Let's stop procrastinating!
Until recently I had a quote on my LI profile that read 'Procrastination is the thief of time'. I first came across this saying thanks to a visiting speaker when I was at University. I don't remember exactly when, where etc but I think it was a session on time management and I am pretty sure that it was Prof Eddie Obeng who said it - he was an older student I think at the time.
Interestingly, I came across Prof Eddie Obeng again years later when on a course about Change Management and even have his signature in the book we were given to prove it! I think we discussed it and he recalled the event.
Anyway, back to procrastination. Boy am I good at it! I could procrastinate for England, earn a gold medal for procrastination.
But is it such a bad thing
I think I now understand why I procrastinate. Or maybe it is not really procrastination at all?
Let's start with a definition - Procrastination: the action of delaying or postponing something. People often procrastinate because they're afraid of failing at the tasks that they need to complete. This fear of failure can promote procrastination in various ways, such as by causing people to avoid finishing a task, or by causing them to avoid getting started on a task in the first place. I don't think that is me, as I am not procrastinating because I am afraid of failing - mostly... According to the team at Alpha Efficiency, there are 4 types of procrastination:
1. Anxious procrastination
Neil Fiore, author of The Now Habit, defined procrastination as “a mechanism for coping with the anxiety associated with starting or completing any task or decision.”
Fiore suggested that people who procrastinate a lot are usually bad at managing their time and often end up scheduling in more work than they can actually do, leaving no time for fun activities or resting.
Fiore suggested that not fulfilling these unrealistic expectations causes stress and anxiety which some people deal with by procrastinating.
2. Fun procrastination
The fun procrastinator would rather be doing anything except that one dreaded task. After all, there’s so many fun and exciting things you could be doing instead, how can you bear to start that boring project?
3. Plenty of time procrastination
Many people find it difficult to start a project when they know the deadline is a long way off. This type of procrastination is clearly visible in students who often struggle to start an essay earlier than a few days before the deadline.
You may also have tasks that don’t have deadlines. Take a look at your to-do list. Chances are you have at least one item that you’ve been putting off for weeks if not months. It’s something you want to do, you know it will make things better in the long run, but you keep putting it off. (*most like me*)
4. Perfectionist procrastination
Perfectionists are always striving for the best and, as such, are constantly criticizing their own work. For some perfectionists, the fear of failing, or producing work to a low standard, can be so overwhelming they never fair I think I am guilty of all of these from time to time - as I expect you may be too. If so, there are some great ideas for how to beat it
And of course the ubiquitous nature of the mobile devices, apps and social media, mean that we can make ourselves believe we are busy and being productive... But I think I now know what it is for me. Turns out I haven't been procrastinating all these years, I've been 'Polishing'!
No, that doesn't mean I have been doing the housework when I should have been working (hubby will vouch for that!), it means that my dominant proclivity - according to
- is to be a 'Polisher'. A Polisher is motivated by wanting to make things brilliant – make things better, heading towards excellence. This explains so much and helps me, along with the rest of my profile, really understand from where I draw my energy and how I make an impact.
Of course The GC Index is much more than a personal productivity tool that enables you to understand what drives you personally. It can also help to make sure you have the right balance of people in your team to deliver impact. It can also help ensure that when you are recruiting, you find the person with the right proclivities for the role you need them to do. With The GC Index I can help you discover more about yourself, your team and even your whole organisation, as we can roll up the individual profiles to provide macro level views. So let's stop procrastinating and start optimising our skills, and being happy in our daily lives. 😁