Let’s be honest, completing a task is not always easy. Sometimes we are tempted to give up while at other times we just do not have the energy to do it or we give precedence to other things we had not even planned for, useless as they may be. Most if not all of us have postponed some of our activities for various reasons.
While postponing is normal, it becomes poisonous when it becomes a habit or is done for silly reasons. It is understandable to postpone when your mind is exhausted and you know you will not do justice to the task or when something more pressing comes up. But when the reasons include ‘I just don’t feel like it’, a friend came over unannounced, there was an interesting programmer on TV and so on, just know that you are headed for disaster and are losing your way. Other reasons for procrastinating include perfectionism, feeling overwhelmed, and lack of confidence.
Why you should not tolerate the temptation to unnecessarily postpone?
Piling up tasks on your to-do list – as you keep postponing, the number of items on your to-do list increases. You will then have a lot to do within a short space of time. This can be physically and mentally draining and it can further affect the functioning of your brain.
Setbacks – postponing affect your schoolwork, career, and personal dreams. As you leave things for later, you end up not doing some of them or not giving them enough time. School grades and work performance can be negatively affected while reaching some of our personal goals may take longer than it should and it can be completely forgotten.
Missing opportunities – having to work under pressure keeps us so busy that we do not have time to identify other opportunities. We are often busy and don’t have time for other things.
Missing deadlines and compromising the quality of your work – when we leave things for later we may fail to meet deadlines. There is a possibility of poor time estimations and disturbances that may keep you from doing things the way you had planned. As this happens, you are forced to then work under pressure to try and meet your deadlines and your work does not get the attention it needs.
Poor decision making – some decisions are not meant to be rushed. If you leave some issues for later you may not have enough time to consider all facts and not make informed decisions.
How to stop postponing
Know your power hour – we all have the time of the day when we are more productive. Use that time to do more challenging tasks and used the other time to work on easy tasks or rest. That way you will be able to give your work enough time and energy that match the task.
Make a detailed to-do list – if have a problem with performing your tasks, try making a detailed to-do list. As you write down what you need to do, write again what you risk losing from not doing it right and not finishing it on time. Find ways to remind yourself why postponing can be bad. It will force you to start doing your work. Sometimes starting is the most difficult part and once you push yourself past it, everything gets easier.
Always remember that your future depends on what you do today – prioritize your dreams and work on improving your life. If you waste time and opportunities, your future will be affected too. To have a better future, you need to start building where you are and doing your best with every opportunity you get.
Get rid of distractions – sometimes you postpone because you have more fascinating things to do than working on your tasks. For example, if your problem is television or social media, train yourself to reduce the time you spend on it or cut off connections. Social media can be addictive and if you do not limit yourself, you will find yourself checking your phone every now and then with less time to do anything else.
Write down your goals and monitor progress – what is it that you want? How can you get it and how much progress do you need to make to reach the set goals? This gives a clear view of how much you lose and how far behind you get when you decide to postpone. Set reminders for each task that needs to be done per day.
Reward yourself – celebrate sticking to your plans and completing tasks by rewarding yourself. Take a break, and spoil and enjoy yourself. This will help with making the fulfillment and joy that comes with doing things right sink in and encourage you to do more.
Get an accountability buddy – find someone who has his or her own goals. Constantly check on and encourage each other. Remind each other of what needs to be done and why it has to be done.
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