Do you remember when during an exam session you sometimes cleaned up the apartment perfectly in order not to look at the pile of notes you had to read? Or maybe the approaching exam was the best motivation for you to start a small renovation or repair of your bike? Meat must be had, but work may stay… Basically it’s not a drama, unless you adopt a similar approach at work. It’s much worse if you also live from one deadline to another at work. The phenomenon of persistent putting things off has even gained a professional label – procrastination. If you think that you tend to do everything at the last moment, read how easily you can be ‘reprogrammed’.
You are certainly not alone with such tendency, the problem of procrastination concerns a big part of the society. It does not mean, however, that this problem can be ignored. Lack of promptness at work may affect directly your assessment or the size of your bonus, and in private life permanent putting off the fulfilment of your dreams and plans may lead to devastating frustration.
It seems that the easiest solution is to blame it all on the lack of your strong will. Yet the problem is a little more complex. I realise that despite your true intentions right before getting down to completing the task you happen to deconcentrate and start doing something completely different. This is how your brain subconsciously defends itself against the effort connected with hard work.
A small cheat may turn out a good weapon to fight procrastination. Think about the task waiting for you in the next few days that you already now ‘suspect’ of being difficult. The problem probably lies in the signal that you send to your brain when planning your work schedule for the next hours. Try to change the name of the task that you would normally write into something theoretically easier to do. For example, instead of a precise statement ‘I will start preparing the report at 9’, tell yourself ‘I will start looking through the received data at 9’. Already at the first glimpse, this second plan seems easier to execute. You just open a few files and look through data, it’s not a big deal. Moving on, if you already read all the necessary information, you can simply prepare this report. Even if you do not succeed in ‘cheating’ yourself at the first attempt, do not get discouraged.
Try to perform this exercise at least once a day and soon you will enjoy stress-free and prompt fulfilment of your tasks.