By: Marcia Zidle, MS NCC BCC
Most of us procrastinate at least occasionally and some of us do it consistently and problematically. So procrastination may be human but it's not very rewarding in the long run for our leadership, business or career success.
So why do we procrastinate?
According to The Procrastination Equation: How To Stop Putting Things Off and Start Getting Things Done by Piers Steel - a procrastinator himself at one time – suggest there are three types of procrastination.
1. Expecting Too Little
When we have low expectations about the outcome- either getting rejected or not doing well - we tend to put off the experience. Then a vicious cycle ensues: we don’t do it - we feel bad about it – our confidence goes down and we keep saying I’ll do it later.
What are you postponing because of fear of rejection or low performance? What would be the benefit to do them today instead of waiting until tomorrow?
2. Devaluing the Task
When we fail to value a routine or un-engaging task properly, we allow ourselves to defer necessary crucial chores that are important but routine-and reinforce a dangerous tendency to ignore the basics - like paying your bills, doing expense reports, getting the car serviced, etc.
Everyone has routine tasks that need to get done but are put off until later? What are yours?
3. The Deferred Gratification Problem:
The rewards and goals that can be achieved right now often seem far more appealing than those that require us to wait. It seems most of us are wired for short-term satisfaction. For example, responding to emails immediately, clearing every minor item off our to-do lists, checking the news, watching the funny video on You Tube, etc.
What things do you do impulsively that give you short term gratification, but hinder your long term goals?
Start Breaking the Procrastination Habit
Are you a procrastinator? What can you do right now to break the procrastination habit? What have you found helpful to get you moving?
Smart Moves Tip:
For some situations procrastination may be okay. For example, when starting a big project take the time to plan it out or work out potential solutions. But if procrastination is hindering your performance, causing relationship problems (boss, colleague, spouse, etc.) or affecting your personal satisfaction, then it’s time to stop, examine possible causes and potential solutions. If you don’t deal with it now, then when?
Marcia Zidle, M.S. N.C.C. is a board certified coach who provides executive coaching to business and community leaders and management teams to leverage their skills, strengths and style for high performance. Go to http://www.LeadersAtAllLevels.com to sign up for the smart moves blog and free success e-books. Listen to her weekly internet radio program "The Business Edge" for Voice America Wednesdays at 2pm EST at http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2186/the-business-edge.You can contact Marcia at 972-380-9281 or [email protected].