Have you decided to procrastinate a task yet again? You may have noticed that whether it is completing a task at home or at work, it is natural to procrastinate. It is wired into our system. Tasks that are easy to do are performed in a jiffy but the more difficult ones are put on hold indefinitely.
This is because our brains process the easier tasks and get the reward of satisfaction as compared to the tougher tasks whose benefits lie in the future and therefore are abstract. The way to tackle the tasks that are difficult is by making the action more appealing and real and making the effort of solving the tasks look reasonable by portioning them into smaller tasks. This way you will feel motivated as each goal is achieved.
Procrastination in the Workplace
People claim that those who procrastinate are in fact lazy. Others in a diverse workplace are of the opinion that procrastination helps them to work better when they are under pressure. However, these two views don’t hold any water as anyone who habitually procrastinates has not completed an important task before the deadline.
Those who procrastinate are never orderly in tackling the task. Those who say that they work better under pressure do not mention the negative results of procrastination like feelings of anxiety, stress, fatigue and not being able to present tasks of a good standard.
Leaving tasks to be done for the last minute also enhances the risks of things going wrong, like a computer problem or falling ill. People mainly procrastinate for reasons such as the fear of performing poorly, not being able to control a situation, appearing stupid, or having one’s self-respect challenged. Though procrastination enhances the chance of failing people engage in it anyway.
What Can Be Done to Overcome the Tendency to Procrastinate?
Break down big tasks
Why we procrastinate is in part due to the fact that we subconsciously find the work too unmanageable for us. The task needs to be broken down into manageable sub-parts and then given the due focus one part at a time.
Even after breaking the task into sub-parts we still find ourselves procrastinating, then the smaller parts can be further broken into little tasks such that the work appears simple and easy to handle.
Create a list
Another strategy is to make lists of the tasks to be done. They are useful in helping us to stop procrastinating because they enable us to deal with two out of the three factors that cause us to procrastinate i.e. risk-avoidance and rewards. Many working moms need to be proactive and create a balanced routine if they want to be inclusively diverse and a part of women’s diversity.
Making a list gives the feeling that something is being done. You get some sense of achievement. When the first task is complete and crossed off the list there is an enhanced sense of achievement. The items on the list should be things that can be glanced at and done immediately. The third item and then the fourth follow and gradually the task gets complete. The brain gets a sense of reward with each stage of achievement.
Set realistic deadlines
Among diverse professionals, in any workplace, setting a deadline is important. However, setting just one deadline is not a good idea as it is like creating a situation for procrastination. This is so because we feel that we have enough time to do the job and then keep pushing everything back till it is too late.
Once the project has been broken into smaller tasks, set a number of timelines each having a specific deadline for each task. Do not compromise on the shorter timelines as doing so will set in jeopardy everything else that was planned for later. Goals can be broken down into monthly, weekly, and daily job lists that have to be completed, or else everything goes haywire.
Change your environment
A change of environment at the workplace will give you a competitive advantage and can also enhance your productivity and minimize procrastination. In the workplace, the environment that once was ideal for work and made us feel inspired may lose its effectiveness over time. If this is the case, then there needs to be a change, and giving the workplace a new look will make you feel enthusiastic about work.
Also if the work environment is in a public place with constant movement and disturbance then look for a quiet location that eliminates the distractions. Any digital device too should be put on silent mode or “do not disturb” mode so that annoying notifications or calls do not disturb the concentration of work.
Various other methods that can be tried to eliminate or reduce procrastination are setting goals that will help you to pay attention to the task. When retaining diverse talent, employers look for qualities that will set you apart from the rest. Avoid checking emails at the start of work. Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and so on should be shut off to beat procrastination. Another good technique is to time oneself for a certain task. Try and complete the job within the timeframe. More importantly, you must commit yourself. Commit to completing small jobs and putting them in writing. On completion reward yourself. This will help you build trust in yourself that you will complete what you have set out to complete. It is not easy to achieve goals and change habits. It takes time. Set realistic goals. Unrealistic goals will leave you disappointed and frustrated. Talk to yourself and say “I will achieve …” instead of “ I should have…”