Procrastination and Stress

Procrastination is a battle that we all wage between a habit of ease and a discipline of action.

The worry, the guilt and the stress about leaving thing done can become a procrastinator’s constant companion.

If time is money, then this can be an expensive habit.

Knowing why you procrastinate is a key step to beating it.

Addicted to the last minute

Do you get a thrill out of leaving things for the last minute?

If you are addicted to the last minute this could be causing you stress and reducing the quality of your work. Not to mention how this compromises dealing with the unexpected.

Being aware of this habit is a first step.

Secondly, the jobs that you put off to the last minute are often the ones that you don't want to do. To take the emotion out of the task, drawing up a "pros and cons" can give you a more objective view.

Sometimes the task may be so big that you don't know where to start. If this is the case, then use the "divide and conquer" strategy. Draw up an action plan which breaks the tasks into smaller logical steps.

If the task is important then put the task at the top of your to-do list. See why important tasks won't go away and that this can cause you more stress with proactive approach.

Fear of failure

A second type of procrastinator is the Avoider. This type of procrastinator avoids tasks because they have a fear of failure or a fear of success.

As Franklin D. Roosevelt says "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself".

Ask yourself what it is that you fear and then work on it. Perhaps your fear is due to a lack of confidence or ability. If so, then work on this in bite sized chunks - a little at a time.

To take the emotion out of the task, take a more objective view and draw up a "pros and cons" list of the doing the task.

Another method is to plan your approach. Make a list of all the things that you need to do to complete the task. By making your tasks small and specific, you are more likely to complete them. Download an action plan to help you out.

Unclear goals

Having unclear goals can result in avoiding decisions. One type of procrastinator is the belief that avoiding decisions can relieve you of the responsibility to make a decision.

There are a number of strategies for dealing with this, but one is to set clear goals about your future. Having a long-term perspective which informs on today's decisions is one of the surest ways to maximize your chances of success.

Knowing why you procrastinate can make it easier to beat procrastination.

Procrastinating can increase your stress and results in poorer health which makes this an important topic.

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