The most common causes of procrastination and how we nip them in the bud, so that we no longer stand in our own way.
To be honest, we always catch ourselves wasting our time. A particularly unpleasant task we push on, then Google must explain to us urgently, how to bake the best apple pie and why the banana is crooked and then it’s already time for a coffee break. From productive work, these actions are miles away. Hundreds of instructions on how to improve time management can be found on the internet, but what are the reasons for us constantly procrastinating and facing unfamiliar challenges? And how can we stifle this behaviour in the core?
Braked by fear
Fear is a feeling that everyone experiences, it restricts us and forces us into the corner. For example, a deadline is coming up soon and you are determined to keep it. But then these familiar voices in your head reminds you of the negative consequences of your work. Did not you try hard enough? Are you going to get bad feedback? Have you grown up to the task at all? Should you instead search for something else?
Apart from the time that one loses through such thoughts, anxiety also increases the stress level. Work transforms into a ubiquitous topic, even at home. And the worse the anxiety is, the more likely it is that you have sleep problems or even serious health problems. But how do you fight your fear? Change it! Once you have reflected on the problem, you will realize that you are scared of the part where you should still work. If, for example, you threaten to lose your nerve before a lecture, you have to get involved right there. Practice free speech, find a test audience, watch yourself talking in the mirror while talking. Balancing your weaknesses thus becomes the remedy for fear.
Perfectionism that leads to mistakes
An exaggerated tendency for perfection can lead to a similar increase in stress level as anxiety. If you always try to perfect your work, you will inevitably begin to correct and change everything, again and again. Here you can arrange something new, change everything there and finally discard the whole work and start over.
Apart from the fact that too frequent changes often lead to a worse result, this form of work also costs a lot of time and nerves. It could be so easy if you realize that nobody is perfect. Yes, you can hear this phrase all the time, but inside it lies a true core. There will always be someone who is better than you, as well as having strengths that others lack. Nevertheless, you can of course work on your weaknesses and best you learn from your own mistakes. Perfection is not everything.
The danger of routine
A certain amount of routine in both your private and working life is important. But leave room for new things in your day, because something unexpected can always happen. Perhaps you are one of those people who are completely distracted by spontaneous changes in the workflow. As a result, some even suffer from real anxiety. That’s why it’s important that you always leave room and do not go through every hour of the day. And if it really happens unexpectedly and you can not manage your daily or even weekly work, this is not a testimony of your failure, but the normal course of things. Try to be open, because maybe it will give you a very special chance.
The miserable comparison with others
Comparing and emulating others takes time and restricts you. Are you facing new challenges because a colleague gets more praise for his work than you? Do you often observe that another person gets along well with the boss? Or is the socializing talent among the employees? Are you even jealous of the look of the celebrity XY on the cover of the glossy magazine in the toilet? Then stop it and focus on your person.
Of course, this is easier said than done, but to speak even smaller by comparing yourself with others inevitably leads to the destruction of your self-confidence. Especially in this day and age, which is characterized by modern and cosmopolitan values, your appearance takes care of the least, as long as you behave kindly and collegially. In addition, you should just show in the job that you got this job because your qualities have convinced. So do not doubt your ability just because a colleague makes it better in your eyes, but focus on your strengths.
The search for confirmation
Time management is not just about the daily business, but also about the time you spend on new challenges and ideas. As indicated in the previous points, you can be severely restricted in your endeavor. The most common is that you are looking for confirmation. Do you have something innovative in mind? An idea that you would like to implement? But instead of following up on it right away, you’ll first consult with your peers, who will not share your enthusiasm and talk you out of your plan.
Certainly, it is not wrong to consult, but sometimes you just have to act. Otherwise, you’ll probably never know if your idea was really nonsense, or even crowned with success.
Completely haphazard procedure
Of course, this list should not miss the most trivial reason for wasting time: lack of a plan. You have tons of tasks in your head, jump from one thought to another and do not know where to start. And so you spend two hours skipping from one task to the next in order not to be able to produce a result in the end. An effectively created plan can help, Effective means that you learn to prioritize tasks, but you also have enough breaks and time for friends and family. And as already recorded under the point of routine, create free space, if you spontaneously something intervenes.
No tools for planning
Do you prefer the digital to the manual? Then there are a number of useful apps, such as Todoist, Evernote, etc., in which you can enter all appointments and tasks. It’s best to load one of them on all your devices and sync them together. So your digital memory can prevent something from escaping you. It’s also handy in your plan if you combine similar tasks, such as completing all your calls in one go. So you can fully concentrate on one activity and do not have to change your mind too much.
Furthermore, you can set your own small deadlines for which you want to have done certain daily tasks. But do not forget the big deadlines! Instead of waiting until the last minute, you’d better set an earlier mark to which you want to end your project. This gives you more buffer, if it takes longer than expected and also escapes the danger to procrastinate.
Hand on heart, how many times have you looked at your smartphone while working? How many times a cake recipe googled? Or checked Facebook? Too often. Of course, almost everyone follows these activities, especially if you want to avoid an unpleasant or strenuous task. But the time that is lost is often exactly what you needed at the end of the day to complete your tasks. Especially for important tasks, it can help you build a wall around you. So put the smartphone out of reach and close your office door if possible.
Lack of focus on one’s own work
By the way, it does not matter if you give tasks to colleagues, so you can better concentrate on your own. And when your office door opens and someone asks for help, denial is also a legitimate option. If you’re worried about being rude, offer your colleague a possible solution to his problem, which he can use to solve it himself. You do not have to do his job, but you can still help.
In the end, however, one point is the most important: motivation. Find out what motivates you in a task, such as the end result. With this goal in mind, you will automatically spend more time on your project. And if you still get into a low, eat snacks that raise your dopamine levels, such as bananas, carrots avocados and nuts. After all, we are all honest: Delicious food usually makes for good mood and is a good way of time displacement.