“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” – Charles Dickens
Procrastination. The bane of all our lives. Frankly speaking, I have been procrastinating to get this article written, and have had to literally force myself in front of the computer to do it. Well, to get on with it.
Something which annoys us to no end when we know that we need to sit down and focus on the task at hand, procrastination can make or break a team. Think about it: all that last minute rushing to put things into place, all that panic which ensues, most of the time it is attributable to procrastination, and can be avoided. But how? Most of the time it requires a fair bit of discipline to overcome the barrier emplaced by procrastination, discipline which many of us are unable to muster. Thus, here are some tips to help liberate you:
- Encouragement. Especially relevant whether working alone or in a team, encouragement can provide a good dose of motivation, which gives one the determination he needs to complete a task. So in a team, encourage each other periodically. Express your faith in the other person’s abilities. If working alone, while tougher, it is still possible to encourage yourself, by telling yourself not to give up.
- Organisation. Sometimes, procrastination occurs simply because we are not organised enough. Instead of looking continually at the final goal as what must be achieved, which can seem intimidating, set smaller, achievable goals. You will feel happier and more motivated when you achieve these milestones you set for yourself. Also, take some time to organise your thoughts, to plan what you need to do. Going in with a plan helps prevent procrastination by giving a clear direction towards which you know you have to work towards.
- Reward. Sometimes, the best motivation we can give ourselves is the promise of a reward when we complete what we have to do. Such rewards can take the form of anything. If you like sports, tell yourself that you’ll give yourself an hour after you complete what you have to do, or if you like food, pizza or ice cream. By promising to reward yourself with something you enjoy, you effectually motivate yourself to complete the task faster, which stops you from falling into the pit of procrastination.
Not to say that procrastination is all bad. Sometimes the most marvellous things happen when we are in the midst of procrastinating. For instance, because we are not doing what we have the opportunity to distance ourselves from what we have to do, there may be a much-needed creative spark which comes to us in the midst of all that procrastination which comes in the form of a solution to all our current problems. Moreover, if under severe stress, procrastination can help by giving an outlet for that stress, enabling one to relax and think more clearly.
However, more often than not procrastination simply impedes progress, and should the case be as such, hopefully we have given you the information you need.