Procrastinate much? We all procrastinate to some degree. Before we condemn ourselves for yet another act that requires self reflection, let us first determine if indeed procrastination is a problem. It could be we are processing the issue? Managing our time? Delegating what is not the highest and best use of our talents? Prioritizing to maximize our energy? Or, perhaps we need to entertain the most common reason human beings procrastinate: I do not feel like it!
One of the most common reasons behind the art (or rather the act) of procrastination is avoidance. It does not require data in human psychology to realize that prolonging an unpleasant task exaggerates the feelings associated with performing the task itself. Perhaps Nike conducted research on procrastination to arrive at their infamous tagline: Just Do It?
Some type-A procrastinators experience a performance-enhancing adrenaline rush, and glimmers of brilliance, when a deadline is looming. Perhaps this phenomenon fuels habitual hesitation? That said, the father of equality offers his words of advice: “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” Abraham Lincoln
For better or worse, we procrastinate. Yet we eventually get it done albeit with a bit more stress than necessary. We offer the following suggestions to combat procrastination…. you can read them now, or save them until later:
Evaluate your reasoning. Instead of thinking “I have to,” create a tangible monologue regarding what is important about the task or accomplishment. Shifting the thought from an unpleasant chore to a positive reason may motivate you to reap the reward.
Create a less distracted environment. Creating a space to work without interruption or clutter may help you be more creative and expedite the task.
Understand your peak hours. Plan to accomplish more grueling and difficult tasks during your peak hours. This can lead to a more productive, more focused attitude.
Visualize the finish line. Understanding the rewards of accomplishment can make getting there a little easier.
“Do you know what happens when you give a great idea to a procrastinator? Nothing!” Donald Gardner
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With respect and gratitude,
Barbara & your research team
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