Procrastination: Our Biggest Nemesis!

Procrastination: Our Biggest Nemesis!

Is procrastination your biggest nemesis? Have you ever made a plan for the week ahead, only to realise at the end of the week that only 70% of tasks have been achieved? The project that was due on Monday is now delayed, due to other tasks taking valuable time. The dentist appointment was cancelled again, postponing it for another month. These examples can leave us with longer ‘to-do’ lists, than we started out with, for our next week’s schedule. We can start to feel overwhelmed with the thought of the impending tasks, which can leave us feeling a demotivated, deflated and frustrated.

Thesaurus defines the word procrastination as ‘defer, delay, postpone, stall, adjourn and putting off’. When we decide on any of these nouns for any activity, are we fooling ourselves? Is it that we initially planned too much into our week or have distractions sabotaged our best plans? Do we play super-hero in our lives, thinking that we are proficient at multi-tasking and need to be busy all the time?

We need to ask ourselves what is the pay-off for procrastination?  Putting jobs on the long finger, in both our careers and personal life, only serves to increase the pressure of an already busy life. Allowing distractions to consume and interrupt our flow of a prescheduled plan for the week and months ahead can be the biggest reason of why we procrastination. We may find ourselves being incapable of pulling up our reserves to finish those jobs because our stores of energy are at an all-time low and we don’t have the mental capacity to think clearly.

The solution can be simple. Go back to the drawing board and check:

  • –  Do we need to stop being a ‘people-pleaser’ person, and start saying ‘no’ more often?
  • –  Recognise that we have limits on our time and capability, and ask can we delegate jobs to colleagues or partners?
  • –  Can we switch off and restore the body and mind to help us increase our performance, and succeed at attaining a well-balanced ‘to-do’ list?
  • –  Do we need to ask: are some of our plans or jobs ready to be started yet? Have we been overenthusiastic to accomplish tasks ahead of time?
  • –  Are we being a ‘martyr’ in our career and work lives?
  • –  Do we need to take a relaxing holiday really soon, to recharge the batteries of our soul?
  • –  Can we change for the better?

Self-understanding and investing in our personal development is our first step to change in dealing with procrastination. Realising that it’s ok to fail in accomplishing what we initially set out to achieve is important. After all, we are only human. Reinvesting in our health and mental well-being, and family needs to be a priority in our lives. Allowing ourselves to be human and not a super-hero is ok too.

Starting with the important stuff first and taking it bit-by-bit, one day at a time, can make the whole process of work and life a lot easier. Eliminating non-essential activities can lessen the pressure, and even allow time to inhale the luxurious quiet moments of life again. Is it possible to seek an extended deadline on that project to allow for rejuvenation of mind, body and spirit to complete the job? Sometimes that we need to realise that in life we need to ask for a little compassion and seek the support of family, friends and professionals to help us when we are struggling to maintain balance.

Click here for more tips to help stop procrastination.