Procrastination is something we all are guilty of at times, but with some people it can be a way of life. They would rather have a root canal without painkillers than to hear the words DO IT NOW! A procrastinator`s creed might be one or all of the following:
1. I firmly believe if I ignore something long enough it will cease to exist.
2. Anything worth doing is worth doing later.
3. If at first you don`t meet a deadline, don`t worry about it. There will always
be another month.
4. I will never put off until tomorrow what I can forget about forever.
5. I will never do anything immediately, unless it is to find a better excuse
than the one I am using now to avoid work.
There are many reasons people choose to procrastinate. The perfectionist gets caught up in the inconsequential details of his project and loses sight of the end result. Passive-aggressive people don`t feel competent and in control of their lives, so they constantly arrive late to work, miss project deadlines, or are late for dinner or social gatherings so they can get the attention of and irritate others. The depressed procrastinate by talking themselves into waiting to start a project until they €œfeel like it. The escape artist finds creative ways of avoiding unpleasant tasks, and the €œrebel without a cause likes to put things off because it frustrates his co-workers and boss. The list is endless.
In my opinion, people procrastinate for one basic reason: They fear failure. Their fear is disguised by a long list of excuses as to why they can`t seem to get going on whatever it is they are supposed to be doing. When a dedicated procrastinator is in full operational mode there is no end to the problems and roadblocks that emerge for him or her. Each newfound roadblock or problem procrastinators discover is their immediate justification for doing nothing that really matters. When a person starts taking direct action to accomplish a goal or objective, he places himself in jeopardy. When action is initiated, a timeline begins that success can be measured against. If a procrastinator can avoid taking direct action, he seems to believe it will help him avoid being measured or held accountable. You can probably make a good case that procrastinators have a certain amount of laziness about them. I would probably agree. But laziness itself represents a fear of failing, or for some people it might be a fear of success. Let`s look at both.
Fear of failure
Do you get up every morning and say, €œI want to fail today? Of course you don`t, but sometimes the fear of failure paralyzes people and keeps them from even trying to succeed. One thing for sure is that if you don`t even make an attempt to succeed€”YOU WILL FAIL! So what are some of the things your teammates could be afraid of? They could fear:
2. Being embarrassed
3. Looking foolish
4. Being told no
5. Losing the company money
6. Losing friends
7. Getting fired
8. Losing the respect of management
Fear of success
Like fear of failure, you certainly don`t get up every morning and say, €œToday I will fear success! Then why would people fear success?
2. When their €œself-talk has always been negative, doing something positive might cause them to question who they are.
3. They might think they can`t keep up the frantic pace once success has been achieved.
4. They don`t feel worthy of the praise.
Whether they fear failure or success, they still fear€”and a primary symptom of fear is procrastination. A procrastinator will do everything possible to avoid taking action. That makes it impossible for a procrastinator to achieve success.
If fear is the root cause of procrastination, the purpose of procrastination is to avoid difficulty. When we work a plan, we usually discover along the way new problems and obstacles we haven`t anticipated. This is particularly true when we are doing something for the first time. Frequently, these challenges can be very difficult and may even threaten the success of an entire project. Unexpected difficulties are always bad news because timelines are impacted and there is ample opportunity for placing blame. Procrastinators like to say that it is not whether you win or lose, but how you place the blame that really counts. When blame is placed, tempers flare and even jobs may be on the line. A good procrastinator will do everything in their power to make sure nothing happens! In fact, their definition of planning is €œthe creative art of avoiding today what I have no intention of following through on tomorrow. Don`t be a procrastinator. Do it NOW!