6 Ways To Beat Procrastination At Work
The assignment that your boss gave you several days ago still isn't done. The assignment is a report that your boss needs to take to an important meeting, and you may get a big promotion if the meeting goes OK. You've had plenty of time to get it done, but still just don't do it even though your future career could be in jeopardy. What's wrong with you?
You are one of the millions who procrastinate. You feel inadequate, guilty, depressed and have low self-esteem. Procrastination means avoiding doing tasks, which need to be done - sometimes doing them at the last minute or sometimes never doing them at all.
The reasons for procrastinating are as numerous as the excuses one can make for not completing tasks. A few of these reasons are listed below:
- If you are a poor manager of your time and have trouble identifying your objectives, you most likely are overwhelmed by your tasks. You try in vain to prioritize them, and failing at that you've even been known to secretly throw a few written requests into the trash, and later claiming you never got them. You are a procrastinator.
- You find it hard to concentrate. You may think about what you're going to cook for dinner or you daydream about your next golf game. So you put off getting the job done; you sit and think about it but take no action.
- You may be easily distracted by outside influences such as ringing telephones, other folk's conversations, and may even spend time performing 'no-brainer' tasks such as sharpening pencils, shuffling papers, or make endless trips to the restroom or coffee bar.
- Your self-esteem is very low. You have a negative image of yourself and believe that you're an underachiever who can't succeed at much of anything. You also may be bored with the task at hand and lack enthusiasm. But listen up - you CAN break the procrastination habit at work as well as in every other area of your life.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Go on; admit that you have some fears and anxieties about your ability to get the job done! It's a perfectly normal feeling, and once you face your problems with concentration, time management, and the inability to make a decision, you can take steps to change them.
- Instead of brooding about your problem areas, identify your strong points, set your goals and priorities and develop a 'can do' attitude.
- Use time wisely. The value you place on yourself and your work has a direct bearing on your ability to do your work in a timely, consistent manner.
- Set priorities and perform each job accordingly. Tackle the jobs you dislike aggressively; it's best to get them done and out of the way. Consider breaking large assignments into smaller segments (if time allows).
- Take a couple of minutes frequently to stand, stretch or move about to energize both your body and your brain. If possible, get some fresh air during breaks and your lunch hour.
- Take the initiative to change your work environment if it causes distractions. Placing a barrier such as a tall plant in front of your desk will block the view of co-workers passing by. Make sure you have the information and supplies at hand to avoid the temptation to wander away from your work area. A few changes in your attitude and work habits will make a dramatic difference in the way you perform your work.
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