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Why we procrastinate at work and how to stop it

by Yellow 843 Days

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Procrastination is the enemy. Distractions stop you from meeting deadlines, getting ahead in your daily tasks and can get in the way of your career. As an employer, procrastination is a waste of your money, pure and simple.
So why do we procrastinate? The reasons are many but include being a perfectionist and wanting to put something off until you can do it perfectly, not being able to break a large task down into manageable pieces, a fear of failure, boredom, low self-control, too many distractions, poor time management or not being invested enough in the task or the company to overcome it.
So how do we stop procrastinating in a world full of distractions?

Find out why

It's time for a little self-analysis. Why are you procrastinating? Is it boredom? Fear of the task? Lack of confidence? Not enough focus? Don't care? Too many distractions? Not enough time? Does the task look too complicated or convoluted? Assessing why you're procrastinating is the first step in overcoming it.
It's also the most difficult, but understanding is the first step in self-improvement so it's well worth doing. Once you know why you're avoiding the task, you can do something about it.

Understand there is no perfect time, place or circumstance

We often procrastinate because we think it's not the right time or place or that things will be more opportune tomorrow. It's often a false assumption. Usually, the best time to achieve something is right now so it helps to get into that mindset as early as possible.
There is rarely a ‘perfect' time for anything, so make the best of what you can and work with what you have.

Make to-do lists

There is a good reason most successful people make lists. It focuses the mind and lets you know exactly what needs to be done on a given day. Plus, there is a distinct satisfaction in crossing off a completed task!

Break it down

If you're procrastinating over a large project, break it down into smaller tasks. Breaking something big into smaller, bite-size pieces lets you see the light at the end of the tunnel. This makes it easier to tackle the task in a more positive light because it doesn't seem quite so complicated or overwhelming.

Share your goals

If you're the type that is content to not achieve something, sharing the goal is a way around that. None of us 
want to be a failure in the eyes of others, so telling someone what you're going to achieve that day will help. You will be surprised at the productivity you can achieve to avoid looking like a failure!

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