Okay so that sums up the basics of how procrastination kills your career. You know my blog When Your Boss Screws You Over? Well maybe you’re the one screwing over the boss due to your procrastination and you aren’t even aware of it. That could be the real reason why you:
- didn’t get promoted
- aren’t included in his circle of “favourites”
- aren’t getting a raise this year
- got fired
In rare circumstances procrastination can be a life saver. But that’s rare. And it’s seldom successful at work although some people insist that it can work in positive ways there, too, albeit in specific circumstances. Here is a link to an interesting book about the positives of procrastination. If you are a procrastinator (and you know if you are) then here are some suggestions to help you pull yourself out of your worst habit:
Pomodoro technique It has been revealed that the human brain loses interest if they work over long periods of time on a task without any reward. Instant gratification is manipulated in video games, for instance, crossing a pit stop lets you level up, giving you an instant bonus thus rewarding you for staying on in the game. You do not procrastinate in games.
Individuals should use clocks to work for a certain period of time, and then reward themselves with a break. There are apps you can download and program to help you do this at work. There are clocks you can download and program to pop up after a certain time. This will remind you to take a break. Yelling Mom is a good one. You can buy it on Apple iTunes.
Think about what can happen when you procrastinate. You:
- get passed over for a promotion
- don’t get a raise
- get a weak annual review
- lose your job
- lose your credibility
Break projects down into steps.Sometimes you procrastinate because a project seems like overwhelming job. The best thing to do is to break it down into steps. Use a checklist if you need to and to really increase your efforts, reward yourself for every step you complete. Here is a cool video. A major reason why, at the very least, starting a project makes you feel good is due to the dopamine in your brain. It’s a feel-good neurotransmitter that motivates you to keep working.
Don’t get distracted by poor habits. Like watching videos, listening to your iPod, texting, and whatever else you do to waste time. Work backwards while recording a typical day’s structure. For instance, from the moment you wake up, record what you do and how long it takes you to do it. The next day, analyze it and highlight the time-wasters, especially the ones that happen at work.
Try meditation. Use CD’s and videos to help you stop procrastinating and develop good habits.
Perfectionists are the biggest procrastinators. Sometimes. Ironic, isn’t it? When you place unrealistically high expectations on yourself, you put off whatever project or task it is you have to do. Stop that.
No one is completely immune to procrastination. I can be as bad as the next person with delaying what I think of as boring tasks. In fact I’ve been meaning to do a thorough spring cleaning in my apartment soon. Meh. When I get around to it.