Procrastination - Part I

1, Sept, 2014, by Seema Bhatnagar

This is a four part series.
Procrastination - Part I
Procrastination - Part II - Reasons for Procrastination.
Procrastination - Part III - The Darker side.
Procrastination - Part IV - How to overcome?

clock indicating time

How many times you felt that it is ok postponing a particular task for now, even if it is an important one, and said to yourself - "since I have ample time, let me enjoy watching movie or let me catch a quick nap". This might be a common scenario for many because doing this gives a feeling of pleasure and a sense of momentary freedom of being self or doing something which you really enjoy. But this habit of perpetual procrastination can literally damage career and relationships in long run.

Let's take a classic scenario to understand procrastination better. Your boss asked you on Wednesday to submit a report by Monday. You felt a sense of relief on thinking that you have ample time in hand. You didn't touch it till Friday and spent your Friday evening partying with friends, reached home late. Got up late on Saturday morning, realized that you have only one day left for a report for which you have to collect data from other resources and have to compile it then - for all this, it will take more than a day. You somehow dragged yourself and prepared a draft by evening and felt tired and wanted to watch TV.

You could not work comfortably because of fatigue and drowsiness from last evening. Instead of catching sleep you spent Saturday night watching your favourite movie and chose to complete remaining task of report next morning. But you got up late on Sunday, and by then half of the day is almost gone. Now, you have only half day left for completing the report. You are feeling stressed, finding it impossible to complete, thinking of several excuses which you can make in front of your boss, thinking of all possible shortcuts to complete in least possible time. Your tension is soaring with every thought. As a last resort you start working on a report with full concentration. Spent whole night and completed the report, which was not up to your satisfaction but for the sake of completion it was done.

Task is done successfully. BUT---

What's wrong in above scenario?

  • At last hour there was no extra time left for revising and improvising the report.
  • There was a constant fear of failure about possibility of incomplete report.
  • There was no planning and initial estimation about the total time required for task to be completed.
  • A sense of satisfaction of completing the task successfully was missing.

Overall, the task was done but it was taxing on your body. On top of that, your mind registered a fact that you can complete tasks in eleventh hour, doesn't matter how. This is something to take note of, because anything which mind feels is positive has a possibility of becoming a habit.

woman procrastinator sleeping

What actually is procrastination?

Procrastination is about delaying an important or impending task to some unknown time in future and preferring to do less important or insignificant tasks.

Fundamentally, it is about not to start important tasks and wasting time in activities which give more pleasure and comfort. For example, checking emails several times a day, frequently updating status on social media sites, net browsing, gossiping over chats or phone calls, similarly other tasks which takes away attention from main task.

It is not surprising that almost each one of us has experienced procrastination at different stages of life, be it during student life, work life or in personal life.

Procrastination has become a kind of illness for millions of people around the world. They feel helpless and at times, victims, because of personal inability to overcome this habit. Due to habit of procrastination, individuals face significant drop in productivity at work, misunderstanding develops in relationships - overall it injects a negativity and low self-esteem in life.

Related Posts
Procrastination - Part II - Reasons for Procrastination.
You are your Habits.

Seema Bhatnagar
, Blogger, Writer, Life Coach and Founder of Abundance Thinkers, site for personal growth and development. Empowering people in achieving and living the best of personal potential.

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