In a work sense, being a procrastinator means you delay or postpone work and put off things you could do today until a later time.
Often we procrastinate because we feel lazy or because we just don’t feel like doing something. Certainly these feelings can arise from time to time especially if it involves a task we don’t want to do.
If you tend to put things off as long as possible before finally doing it and if you like to look for excuses to avoid completing certain tasks, you might very well be a procrastinator.
Procrastination can really stunt your career growth and can even derail it in extreme cases. People generally don’t like working with procrastinators especially during team projects so getting a reputation as a procrastinator can be a big mark against you.
Here are some ways to avoid procrastination and in the process, avoid losing face with your colleagues and peers:
- 1. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can finish today.
Finish the easiest tasks or the ones you dislike the most, first. Getting a few tasks out of the way will at least help you see your accomplishments and perhaps increase your motivation to get the others done. By doing the tasks that you hate the most first, you get rid of the whole reason you were procrastinating in the first place.
2. Develop better work habits.
Procrastination tends to be a habit that you feel comfortable doing, especially if you manage to get away with it time after time. Pulling all-nighters and completing work at the last minute that could have been finished the previous week seems to be a badge of honor for some people. Develop new work habits by planning ahead and starting work early rather than waiting until the last minute. Next time you think about pulling an all-nighter and doing everything at the last minute, remember how much you hated the last all-nighter you pulled.
3. Set deadlines and stick to them. Otherwise, ask others for help.
Sometimes, we procrastinate when we are unsure what to do. I tend to do this myself. Paralysis by analysis they call it, where you are unable to act because you keep thinking about how to act. Set a timeline for making your decision and stick to the timeline. Ask others (ie. your colleagues) for help if you’re really stuck making a decision.
4. Get rid of distractions.
Procrastination can be made worse when we have things like the coffee room, the Internet, chatty colleagues and other distractions for us to deal with. Close your office door and don’t allow yourself to be distracted. Lock yourself in a meeting room if you need to be alone.
5. Try giving yourself rewards for completing tasks you hate the most.
It might sound silly but sometimes giving yourself a small reward for avoiding procrastinating can help you.
The next time you feel like procrastinating, don’t. The way to break the habit of procrastination is to complete tasks as you receive them rather than putting them on the backburner to do later. Changing your work habits is the first step to eliminate procrastination.
Carl Mueller is an Internet entrepreneur and professional recruiter who wants to help you find your dream career.
Visit Carl's website to separate yourself from other job searchers: http://www.find-your-dream-career.com
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