Procrastination, if there is a single most significant cause for a majority of self-imposed miseries, it is this noun.
The oxford dictionary defines ‘Procrastination’ as the action of delaying or postponing something.
Why is it so toxic to procrastinate? The answer is simple; does anyone like delay?
Imagine standing in a queue at the bank, and the cashier is delaying in addressing the line. Or at the railway ticket counter, where-in the ticket vendor is not working efficiently. Or you are awaiting the delivery of a much-anticipated product you ordered over the e-commerce website, and the delivery agent is responsible for the delay since he is slacking it out somewhere. Would anyone like to be a part of any of the above situations? The answer will be in the negative.
The circumstances mentioned above are unpleasant and are bound to end up riling customers who are on the receiving end. However, it will end up awfully for the people who are the ones causing misery to others by delaying in undertaking their duties. What do you think the annual appraisal sheet for such employees will reflect? For efficient corporations, it will be adverse and may result in such workers losing their positions.
Procrastination will end up landing procrastinators in serious trouble—Ninety-nine times out of Hundred.
Though it is not rocket science that procrastination is harmful, yet why do people indulge in it?
Primarily because of the mind’s wiring to do so. Humans have taken a long time to evolve, and life was never this comfortable, as we live today (if you wish to read more on this, you may click on this link to one of my previous blogs https://freemind.live/happiness-why-are-we-always-in-pursuit/ ). Hence the brain signals the body to take rest the moment it senses an opportunity. Nothing is surprising in this attribute though, in the face of two given options, Relax or Labour / Easy or Challenging; Majority of the respondents will choose the former.
Hence to motivate people to take the latter as a choice, the reward system evolved. If there is a task, we need to do it, or else how will we progress? We need to take note; that reward will not provide immediate monetary gratification. It could be in any form. For a student, its better results in an examination; For an engineer, its an early completion of the project. However, the outcomes of making hard choices will always be delightful.
Now that we know, procrastination is a negative emotion, what is it that we can do to rid ourselves of it?
There are plenty of self-help books available in the market which can help readers shed this habit. However, we will try to cover five essential points that will be instrumental in fighting this evil. So to move from Procrastination to Punctuality (Antonym) we must do the following.
Laziness is the root cause of procrastination, and we must endeavour to eradicate laziness from our lifestyle. It is this reason, the training manual of armed forces focus significantly on taking laziness out their personnel’s character. Please don’t leave any task for the later, complete it within the stipulated timeline.
We must plan our tasks and make a disciplined approach. Please stick to the timelines, and review it periodically to measure the completion levels. This method will allow an immediate response mechanism to an overlooked unfinished job and ensure a flawless chain of production.
One must set goals that are reasonable and achievable over a given time. No one can wake up one day and participate in the Olympics the next. We are not implying that one can’t ever be an Olympian; however, it has to be a life mission, that requires immense determination, focus, talent, planning and execution. These attributes are to be supported by step by step planning.
In today’s digital age, it is effortless to get distracted. We have information about everything available to us on the internet at the click of a button. And The mind is a monkey, and it keeps jumping from one branch (topic) to another without any purpose. Hence at the end of the day, we find ourselves reading about, the latest updates on our favourite shows, movie reviews, friend’s social media timelines; however, the task at hand remain incomplete. We must avoid getting distracted during the time earmarked for completing a specific job, and it has to be a single-minded approach until then. Once the job is over, we may reward ourselves with an unabated time on social media, or any other activity of interest.
Write Daily Journals:
This habit is a handy tool in our crusade against procrastination. At the beginning of the day, make a numbered list of to-do tasks in a diary. Once we note the scheduled agendas for the day, our mind works towards achieving this target. This self-goal setting is immensely useful, keep striking out the jobs which are complete; where-in if any task requires postponement, jot down a valid reason along with the fresh target completion date. That satisfactory feeling at the end of the day of knowing that no responsibility remains unattended is a gratifying reward.
We must take note that we need to pursue the actions rigorously and keep practising to remain in a state that is opposite of procrastination. Since it takes time to build up and sustain an attitude in life and if we are not alert – it is easy to slip back being a procrastinator, fundamentally because of our mental programming. Relax or Labour?
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