency is to delay working on it. Procrastination usually happens when you expect that you can finish the tasks in the future. When that happens, an individual may decide to work later, hoping that there will be still time to do the job and then later will discover it’s too late to produce far better results.
Anxiety often results in the avoidance of getting started. The fear of failure is connected with a high level of stress. When a person accepts a job that may be a big challenge to him/her, there is a higher tendency of shifting his/her focus to getting it done in the future. Learning how to prioritize and coping with anxiety are both effective ways to motivate oneself to get the work accomplished in the soonest possible time.
What are the Effects of Procrastinating at Work?
As mentioned before, we are all blameworthy of procrastinating at some point in our life. For some individuals who have promptly identified the problem, they can acquire various advantages. However, for some others, this attitude can fail dreams and destroy careers.
If you are becoming a procrastinator and still can’t find ways to cease the habit, then learning its damaging effects may help you to start avoiding it.
Below are some of the common effects of procrastination:
1. You will lose valuable time
Time is precious, as we all know. Every second we missed is an opportunity wasted. Now, if you would ask yourself, “How much time have I wasted because of procrastinating?”. You may not quickly tell it, but for sure, you can do imagine that. The worst thing about procrastination is that when you have discovered it’s already late and you can no longer recover the time you’ve lost. When you still have the tasks pending, and you’re out of time to complete it, what would you do? Would cramming be enough? Will you still produce high-quality results even within a short period?
Regrets. Those will be the hardest feeling due to procrastinating. You will be left thinking, “If only I can turn back the hands of time…” The sense of regrets can make you feel helpless and even less motivated. When you realize how valuable time is and you should stop procrastinating, then you will always have the feeling of being frustrated that you haven’t done to take the first step.
2. You will fail to achieve your goals
Goals are set to be followed. To reach them, it requires effort and action to meet them. However, with procrastination in your mind, you have those specific thoughts that you want to hit the goals but apparently can’t take the first step to get started.
Have you ever experienced having the feeling that it seems to be challenging to go for something that you desire so badly? You have a bunch of good plans, but why can’t you have the courage to start working on achieving them?
We should always remember that we set goals because we have an intense desire to make our lives better. Goals are meant to be achieved and not to become decorations only of our bigger plans in life. If we choose to procrastinate, then we are making the perils of destroying the better life ahead of us.
3. Procrastination lowers your self-esteem and confidence
One of the grounds why we often procrastinate is because of low self-esteem. But with this attitude, we even make our self-esteem and confidence even lower, making us less motivated in life. Self-doubts begin to develop, and you start looking for your flaws. You tend to have the mindset of comparing yourself to others and asking why you can’t seem to succeed.
Low self-esteem can destroy lives and careers. It can make us feel inferior and detrimental thoughts start lingering our system. When this continues, our confidence will face consumed by negativity, and you will no longer have the will to rebuild your self-confidence.
4. You will miss a multitude of opportunities
Consider the number of times you have done procrastinating. Think of how many opportunities you have missed and didn’t take the chance to take advantage. Gone are the opportunities that you could have shown your skills and improved your career. You might realize that one of those opportunities could have been a life-changing one for you. We must remember that some opportunity knocks just once, and a second chance might no longer come again. The world is offering a lot of opportunities for us each day, so never miss to grab them.
#5 Procrastination can ruin your career
Your daily performance at work affects your work and professionalism. However, those can be changed when you choose to procrastinate. It hinders you from beating the deadlines or accomplishing the target goals. Just imagine how this can cause an issue to your career.
When a proposal is not completed, what would be the consequence? It can ruin a campaign or put the company’s sales at risk. Worse, you can lose your job when you keep on delaying and failing to deliver the desired results.
You can be capable of creating a great career, so do not let procrastination destroys your performance.
6. It can lead to poor decision-making
Decisions are crucial in all aspects of life. That’s why smart decision making is a must to make all plans successful. However, when you procrastinate, you decide to do it from the standpoint of the present. All these can be a regret in the future. It’s easy to make wrong decisions because it’s not carefully planned and assessed. The moment when you are procrastinating seems to be an enjoyable time, and that makes you less cautious.
It must be understood emotions play a vital role in making decisions, and during procrastination, it dramatically affects how we feel. Poor decision making can bring a lot of adverse effects on our life, achievements, and work results.
For instance, when it’s almost late that you have started working on the job, you will no longer have the chance to think carefully. You will be under pressure and make decisions carelessly. The results of the work can be deficient in terms of quality and productivity.
7. Your health will be at risk
According to some studies, procrastination is related to mental health issues such as anxiety, stress, and other problems. The habit of procrastinating may also lead to depression, which can significantly impact your life.
If you are procrastinating too much, this will be most likely to cause you stress and anxiety. But when other people and things are involved, this can be damaging to your health and lifestyle. Make sure to not put off your schedules, meetings, and other appointments.
8. Procrastination can damage your reputation
When you have given an assignment and agreed that you would finish it on time, it’s your reputation that is at stake. No one would like to get an empty promise. When you fail to complete the work you agreed at the specified time just because of procrastination, then your reputation will be tarnished. Aside from that, you are also harming your confidence and self-esteem. You will lose clients or people trusting you if you keep procrastinating. Make sure to keep your words and exceed their expectations. If not, you will only keep on losing more business opportunities as well as personal progress.
Procrastination is like a habit, so make sure to kick it or else it will break you first.
Tips on how to Avoid Procrastination
Procrastination is a habit that may be hard to break, but with the proper knowledge and the will to break it, getting rid of this is possible. Here are some tips for you to consider:
1. Get organized with your work
An organized plan on how to do your assignments and tasks will be beneficial. You can have a planner or use a calendar application installed on your mobile phone. Using these tools, you can have a more systematic way of tracking your assignments and reminding you of your due dates.
2. Have a timeline of your goals
Preparing a schedule and sticking to it will help you do the tasks effectively instead of choosing to procrastinate. Have a to-do list with the task description and the timeline of when they must be accomplished.
3. Make your goals achievable and straightforward
One reason why people keep on procrastinating is that they see the tasks too overwhelming. However, it would be easier to get started and work on the functions if the goals are reachable and straightforward. Do not go for plans that are too vast and vague.
4. Set a deadline and respect it
The problem with projects without a deadline set is that there is no concrete plan to be followed. It is imperative to set a specific date or deadline for your tasks so you will be reminded when it will be due. It’s also best to have the project completed one or two days before the deadline, so if there’s an unexpected problem that occurs, you will still have extra time to finish it.
5. Put away all the distractions
There are a lot of distractions that can hamper the completion of tasks on time. Avoid spending too much time on social media when you should be working on them already. There are also other potential external distractions such as noise and even invitations of friends to go out. You need to learn how to say ‘No’ politely and prioritize doing the tasks to complete it on time.
6. Give yourself a break.
Your day can be overwhelming with a lot of assignments, but make sure not to overwork yourself. To prevent burning out, you can take a break for an hour and rest. Try to listen to music, take a walk, play with your pet, or spend time on your hobby. Then, you can go back to work more refreshed and motivated.
7. Learn to prioritize
When there are tasks lined up for you to complete, it’s best to get the complicated stuff done first. Then, proceed to the easier ones. This will help you save time and have an organized process in getting all the work completed.
8. Share your goals with the people who can inspire you
Let’s admit it. There are times we can easily forget the tasks assigned to us. It will be fantastic if you can share your goals with someone you know who can motivate you to take action. Get along and hang out with people who can inspire you to perform better and work harder instead of those who will engage you to procrastinate.
The more you avoid procrastinating, the more you can achieve. It will not be only advantageous in your work but will also bring benefits to all areas in your life.