Procrastination, the habit of putting tasks off to the last possible minute, can be a major problem in both our health and our wealth. Side effects include missed opportunities, frenzied work hours, stress, being overwhelmed, resentment, and guilt. We will explore the root causes of procrastination and give you several practical tools to overcome it.
The behavior pattern of procrastination can be triggered in many different ways, so we don't always procrastinate for the same reason. Sometimes we'll procrastinate because we're overwhelmed with too much on our plate, and procrastination gives us an escape. Other times we'll feel tired and/or lazy, and we just can't get going.
Let's now address these various causes of procrastination and consider actions we can accomplish to respond when procrastinating.
When we feel stressed, worried, or anxious, it's hard to work productively. In certain situations procrastination works as a coping mechanism to keep our stress levels under control. A great solution would be to reduce the amount of stress in our lives whenever possible, such that we can spend more time working towards our ultimate goals. One of the simplest ways to reduce stress is to take more time for play.
We should decide in advance on what blocks of time we'll allocate each week to family time, entertainment, exercise, reading for information, and personal hobbies. Then schedule work hours using whatever time is left. This can reduce the urge to procrastinate because our work will not encroach on our leisure time,
Benjamin Franklin advised that the optimal strategy for high productivity is to split your days into one third work, one third play, and one third rest. Once again the suggestion is to guarantee your leisure time. Hold your work time and your play time as equally important, so one doesn't encroach upon the other.