Procrastination ~ Good or Bad???
Definition: The act of replacing high-priority or important actions with tasks of lower priority, or doing something from which one brings enjoyment, and thus putting off important tasks to a later time. – Wikipedia
Active procrastinators purposely delay tasks because they are more focused and productive when they work under pressure. They know how to use their energy, and the adrenaline rush to fuel them to meet their deadlines, just in time.
Passive procrastinators are often paralyzed by indecision, worry and can often interfere with your relationships. Passive procrastinators live with anxiety, guilt and stress over the frequent missed opportunities and deadlines.
We often paint procrastinators with the same brush and consider it a negative trait. The most important point here is to identify the type of procrastinator you are and then decide if there is value in you changing. There may not be and you can continue the way you are.
We are all leaders in our own lives and whether you hold a leadership position or not it is important to fully understand yourself. It is worth the time to explore the impact that procrastination has on your life and the lives of your team. By making a list of the Costs and the Benefits of procrastination can provide you with the information to make the decision if it is worth taking the necessary steps to change. Effective leaders “walk their talk” and need to understand the example they are setting for their team.
A few examples of these benefits include:
- Avoidance of possible failure ( or success)
- People stop expecting you to do things – reduced anxiety
- Sometimes problems simply solve themselves
- You get to only do the tasks you enjoy
If you decide that you want to change, our Alliance partner Mark Ellwood has created an accountability website that can support you. It is a website where you can post the activities you want to achieve and through the website you can connect with an accountability buddy. Visit the website: http://www.buddyhive.com/
Mark has the following tips to help you overcome procrastination (there are more on his website):
Situation: Tasks that are rarely turn out to be as bad as you think.
Tip: Do tasks first. Early in the day is usually the best time to schedule them. reward yourself once they are completed
Situation: Something looms ahead of you: starting a small business, getting a job, preparing the annual budget. The job is too big or will take too long to do now, so you put it off.
Tip: Larger jobs are easier to manage if broken into smaller tasks. Start with even the smallest task.
Fear of failure (lack of self confidence)
Situation: Sometimes people want to avoid the consequences of failure, so they delay. (People also suffer from fear of success!)
Tip: Have a clear mental picture of the completed task and how you and others will feel at that time. Focusing on the end result, not just the process.
Situation: Projects delayed due to people wanting everything to be perfect.
Tip: Clearly defined deadlines with accountability to others will support you.
Tip: Recognize that sometimes 80% for you may well be 100% for someone else. Know when less detail is required and only provide what is needed