We all tend to postpone certain tasks from time to time. While at times, we may have genuine reasons for postponing the things, but most of the times, the act of postponing things is due to our inefficiencies and mind-set. And real problem arises when postponing things becomes part of our habit.
If you are also struggling with the habit of delaying tasks and seriously want to overcome Procrastination, then this post will be of interest for you.
What is Procrastination?
Dictionary meaning of Procrastination is “The action of delaying or postponing something”.
“Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy” By Wayne Gretzky
Why we Procrastinate?
There are number of factors which can cause procrastination. We will talk about some common factors which often lead people to procrastination. What we need to understand is that different people may have different reasons for procrastination. Also same person may procrastinate at different times due to different reasons. So let’s have a look at the reasons for procrastination –
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- Fear of Failure – When we are doubtful about the outcome of our actions, the easiest option available for our mind is to ask us to postpone the action. And to make the matters worse, the very thought of our near and dear ones making fun of us if we fail, stops us from taking action. Fear of failure and rejection are one of the biggest stumbling blocks in the path of Success.
“Fear stops a lot of people. Fear of failure, of the unknown, of risk. And it masks itself as procrastination.” By Lisa Anderson
- Lack of motivation – There are certain tasks which we find as unpleasant and we hate to do such tasks.We may also believe that particular things are not that important. So we try to postpone them for some other day. Or we may find certain jobs not worth the effort we put in. We lack the required motivation to carry out these tasks.
- Handling Complex issues-We perceive some problems to be so complex, that we are unable to handle them. Necessary support and guidance required to overcome such challenging situations may not be available at that point of time. The result is that we have no option but to put on hold such issues for some other day.
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- Fatigue and Laziness – There are times when we are so tired due to hectic daily schedules that we decide to postpone even important tasks for some other day so that we can focus on these tasks with renewed energy and exuberance. Laziness on the other hand is a bad habit which we need to work on. Lack of discipline and laziness are those habits which stops us from being Successful in life.
- Looking for Perfection – People looking for Perfectionism tend to believe that they lack the requisite skills and resources to carry out important tasks. They fail to understand that starting a task in a perfect scenario is a myth. Instead if they start the task with the available skills and resources and then keep improvising, there is a high possibility that they will succeed. On the other hand, if they don’t give it a try, the probability of success is nil.
- Lack of Self-Confidence – Lack of Self-Confidence is one of the most important limiting factors that stop people from accepting challenging situations. These people may have necessary skills and abilities to accomplish bigger tasks but their lack of Self-Confidence and Low Self Esteem keep these people in low profile. They never realize their true potential.
- Poor Time Management Habits – Very few people understand the importance of differentiating between Important and Not So Important tasks. They fail to prioritize the tasks. The end result is that they keep on doing not so important jobs religiously because they find them easy to accomplish. On the other hand, urgent and important jobs suffer.
“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you have always wanted … Do it now” by Paulo Coelho
How to Overcome Procrastination
First step to overcome Procrastination is the acceptance of the fact that the habit of procrastination is limiting our overall growth and true potential in life. Unless we realize our shortcomings, we will never be able to overcome them.
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Once we are willing to overcome the habit of procrastination, next step is to identify the causes that are leading us to postponing things.
Many times, I have observed that I postpone crucial and important tasks for couple of weeks with the belief that this will give me ample time to collect relevant information and facts so that my action is fool proof. These important tasks could be replying to mails, appearing for certification exams or starting with new goals in life etc. However I find that I actually end up spending only that much time on task which I would have done by completing it in 1-2 days. So actually I am delaying things unnecessary for few weeks with no actual benefit. I believe it happens with most of us.
Similarly you will find that causes for procrastination in our lives is one or the other of the bad habits mentioned above. We can work towards getting rid of our bad habits. Habits good or bad can be formed. It’s in our hands. The best way to beat procrastination is to face the situation right away. We need to realize that no-body is going to come to do our job. Today or tomorrow or may be couple of weeks later, ultimately we only will have to complete the task. So have confidence in your abilities and convert your limitations into your strength.
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