The word “Procrastination” can be found in almost all media articles now. Psychologists, employers, bloggers – everyone consider it necessary to express their opinion, give advice, provide some case studies and, of course, predict dire consequences. In fact, procrastination existed at all times; it is not a new-fashioned trend. Even Cicero complained about procrastination that ruled under administrative authority. But why they sounded the alarm only in recent years?
It is considered that information overflow is the main reason of procrastination increase. Though 10 years ago, when internet and social networks were not so commonly used, employees used to procrastinate 20% of their working hours, looking through news resources and magazines. Today this rate has increased to 40%: time is slipping through our fingers for news reading, social networks, checking emails, communications, smoking, chats with colleagues about the weather, coffee brakes. In general, we are ready to do everything to postpone urgent and important tasks.
Wikipedia says: “Procrastination is the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time, sometimes to the “last minute”. No doubts, traditional offices are procrastination seat. In fact, salaried employees are not result-motivated and therefore they try to minimize their labor inputs.
Procrastination is in direct ratio to bureaucracy. Governmental organizations, where work imitation is more important than eventual result, are sure proof of this statement.
Psychologists discovered several interesting facts about procrastination:
- Procrastination is inherited: if your family suffered from this problem, then you are 99% inclined to this weakness too
- Those who’re afraid of risk, are suffering from procrastination
- Fear of failure, lack of knowledge and confidence cause procrastination
- It’s possible to reduce and even trash this disease
So, how to cope with nasty habit? We’ve completed a ranking of procrastination treatments, from easy to revolutionary ones.
1) Complete your list of tasks for the next day. It should contain both difficult and small jobs. Experienced procrastinators have invented the 1-3-5 rule. This means that everyday plan should contain 1 very important job, 3 less important and 5 trivial tasks. When performing tons of smallest things you get implicated into the working process more easily. Cutting big task into pieces is a step forward its completion.
2) Encourage yourself for completed tasks every 25 minutes. This may be a 10-minutes walk or a coffee break. It’s impossible to work effectively for 8 hours. Have you ever thought about one fact: nobody ever procrastinate computer games? Every game consists of several levels. We are treated each time we successfully pass a level and continue playing. Use this approach in your current job and you’ll see great results. We all have to make small breaks to mobilize energy.
3) Track your labor hours statistic. You can use Excel, RescueTime or toggl.com. These programs monitor computer activities and provide detailed results. You’ll see how much time you spent to emails, Facebook, messengers etc. All this information will demonstrate your loosed opportunities in numbers.
4) Set yourself monthly and annual goals and plan detailed actions to achieve them. Goals have to be measurable – this stimulates work effectiveness and will help to estimate strengths and weaknesses.
5) Change your working place. Probably, employer won’t care if you’ll work 2-3 days a week outside the office – at home, at co-working office or somewhere else –provided that your effectiveness will increase. Office environment is good for procrastinators, where they have tons of reasons to escape from doing really important tasks. The best place to concentrate is a quiet place, where everything strings you for a work: libraries or lone parks.
6) Do only fascinating jobs you really like. Probably you’ll be able to achieve better results by changing your company, job, industry, or even starting your own business. Freelance business inspires: the more you procrastinate at work the less you earn. Former procrastinators say it’s useful to turn to risky and intensive businessman’s life even for a short time. These attempts are inexpensive and available for everyone. For instance, recruiters, running routine job every day can easily start their own business with lowest possible expenses. Today developers experience is not required to start own recruitment business online: ready job scripts and multiple job board design templates are available at a low price. If you are able to fight off your procrastination the fortune will smile you.
One noticed that procrastinator is just a life viewer, but not a participant. Alert, if you find yourself doing the following things regularly:
1) Checking social network statuses and messengers
2) Downloading and watching films
3) Watching TV, especially soap operas
4) Downloading information for future use (books, films, music, articles)
5) Unceasing information search, blogging and tweeting.