Management December 13, 2013 Last updated September 18th, 2018 2,197 Reads share

Procrastination At Work And How To Avoid It

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Procrastination is a seriously bad habit that most of us have. Productivity in the workplace is hampered by this attitude. Projects and tasks get delayed by this and the efficiency of the workplace is compromised because of the minimal work being done. Businesses are not moving forward and eventually because of this their target profits may not be realized.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines procrastination as:

transitive verb: to put off intentionally and habitually 

intransitive verb: to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done.

Procrastination At Work And How To Avoid It

According to psychologist Professor Clarry Lay, procrastination happens when there is a “temporal gap between the intended behavior and the enacted behavior of a person.” Procrastination at the workplace is the long period between finishing the goal set by a worker and the enactment of those goals. When this happens, workers will then cram a lot of work that has to be done in a short little time before the deadline. This results in bad quality of work and will have to do it over again. The worst-case scenario is that a procrastinating employee gets laid off.

The bad habit of procrastination may lead to unnecessary stress because people will always hurry up to finish a task that they should be wrapping up earlier. People will feel guilty and experience a sense of crisis because they will blame only themselves for delaying the things that need to be done. They feel ashamed to the people that gave them enough time to do the work at hand. They will feel anxiety when reflecting about their low personal productivity and may think that other people will lose confidence in them.

The stages of procrastination that should be recognized and averted before the habit gets worse.

#1. False Security – When the time to do the work is long, people tend to not do it until the deadline to finish the job is near

#2. Laziness – An attitude that may be the primary cause for procrastinating because people does not feel like doing something without a valid reason.

#3. Excuses – People who do not want to do any work will find reasons to not do it. Even trivial ones.

#4. Denial – Because of the excuses that one tells him or herself to not do a job, they will think that the work that still needs to be done can be accomplished before the deadline.

#5. Crisis – After delaying in doing a task for a long time, a person will then squeeze all work to be done in a very short time. This result to a very stressful work schedule he or she imposed on him or herself.

Ways to avoid procrastination:

#1. As always the best way to solve this problem is to acknowledge that a problem exists. When you recognize that you are a procrastinator, find ways to avoid situations that will lead you to delay the work that needs to be done.

#2. Ask yourself why you procrastinate. Identifying the reason for delaying your work will help you break this habit. It may be because you don’t like the work. If that’s the case, resign or find ways that will make you enjoy it. Disorganization may also be a factor as to why people put off the tasks they are about to do.

#3. To avoid work delays, it is a good practice to set goals to do the work that needs to be done. Prioritizing which work should be done first helps in being efficient with your job.

#4. After prioritizing the tasks to be done, the next thing to do is set a time table when to start and put a deadline for yourself when to finish specific things before moving on to the next one. This way you can focus more on the tasks at hand.

#5. If you have already accepted that you have this habit of procrastinating be aware of your tendencies that will lead you to delay your job. If this happens, take a break from work and refresh yourself. This will lessen the stress that the job may cause to you and you will feel reinvigorated once you start working again.

#6. Sometimes the environment may be a factor for procrastination. If this is the case make the initiative to change it to a more suitable work place in order to have a higher productivity from yourself.

Millions of people suffer from this habit, some may be psychological that needs to be treated while others are just plain lazy. The thing is, procrastinating is harmful, not just to a person but also to other people as well. This is more apparent in the work place because delayed work can cause other people’s work to be delayed also. This may lead to soured working relationships between co-workers and will make the working atmosphere in the office not conducive for productivity.

Images: ”Stop Making Excuses Concept  / Shutterstock.com

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Tedd Baldomaro

Tedd Baldomaro

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