Unpleasant tasks
  • Situation:Unpleasant tasks rarely turn out to be as bad as you think.
  • Tip: Complete these tasks first. Schedule them for early in the day. Give yourself a reward for doing them.

Complex Projects
  • Situation:Something looms ahead of you: starting a small business, getting a job, preparing the annual budget. The job is too big or will take too long to do now, so you put it off.
  • Tip: Break large jobs into smaller, more manageable tasks. Plan and complete a start-up task, no matter how small.

  • Situation:People delay because they can't make up their minds.
  • Tip: Determine a time for making a decision and the criteria for making it. Share your deadline with someone else.

Fear of failure (lack of self confidence)
  • Situation:People don’t want to face the consequences of failure, so they delay. (Some people suffer from fear of success too!)
  • Tip: Develop a clear mental picture of the completed task and how you will feel at that time. Maintain a focus on the end result, not just the process. Remind yourself how good you’ll feel when you’re finished

Lack of interest
  • Situation:You are tired or lazy. You’ re just not very interested in the task.
  • Tip: Reward yourself for accomplishments. Go out for special lunches when major projects are completed. If you don't earn the reward, don't take it.
  • Tip: Schedule the task for when you will be at your peak.

  • Situation:People delay because they want to get the project perfect.
  • Tip: Set deadlines for yourself. Tell other people your deadlines and encourage them to check up on you.
  • Tip: Maintain your high standards, but recognize that sometimes 80% for you may well be 100% for someone else. Don't spend hours conducting a detailed cost breakdown when a rough estimate would suffice.

Hostility towards a boss
  • Situation:People delay because they don't like the person who assigned the task.
  • Tip: Review with your boss what exactly is needed. Clarify the expectations.
  • Tip: Make a game out of unpleasant tasks. Give yourself points, or do a running commentary on yourself as you do the task.

Distraction, lack of focus
  • Situation:Sometimes losing concentration causes delays.
  • Tip: Create a to-do list with priorities.
  • Tip: Block your time for projects.
  • Tip: As you get distracted from a work project, make a rule that you are not allowed to move out of your chair, make a call, surf the net, pick up a book etc. until you return to your task.
  • Tip: Complete something. Make a very small task for yourself and finish it. Very small. Then, make another one.

Unimportant tasks
Situation: Unimportant tasks now may become severe problems later; health delays, leaky roofs, late taxes
  • Tip: Calculate the possible future cost of not doing things.
  • Tip: Schedule time. Break tasks into small pieces.

Your environment
  • Situation:The physical environment can make procrastinating easy
  • Tip: Tailor your environment for work. Close your door, clean up the clutter on your desk.
  • Tip: Remove distractions such as water coolers, snacks, in-boxes, coffee machines and magazine racks.
  • Tip: If you work at home, treat your office as an office. Don't go out to lunch before lunchtime or watch television before the end of the day.
  • Tip: Tell your family that you are not to be disturbed in your home office
  • Tip: Turn off your email notication to prevent interruptions.

Procrastination Definitions

Procrastination is:

  • To voluntarily delay an intended course of action despite expecting to be worse off for the delay – Piers Steel
  • The intentional and habitual postponement of an important task that should be done now. – Harold Taylor
  • To put off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness. – The free dictionary
  • The act of replacing high-priority or important actions with tasks of lower priority, or doing something from which one brings enjoyment, and thus putting off important tasks to a later time. – Wikipedia
  • An automatic problem habit of putting off an important and timely activity until another time. It's a process that has probable consequences. – William Knaus

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