Procrastination, we all do it. Like checking holiday locations when we’re supposed to be working on a proposal, phoning a friend for a chat when we have a looming deadline or not making decisions because we tell ourselves we don’t have all the facts and need more time. It’s a bad practice that can turn from an annoying habit into an acute problem that leads to inner and outer conflict at work. So, how can we become proactive and lose the procrastination habit?
Take a note anytime in your day when you notice that you’re deferring tasks
With Each Act of Procrastination, Look at the Why
Is it Boredom, Lack of Motivation, Lack of Focus, Lack of Confidence, Lack of Competence, Laziness, Passive Aggressive Behaviour, Unhappiness, Fear or just a Bad Habit?
Consequences – Start with One Area where you always put tasks off and ask yourself – ‘What are the consequences to putting this off until later?
Am I lowering my own confidence by becoming more ineffective?
When I continually put things off, does it nag at me and impact the quality of my day?
Am I ruining my relationship with my colleagues and boss?
Am I ruining my reputation by becoming known as someone who can’t get work done on time and delays making decisions?
Solutions – Once You’re Clearer on Where and Why You’re Procrastinating You Can Start to be Proactive
Boredom – consider changing the way you work or moving job
Lack of Motivation/Direction – identity what motivates and inspires you. Identify your goals and the company’s goals. Talk to your boss about what’s important to you and where you fit in with the team and organisation. Incorporate this into your working life.
Lack of Confidence – Examine your strengths – did you do this job better in the past? Did something happen that dented your confidence? Talk to your boss or find a mentor to help you build up your confidence
Lack of Focus – Make Monthly, Weekly and Daily ‘To Do’ Lists. Circle the Tasks that you don’t like doing and do them first
Lack of Competence – Discover what’s missing in your skill set. Learn and develop by taking a course and upskilling
Unhappiness in your job – identify if you’re unhappy with your day-to-day role, the team, the boss or the company. Once you’ve done that, take steps and make changes.
Withdrawing from meetings, not replying to urgent emails or deliberately obstructing the pace of the work – you need to be honest with yourself. Do you want this job or do you want to move? Talk to a trusted advisor, understand what you want and look at your options for change.