Saturday, 21 September 2013

Procrastination 101

What is procrastination?

For instance, it’s the temptation to check your email, your social media accounts, or simply just to check the latest viral video in YouTube in the middle of your work or tight deadline.

Of course we are all familiar to this circumstance, right?

We let our work target slipped but you convince yourself that you will start again tomorrow, and if it slip again you’ll decide to start again on the next Monday, and so on, and so on until you freaked out because you are so close to the deadline. Procrastination is not always about work, it can be your new year resolutions, such as losing weight, read more books, or simply just to clean up your messy room.

From its origin, the word procrastination itself can be defined as ‘putting off till tomorrow’. It is a complex psychological behavior where the procrastinators usually know what they should be doing but they keep on delaying instead.

But procrastination isn’t solely about a poor time management quality; if we look deeper into the procrastinators’ characteristic we can divide it into two different kinds of procrastination. Professor Joseph R. Ferrari of DePaul University figured out the procrastinators who delay making decisions (The decision-avoiders), and procrastinators who delay taking actions (The task-avoiders). The decision-avoiders tend to relying on other people to make their minds up for them; therefore they can easily blame others if something goes wrong. The task-avoiders are generally characterized by their low self-esteem; they make a decision without the follow-up actions.

The procrastinator’s characteristic is usually known as their optimistic about his ability to complete his task under a tight deadline until his false sense of security collapse and wake him up to realize that he is no longer in control. However, there are also other procrastinator’s characteristics, such as:
A too busy procrastinator
A person who justifying his delaying because he has “so much things to do”.
A stubborn procrastinator
A person who uses procrastination as stubbornness or pride where he refuses to be pushed to do his tasks, he thinks that he can do it later when he feels ready and good about himself.
A frustrated victim
A person who is frustrated because he can’t do the work as well as others, therefore he is delaying.

The reasons behind procrastination also can be divided into two categories; the simple reasons and the complex reasons. The simple reasons are involving such things as task difficultness; time-consuming task; lack of knowledge that caused the fear of making mistake; and the fear of everyone will noticing your failure.

The complex reasons are:
Some people have unrealistically high standards and they hate to fail, their motto is ‘do everything perfectly or do nothing at all’.
If you are unhappy with your boss or professor, you will tend to hold back your best performance.
Low Frustration Tolerance
When you are unable to adapt with the intolerable circumstances and getting frustration instead and putting off your obligations until tomorrow.
Self Downing
People who tend to put themselves down. Their low self esteem makes them doubting their abilities. They are procrastinating because the uncomfortable feeling with achievement and success.

In some case, procrastination can lead you to a good performance since some people work better under pressure. However, it can be so self-destructively dangerous and unconsciously steal your precious time. You better have to cope with your procrastination issue soon before you realize that it’s too late to fix everything.

Here are some concrete steps to tame your bad habit:
  1. Structured procrastination; basically it’s a way to turn procrastination into a productive activity when you are in the mood of delaying your priority task then you switch your work to the less significant work. The point is, you can still remaining productive even though you are procrastinating.
  2. Make a list! Write down your delayed tasks and the actual reasons of your delaying, and then overcome those!
  3. Break your task into smaller portions of task to ease your mind.
  4. Ask for a help; it can be your friend (obviously NOT your procrastinator friend) or maybe go get a professional one.
  5. Do it!!! Finish it!!!

Go take the charge of your life back! Procrastination can weaken us down, downgrading our work performance, and affecting our personality. So go ahead close your unnecessary browser tabs, you will not get your works done if you keep on checking your twitter timeline though, and don’t worry, those cat meme pictures can wait for you in your free time.

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