Procrastination is a huge killer of productivity. The more we worry about deadlines, the more we procrastinate. Understanding these three things about procrastination will help you overcome the habit and get more done. Starting tomorrow.
(Photo Credit: Victor1558/Flickr)
1. Pride Comes Before the Fall
Ironically, it is often the perfectionists who must get everything just so who end up procrastinating and turning in shoddy work late.
When we hear “Type A personality” we may think of a highly organized person who lives by a strict schedule and does whatever he does well. When people go too far with the need to present polished presentations and projects, the pressure causes anxiety, which hinders their ability to work.
One way to get a handle on procrastination is to accept when something is “good enough.”
2. Become Self-Aware
Perfectionism and procrastination go hand in hand with distress and anxiety. These habits are sometimes so deeply entrenched that they are hard to break. However, when you think about living life upset, depressed, anxious or distressed, you may come to realize that it’s now worth it.
Remembering what is important in life — feeling happy and relaxed — may help you decrease the need to be perfect, which leads to procrastination. Pay attention to your feelings when you have a new project. If you feel the anxiety creeping up on you, take a breath and word through it. Don’t set aside the project for later. Self-awareness may help you get a handle on procrastination.
3. You Don’t Need Praise
Praise is a double-edged sword. Praise from the boss or others whose opinion you respect may certainly work as positive reinforcement. You act, you get praise, so you act again to get more praise.
Unfortunately, praise can also have the opposite effect. You procrastinate. You finally get the job done, on time, and your boss praises you. It feels good. Next time, you procrastinate less and turn in your work. Your boss does not criticize, but he also does not praise.
You really want that praise, so you try harder on the third project you are given. Still, no praise. Disappointed at being unsuccessful at eliciting praise from your boss, you procrastinate this and future projects.
It’s not the praise that, in the end, made your procrastination worse. Rather, it was your dependence upon praise that didn’t come. You can’t control whether your boss offers you praise. You might, however, come up with a small reward that you give yourself when you overcome procrastination and turn work in in a timely fashion.
Tell Us What You Think
How do you fight procrastination? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.