– When are you going to turn in your material? – the editor keeps asking me questions.
– I’m about to,” the journalist traditionally answers, though in fact he hasn’t even typed a word or two yet. And not because he is lazy or slacker, but because of procrastination – a condition when a person consciously puts off everything important for the future, thus filling this time with trifles, until he has problems because of not solved problems or taken decisions. This example includes many students who prefer to put off writing a term paper for the last few days, and end up just pay to write paper later, rather than doing it themselves.
Today, procrastination is a problem for almost all office (and not only) workers. How to fight it and whether it is necessary to do so?
Minus to work and self-esteem
“I come to work, turn on the computer, open tables with documentation that I need to read and give to the developers, but I have no energy to do anything with them.” – I go and make coffee, make conversation with colleagues, clean the table, and read the news. The work stands. I promise myself another cup of coffee and start, because the documents are waiting in another department, but I do not always manage to pull myself together. After a couple of days it begins to rush, and I scold myself, promise myself to be more responsible, but it all repeats.
Procrastination is like a circle, in which we close ourselves, even realizing that soon we will be trapped. A man knows that his work is important, that his colleagues depend on him, but still finds an excuse and feeds himself and others “breakfast. Suffers from such “impulses”, of course, the company and the team, but a great danger of infatuation with the ideas that tomorrow – a more suitable day for business, is a procrastinator himself.
Because of constant reproaches from colleagues and superiors a person lowers self-esteem, he begins to feel worthless, leaves self-respect, guilt and shame become his constant traveling companions, he does not cope with stress and can bring himself to a nervous breakdown or depression.
Face the truth.
Psychologists don’t yet have a 100 percent answer as to why people can’t get work done on time and instead occupy themselves with secondary tasks. But there are several theories:
First, procrastination is “loved” by people with low self-esteem: they think that the task is beyond their abilities, that they will not succeed, so it is not worth taking on the case.
Secondly, a person may be afraid… that they will succeed at their best and become successful, and they will have to work hard to fit in with their new life.
Third, under the gun and perfectionists who like to say that in stressful situations, when all the deadlines are tight, they do better, because of which they pull to the last.
However, the problem of procrastination may have deeper roots.
“Two months ago I had a huge fight with my mom, and when I left, I purposely slammed the door so hard that the house shook. I know I was wrong, I know I need to apologize and try to make things right, but every time I seem to be ready, I need to do the laundry, make a doctor’s appointment, answer a text.”
Often we give in to procrastination, afraid to make a decision and take responsibility. There is only one way out – to face the truth. It is very likely that the simple reluctance to do the same job day after day is just procrastination for the question – whether I am in my place. If the answer is yes, you need to think about additional motivation.
What seems scary isn’t always so
“Back at university, I didn’t pass an exam with the whole group on time, and I was given six months to close the “tail” (I was a part-time student). About this teacher I was told that the exam with her can pass and 8, and 12 hours in a row, that she chases students like the damned, that even a “C” to be happy. I began to put off my visit. At first I told myself that I was not ready and that I needed more time, but I did not take the course. Then I told myself that I would not pass, I would be ashamed, I was ashamed, I could not sleep at night, I was worried.
When there was no time left just physically, I mustered up the courage to go to her department, as if to an execution. The Most hospitable person in my life I have not met – we talked for half an hour, agreed on my retake, she told me what topics to prepare. I did not go from her – flew! And also scolded myself that I was stupid and tortured myself with putting it off for so long. By the way, she gave me an A for the exam.”
When starting to fight procrastination, don’t think you’ll get it right the first time and you’ll be super effective right away – step by step, form the following tips into a habit:
Communicate with colleagues about personal things during breaks. As much as possible, insulate yourself from other people’s problems and resentment – concentrate on the work at hand.
Get rid of distractions. Turn off alerts from social networks, close all unnecessary tabs and windows, and if you do not need the Internet for work, turn it off. Put your phone on silent mode, and check your mail no more than once an hour. Keep your workplace clean and tidy – you should enjoy being at it.
Choose the most difficult task. Think carefully about it, how it can “ignite” you – if you are busy with a really interesting process, then there won’t even be a thought of other things to do.
Multitasking often leads to the fact that a person does not know what to grasp, and falls into stress. Take care of the main thing – if it seems too difficult for you, break it up into stages. Be afraid that if you don’t do something right now, you’ll forget about it – write it down and come back to it, having solved the primary tasks.
Do the project less, reduce the scope. Make it doable in a few days or a week. Proceed with the other parts when the first part is finished.
Don’t do boring things. Find something that inspires you. If you can’t, consider changing jobs.
After each completed task, encourage yourself with a kind word, a favorite treat, or browsing the news feed. But not for long – you still have things to do.
In any unclear situation, wash your face.
Famous video-blogger-naturalist explains that when animals are “torn” by conflicting tasks, there may be “glitches” in their behavior.
“There is one experiment. They take hamsters, place a vibro bench on their cage and turn it on. The first reaction of the hamsters is adequate – panic, but then they all sit down and start washing. When psychologists noticed this behavior, they laughed and called it “displaced activity.” So what happened? The hamster gets into a situation that he terribly dislikes, and he tries to get out of it, but he doesn’t understand how to do it, because all of his behavioral patterns don’t work. Thus, the energy of avoidant behavior cannot find an adequate way out, but you can always find an inadequate one! So in any unclear situation – wash your face, it will not solve the problem, but at least you will be clean.”