“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today” is a familiar proverb that advises us to complete the tasks at hand, yet time and time again we fall victim to procrastination. Despite detailed plans, clear objectives and digital accessories that beep at us, we still defer what needs to be done until a later date and often fail to do them at all.
Unfortunately, the consequences of missing deadlines are similar to having a credit card – we do not realise how much damage we have done until we get the bill! Procrastination not only affects our work, but it also gives us feelings of guilt, regret, stress and inadequacy.
When you begin to understand the personal and emotional reasons behind procrastination you will realise why you put off your plans and goals.
One of the major reasons we avoid tasks is fear of failure. Interestingly, those who avoid failure can even avoid success. Either way, they are often too concerned about what others think of them. They would rather show that they lack time and not ability. The fear of failure, can also disguise itself in the form of perfectionism – waiting until everything is perfect before the task can be considered complete. There are also those who procrastinate because of indecision. By not making decisions, they free themselves from the responsibility of a poor outcome. Some procrastinate because they enjoy the last minute rush and thrill of striving to reach the deadline within limited time constraints.
Whether you actively look for distractions, put things off entirely or are just not happy with the quality of your work, then you are procrastinating. Identify why you procrastinate so that you understand how you can overcome it.