Have a habit of leaving your to-do list undone? You’re not alone. We explore practical strategies to stop procrastinating, boost productivity, and set yourself on the path to success.
The battle against procrastination is one many of us face. You know that feeling. You need to get something done, but constantly put it off for seemingly no reason at all. Even though it’s more common than you think, procrastination can be a hindrance to our personal and professional progression. So, how do we fight the urge to procrastinate and finally move forward in our careers?
In this blog, we’ll explore the origin of procrastination and provide pragmatic strategies for overcoming the habit and advancing your career. We cover:
The main cause of procrastination
How procrastinating hinders your career
How to break out of procrastination
Procrastination, the act of delaying tasks or decisions, can be a silent roadblock that impacts not only your personal life but your professional career. Before we can tackle the issue, we must first understand why it happens in the first place. Here are a few of the main reasons we procrastinate.
Many times, procrastination can stem from a fear of not meeting expectations or doubt in your ability to adequately complete the task. This may also be fueled by fear of the potential consequences on the other side of a decision. The apprehension of falling short can create a paralyzing effect, causing you to delay tasks rather than confront the perceived risk of failure.
When you lack personal interest or intrinsic motivation to complete a task, you may procrastinate because you perceive the activity to be less rewarding. This usually happens when you are not emotionally attached or feel a sense of complacency about the outcome of the task.
Certain duties may be simply boring, uninspiring, or unpleasant. In this case, you may procrastinate to simply avoid mental or even physical discomfort. In these situations, the natural inclination is to delay tackling these tasks to avoid the negative emotions associated with them.
Without clearly defined goals, you may struggle to find purpose in your tasks or a clear sense of direction toward the intended results. The lack of precise objectives further diminishes motivation to initiate and complete tasks, creating a sense of uncertainty, which hinders progress.
Procrastinating at work can cause several issues and may cause you to become stagnant in your career growth. Because procrastination is usually a symptom of a bigger issue at play, its impact on your overall work performance may compound those underlying problems.
Constantly pushing your projects to the eleventh hour is a bad habit that shapes your reputation as the person who's always late with their work. This takes a toll on your working relationships and creates a lack of trust among colleagues.
Your procrastination doesn't just affect your work; it has a trickle-down effect on the entire team dynamic. If your colleagues are constantly waiting for your tasks to be completed in order to move forward, you're unintentionally dragging down the productivity of the team and slowly diminishing morale.
In the world of business, tardiness is often synonymous with monetary loss. Plus, racing against the clock usually results in work that's not exactly stellar. Companies don't like losing money or subpar results, and they might start waving disciplinary actions or a performance improvement plan in your direction.
If your employer realizes that you're slacking on company time, they might question your impact on the company's growth which could mean missed opportunities for promotions or raises. In the worst-case scenario, you could find yourself facing demotion or the dreaded termination notice, all due to your habit of procrastinating.
Here are some informative stats about procrastination in the workplace from quidlo.com
It was found that 88% of workers postpone tasks at least an hour a day.
A person who makes $40,000 a year and procrastinates for three hours a day wastes $15,000.
The average worker admitted to wasting 2.09 hours each day on non-job-related activities.
Overcoming this habit is crucial for unlocking your full potential and propelling your career forward. Once you’ve identified the cause of your procrastination, you can then put strategies in place to stop procrastinating. Here are 6 tips to help you stop procrastinating:
Make sure each task has clear short-term and long-term goals. Clear objectives provide a roadmap, making it easier to stay focused and motivated. Break down larger goals into smaller, manageable tasks to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Establishing a daily routine helps build discipline and minimizes the likelihood of procrastination. Allocate specific time slots for work tasks, breaks, and personal activities. Consistency is key to forming productive habits.
Not all tasks are created equal. Prioritize your responsibilities based on urgency and importance. Tackling high-priority tasks first ensures that critical work is completed before less crucial activities.
Large projects can be intimidating and lead to procrastination. Break them down into smaller, more achievable steps. Completing these smaller tasks provides a sense of accomplishment and motivates you to tackle the next one.
Identify and eliminate potential distractions in your work environment. Turn off non-essential notifications, create a dedicated workspace, and communicate boundaries with others to ensure uninterrupted focus.
Share your goals with a trusted colleague, friend, or mentor. Having someone to hold you accountable adds a layer of responsibility, making it less likely for procrastination to creep in.
By understanding the causes of procrastination and implementing these strategies, you can break free from its grip and propel your career forward.
Need support to propel your career growth? Consider our career coaching services to take your career to the next level.
Whether it's fear of failure, lack of motivation, or lack of clarity, identifying the root causes of your procrastination empowers you to address them effectively.
Procrastination jeopardizes career growth, erodes trust among colleagues, and can lead to disciplinary actions or termination due to consistently last-minute work delivery.
To conquer procrastination and boost your career, identify its root causes and employ strategies like setting clear goals, establishing routines, and seeking accountability.
Melanie L. Denny
Melanie L. Denny is an award-winning resume expert, personal branding consultant, and certified LinkedIn strategist who loves content writing. Her insights have been quoted and featured in Forbes, Huffpost, Yahoo News, Fast Company, NBC News and countless podcasts sharing self-marketing strategies, tips, and tricks. She loves traveling with her family and is passionate about helping others see themselves as more.