John C. Parks
Stop Procrastinating and Get Things Done!
There never seems enough time in a day, week, or month to get things done. We rush around all day, multi-task, put out fires, work hard, and return home exhausted, hit repeat. Then, some super excel without stressing accomplish extraordinary things effortlessly. What makes the difference in people.
The reason for these emotional rollercoaster rides and loss of productivity is procrastination and pre-crastination. There are 24 hours in a day. Eight hours to sleep, 8 hours to work, and 8 hours to do whatever we want to do. The challenge is how we handle the 8 hours to work and 8 hours to do what we want. Ultimately, we spend 8 hours per day or the equivalent of 50 weeks per year working. Additionally, we spend 8 hours per day or the equivalent of 73 weeks per year doing what we want to do. Therefore, what is the problem in getting things done? There is one thing that determines our productivity – managing procrastination.
Many people lack self-control. When we cannot manage self-control, we tend to choose what is more pleasurable -the immediate procrastinated tasks instead of the actual works. By procrastinating, we avoid the complicated work. It is much easier to choose pleasure over pain. The common symptoms of procrastination are lack of vision, lack of time, and lack of organization. Identifying the type of procrastination you personally experience is an essential step for you to fix the problem at its root. Listed below are common reasons for procrastination.
PERFECTIONIST. Being perfect is the pleasure perfectionists want. However, often this leads to them being too scared to show any imperfections. Because of this, they frequently fail to complete things, as they are forever seeking the perfect timing or approach. Tasks end up never being completed because, in the eyes of the perfectionist, things are never perfect enough.
SELF SABOTAGE. Self-saboteurs develop a fear of making mistakes or doing anything wrong. Their way to avoid these mishaps is to do nothing at all. In the end, they may make few mistakes – but they also see fewer accomplishments.
FALSE SECURITY. Those who believe that deadlines can push them to do better. Instead of having a schedule to complete their work – they prefer to enjoy time doing their own thing before the deadline comes around.
INABILITY TO PRIORITIZE. These personality types cannot prioritize their work. They do what they feel like they should do, rather than thinking through what they need to do. Prioritizing tasks is a step that takes extra time, so they will feel it is not worth it. Because of this, they usually end up doing many effortless tasks that do not contribute much to their success. They are incessantly busy on low-impact tasks but seem oblivious to urgent, high-impact tasks.
Whether it is fear of failure, overwhelming feelings, avoidance, or convincing yourself, you are just too busy to get something done, and you can improve your productivity by minimizing your procrastination by using one or all of the methods listed below.
1. Re-Clarify Your Goals. Take time out to regroup and ask yourself what you want to achieve. Write things down, scribble them out, and rewrite.
2. Do the Difficult Tasks First. Even if you feel you are not a morning person, the beginning of the day is when your brain is most productive. Use this window of time to get the more complicated stuff done. Finishing many simple tasks at the beginning of the day, such as reading all the new emails, only gives you a false sense of achievement.
3. Block out time on your calendar for high pay-off items. Writing things down is powerful and psychologically increases your need to get things done and established realistic deadlines. Break down larger tasks into smaller ones and turn them into daily or weekly goals. Then, use a calendar block to identify times in the day for specific goals.
4. Reward Yourself. It is essential to acknowledge and reward yourself for achieving even small tasks. It creates a sense of motivation and releases those feel-good, productive emotions that spur you on to achieve even more. Make your reward proportional to the task you completed, so getting a bite-sized task done gets you a cup of your favorite coffee or snack.
The Bottom Line
Procrastination exists for many reasons, and only you know for yourself what these triggers are. Understanding what procrastination is and the source of your avoidance tendencies is essential in moving them out of the way and help you start the productivity momentum. Make eliminating procrastination a significant priority, and you will super achieve in all your endeavors!
Bishop John C. Parks, Th.D., BS, MBA, ESPO
August 19, 2020