Let me ask you a question, do you procrastinate? You probably can answer no, but think about it and be honest for a minute. Are you sure you don’t procrastinate because everybody does. Before you admit to whether you procrastinate or not lets identify that there are two main types of procrastination:
1. Destructive procrastination – this is the one that we commonly refer to and see in our daily lives.
2. Constructive procrastination – yes, this really does occur in is a form of procrastination.
So to start with let’s deal with destructive procrastination first. Destructive procrastination is we just put something off because we don’t want to deal with it. We may be fearful of it. We may have anxiety over it. It may be a task that is really arduous. Maybe it’s something that emotionally upsets us. Whatever it is we are completely avoiding it.
The easiest way to fix destructive procrastination is to do the Nike adage – Just Do It. Fear or no fear, the only way to overcome destructive procrastination is just to go out and get it done, get started on it, etc… Now there are tools and techniques that you can use to help you better deal with destructive procrastination and tasks that you don’t want to do.
One of the best ways to break up that arduous task into smaller pieces and then create a timeframe and/or goals so that you accomplish this task piecemeal. By doing it this way and then also applying some rewards along the way you make the task much simpler and much easier to accomplish. It’s no longer this great big frightful task.
Then you have the other kind of procrastination – constructive procrastination. This is when you aren’t doing it but instead you’re filling your time with other things that are either not as important or important in other areas of your life. For instance, you don’t mind mowing the lawn but you really hate edging your property. So you go and mow the lawn, but when you’re done with mowing the lawn, you go back inside and get something cool to drink and empty the dishwasher.
That may also be something you need to do but the difference is you can empty the dishwasher anytime you want, whereas you don’t want to be edging your lawn at 10 pm or midnight – your neighbors may complain about the loud noises late at night. Do you see where I’m going with this? In either case were avoiding tasks. It doesn’t matter if it’s destructive or constructive procrastination. Both types of procrastination will hold you back in life.
The example I used earlier is just a simple one of edging the lawn. But in reality think about the things in life that are holding you back. What is it that is keeping you from being promoted at work? Is it the fact that you’re not the stellar employee that you think you are? Maybe if you could get rid of some this procrastination you might go get some of your assignments completed earlier? Maybe if you found a constructive way to turn arduous tasks around and make them more fun for all involved parties (this is what the best project managers do by the way), then you might find your career instead of plateauing that it finds a new level of attainment and satisfaction.
We all procrastinate and we all have many difficult tasks on our plates regardless of our jobs. The solution here is to find a way to break up these tasks, make them smaller and easier to accomplish and then try and find a way to make it fun, you can use rewards for this. For instance if I had a task that I could break down into five parts. Maybe at the end of each part I take a nice little break? Or maybe halfway through it and at the end I take my significant other out to eat to celebrate the accomplishment of that part. Maybe I just go out to a new movie? It doesn’t matter what it is. The fact is that it is a reward that you would like and will spurn you on or drive you to accomplish those tasks.
Then watch what happens. By using the above techniques you will turn your procrastination and tasks that were previously on your to do list or some other list and to accomplish tasks and possibly even opportunities for personal growth. Many times businesses and executives look at task accomplishments when reviewing potential candidates for promotion or for hire. So don’t let arduous tasks get the better of you and don’t fall prey to procrastination regardless of whether it’s destructive or constructive. Take those tasks by the horns, tear them apart into little pieces, set goals and rewards, and then make it fun and watch as you achieve your goals and complete your most arduous tasks.