Ever put something off until tomorrow? It is a fact that we tend to put off those things which have a negative emotion attached to them. Perhaps the task at hand is ‘too hard’, will ‘take too long’, is too ‘boring’ or requires ‘too much effort’. Twenty percent of people identify themselves as chronic procrastinators. And it’s a lifestyle.
The essence of procrastination is very well reflected in this quote by Bernard Meltzer:
“Hard work is often the easy work you did not do at the proper time.”
Procrastinators tell themselves lies, such as, “I’ll feel more like doing this tomorrow.” Or “I work best under pressure.” In reality they do not get the urge the next day. In addition, they protect their sense of self by saying “this isn’t important.”
Procrastinators actively look for distractions, particularly ones that don’t take a lot of commitment on their part. Checking e-mail is almost perfect for this purpose or reading the news online.
Maybe you tell yourself you perform better under pressure. Or that you have to be in the right mood at the right time. Or you think that you can’t do anything well unless you’re feeling at the top of your form. Even though you might not feel like doing a work you still need to make efforts to start. No matter in what mood you are, the more involved you get into your work, the less you are going to think in other problems.
There are many ways to avoid success in life, but the most sure-fire just might be procrastination. Procrastinators sabotage themselves. They put obstacles in their own path.
So, are you a procrastinator? According to Joseph Ferrari, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at De Paul University in Chicago, real procrastinators tell themselves five lies. Answer these questions honestly and see how you measure up.
• Do you overestimate the time they have left to perform tasks.
• Do you underestimate the time it takes to complete tasks.
• Do you overestimate how motivated they will feel the next day, the next week, the next month — whenever they are putting things off to.
• Do you think that succeeding at a task requires that they feel like doing it.
• Do you believe that working when not in the mood is suboptimal.
How did you score?