Procrastination is Fixable – Your Work, Your Way

Disclaimer: Procrastination can be corrected, but the reason you avoid what you need to do is probably not. If you are afraid of a task, chances are you will be able to find a reason to avoid it. But if you are someone who by default postpones some things to the last minute, you can develop tools to help you break the habit.

In case you’re on the fence on the subject, let’s talk about why you should break your procrastination leg. First, you drive people crazy. I speak on behalf of the millions of conscientious workers, who never miss a due date, who die a thousand deaths waiting for your report at the last minute, you arrived “just a few minutes” late for the important meeting, and for the three days it took you to complete a simple mission you promised to do. Late – or the idea that you can make us late – it’s like nails on a chalk board.

(In short: Scientists have investigated why no human can tolerate the sound of nails on a chalk board and have come to the conclusion that it produces the same sound frequency as a baby crying and screaming.)

Second, your procrastination causes are you crazy. You may be addicted to the adrenaline rush of staying up all night to finish a project or approaching the last minute with the data in hand, but it affects your peace of mind – and your career.

Social scientists who study procrastination have stopped defining it as an issue of character (laziness) and have begun to think about it in terms of missing systems and tools that release the need for willpower to do something. Willpower comes and goes; Systems are designed to be the backup, safety rails that keep you on the road ahead.

You already have some of these systems. You do not rely on a purely character force to wake you up at 6:00 in the morning; You set an alarm clock. You set reminders in your logs. You buy and prepare a weekend meal (work with me here) so you have chopped vegetables and proteins for lunch all week. Once these systems are set up, they take over the role of reminding you what to do and when.

One thing that works for almost everyone is to make the task you have postponed a habit.

Schedule it on your calendar for the same time each day, week or month, depending on the job. On the last Thursday of the month, you schedule the last two hours (or first, depending on your inclination) of the day to work on your monthly report, filing, or other managerial task. It is important that it be set at the same time each time so that it becomes a habit; Randomization is your enemy. Consider recruiting a friend to help you stay on track by check-in to make sure you are up to the task.

Eventually, this time will become automatic, so you will not have to think about whether you should do it. You will also begin to reap the fruits of keeping tasks. Try to stay focused not on how the task is being made to make you feel (bored, nervous, resentful) but on how you feel after it is done (perfect, relieved, proud). Be sure to reward yourself the first time you do not have to. Spend the weekend catching up on work because you’re ahead of the game. (Or maybe a free weekend will be enough reward.)

Creating automatic behaviors will alleviate the need to feel like doing something. Turn on the dishwasher every evening and empty it first thing in the morning. Pay bills or submit receipts once a week. Defining a habit means you do not have to wait until you are in the mood. It also means that work will not pile up until it is too crucial to deal with – another common problem for procrastinators.

James Clear, author of Atomic habits: An easy and proven way to build good habits and break bad habitsDescribes the difference between amateur and professional writers (hint: talent is just part of it.) He quotes a conversation he had with Todd, a successful writer.

“Todd, what do you think about writing only when you feel motivated? I feel like I always do my best work when I get a spark of creativity or inspiration, but it only happens occasionally. I almost only write when I feel like it, which means I’m inconsistent. “But if I write all the time, then I do not create my best work.”

“It’s cool,” Todd replied. “I also write only when I am motivated. I happened to be motivated every day at 8am.”

We are what we do over and over again. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Will Durant

Posted by Canadian

Candice’s background includes human resources, recruitment, training and evaluation. She spent several years at a nationwide staffing company, serving employers at both beaches. Her writing on business, career and employment has appeared in the Florida Times Union, the Jacksonville Business Journal, the Atlanta Journal Constitution and 904 Magazine, as well as several national publications and websites. Candice is often quoted in the media on local labor market and employment issues.
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