The other day we wrote a little bit about procrastination and how it impacts us. Today we’ll delve a little deeper into why people procrastinate and what they can do about it.
Fear of failure
Let’s admit it. Nobody likes to fall short or fail. When left with an option to either potentially fail or not even start a task, many people choose to procrastinate. When you think about it, it’s a weird irrational trade-off. You are basically saying, “I am more afraid of not doing a report correctly, than I am of the consequences of not doing it all!”
Most of the time that fear of failure is also irrational. If you are having a problem with a particular report or task, be proactive and ask your boss for help. Google can also be a best friend!
Also, think about the consequences of failure. What’s the worst thing that will happen? Now think about the consequences if you don’t do anything! Surely they can’t even compare?
Don’t let fear of failure cloud your judgement!
This is soooo boring!
We all have part of our jobs we love a little bit less. When encountering tasks which we are less enamoured with there is an excellent chance procrastination will rear its ugly head. At the end of the day chances are you are going to have to complete this task one way or another. “This stuff bores me” isn’t what your boss wants to hear and certainly not after the first few tries. Do any excellent job for a year and maybe they’ll consider having someone else take over.
So why not gamify it a little? Are you doing data entry? Set yourself a clock and see how fast you can. Set a procrastination time and see how long you can work for before the boredom kicks in and you find yourself surfing the web for cute pictures of dogs in Christmas sweaters.
Sometimes we procrastinate not because we don’t like a particular task or think well fail, rather because we simply underestimate how long it will take us. I’ll start that report after lunch, it should only take an hour or two. 4 hours later it’s still not done and you’re calling home to explain why you are doing to be late.
In this case, if you’re looking for that additional free time to call some old friends, first get the work done and then do your procrastinating. This way, if your estimate is off, you haven’t backed yourself into a corner.
Do you identify with anything on our list? If so leave us a comment and us know!