Procrastination can stop you from achieving things of which you are capable and hinder growth in your personal and career development. Unfortunately, even though it can be destructive, procrastination is common. By recognizing when and why you procrastinate and being proactive by developing time management skills, you can overcome procrastination and increase your productivity, as well as improve how you spend your time. Besides reducing stress in your daily life, overcoming procrastination can heighten your sense of self efficacy. In this article we will explore what procrastination is and why it happens. Watch for Time Management: Procrastination Part II in next week’s HR Update for some ideas of how to beat procrastination and rearrange your life to be more relaxed and less stressful.
Simply put, procrastination is putting of something that needs attention for another activity that is either more enjoyable or with which you are more comfortable. People who procrastinate spend just as much, and sometimes even more, time working than those who don’t, but they invest their time and energy in inefficient or un-useful ways. There are multiple causes of procrastination. Sometimes people procrastinate because of fear or anxiety and other times procrastination is simply a matter of poor organization. In some instances, just one hurdle can hinder your progress, while for others there are multiple challenges to overcome to beat procrastination. By understanding why you’re putting off a particular task, you can begin to remedy the situation and take back control.
Many people don’t start projects because they are afraid of finishing them. Fear of failure or success is quite common and frequently gets in the way of career and personal development. Think, for example, of a nurse who procrastinates while applying for a promotion because he is afraid of the added responsibilities that come with leading a team, or an analyst that procrastinates working on a project because she is afraid that successful completion will mean higher expectations will be placed on her in the future. In these examples, the employees’ discomfort is getting in the way of their opportunities. Once they over come their fears of development or growth, they will be more comfortable at work and have more options open to them, whether they choose to take those options or not.