How to Stop Procrastination From Stalling Your Career
Procrastination is the act or habit of delaying or postponing tasks, especially something that requires immediate action. In other words, it is the complete failure of self-regulation. Although it is an active process as we choose to do something else instead of the task at hand, it is often confused with laziness.
However, these two are entirely different. At its negative peak, procrastination can degrade your productivity and consequently lead to frustration and depression. It may even lead to low self-esteem and delay your pursuit of a career and achievement of goals. Hence, it is crucial to avoid and stop procrastinating during your professional tasks.
Procrastination is so common that almost everyone slips into it, consciously or unconsciously. However, it must be understood that procrastination is not necessarily a bad thing, and actually, it is quite normal. However, passive procrastination is big trouble, especially for career-focused people. It can hurt your career as it can keep you from doing your job well and leave your boss dissatisfied with poor performance.
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We put off going to the doctor, and we discover that we have a serious issue that could have been treated easily had we been to the doctor sooner or had some psychotherapy skills. This is the most common example we can witness. Some more detrimental effects of passive procrastination can be:
• Loss of precious time
• Lowered self-esteem
• Improper decision making
• Damage to your reputation
• Damage to your health
• Inability to meet goals on time
Procrastination can have a long-lasting effect on our careers and life. Searching for efficient ways to avoid procrastination since your early days can be a good start to put off the bad habit. Here are some ways in which you can restart yourself.
1. Recognizing the procrastination: Whenever you start making excuses for delaying or postponing your immediate tasks, recognize your verbal and behavioral signals of procrastination onset.
Proactively, you can use this thought to call for action against delay and start acting towards the task. It may require higher willpower on your part to get started, but it's best to prepare for it, make an effort, and get going. Better late than never.
2) Time management: Time management is the act of planning and exercising conscious control of time in specific tasks or activities. Under this technique, you need to classify your short-term, medium-term, and long-term activities and complete them accordingly.
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For instance, doing long-term tasks one after another won't do any good for your mood and productivity. Some steps to avoid procrastination through effective time management are planning, prioritizing your tasks, setting realistic goals, and rewarding yourself.
Pomodoro technique: Developed in the late 1980s by Francesco Cirillo, this time management method consists of the following steps:
• Choose a task to be completed
• Set a timer of 25 minutes (A Pomodoro)
• Work on the task until the timer stops
• Make a checkmark on a paper for every Pomodoro
• Take a short break
• For every Pomodoro, take a longer break.
3) Task Management: Performing a big task on your own may not work for you. One can feel overwhelmed when they need to work on something big or important. With such schemes, people tend to procrastinate for a longer-term as well.
However, when broken into smaller fragments, mini-tasks are easier to complete and keep track of. Such micro-tasks are simple, distinct, manageable, and realistic to complete. So, to stop and avoid postponing habits, it is essential to break big jobs into smaller ones.
4) Force yourself to start: Taking the initiative to start any work can be challenging for most people. Fear of failure and complete bewilderment to how it's going to go can make it more challenging. Sometimes, we put so much pressure on ourselves that we never develop the courage to try it in the first place.
As such, you may have to push yourself beyond your insignificant thoughts and fears and try to accomplish what you've planned. Once started, the task will take place in no time.
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5) Finish what you start: Most of us start one work and jump to another without completing the first one. And during working on the second one, we build so many thoughts for the third task and go for it without finishing the previous ones. Such habits only increase our tendency to procrastinate and may hinder our career as well.
Avoiding such habits is essential for our growth and a better career. To finish what you start, it's best to concentrate all your energy and effort on your current task without distracting yourself.
6) Accept challenges: Whenever you see a challenge, it's best to start developing a mindset that deems the challenge interesting. Most people lack such an attitude and feel demotivated to solve the problems head-on.
We should realize that the problems and challenges we currently face can lead us to change and progress. Growth and progress don't come without a challenge. With the help of self-improvement skills that you can use anytime, you may tackle such confrontations and come out victorious.
7) Create accountability: Most people develop responsibility through their bosses or work pressure, but some lack them. Lacking accountability can lead to mistrust, low morale, and ultimately low productivity, which is bad for your growth and development.
To develop accountability, it's best to share your goals with other people so that you feel the urgency to accomplish the task. By being accountable, you will start to see more meaning to even menial jobs.
Procrastination is common, and everybody falls victim to it. Just as growth has two sides: pleasant and painful, procrastination also has two sides: positive and negative. When you are sucked into negative procrastination, you tend to focus more on fear instead of possibility. It's the lack of courage that keeps you from anticipating the work. With perfectionism, fear of failure, an unpleasant task, one can procrastinate for a more extended period.
As such, it is vital to find ways to stop procrastinating. It can be a deadly habit that can keep you from your growth and development forever. However, having followed correct techniques with a strict routine, you can eliminate it from your workplace and ultimately from your life for a better tomorrow.