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Monday, 11 August 2014

Taking control: Are you dealing with procrastination?



Procrastination is putting off a planned activity or responding to urgent matter for no apparent reasons.  It is a form of behavior, which reveals a true attitude toward a particular chore or assignment.  It reveals self esteem issues which could be major set-back for staff audits and manpower development.

Procrastination causes stress because it leads to accumulation of tasks which become urgent. It is undesirable and should be address as an emotional issue.  There are two distinct types of procrastination - behavioral and decisional:

Behavioral: Procrastination is a learnt behavior and denotes habitual shifting of daily tasks forward, which results in general delay or failure to meet daily planned activities.  It has a negative impact on health, happiness and productivity. Doing anything at the last minute requires greater accumulation of energy which is accompanied by accelerated heartbeat due to the presence of adrenal enzymes in the blood.  For an example, weekly checking of clothes that need dry cleaning will help you keep your clothes tidy and available when you want to wear them.  Imaging how it would feel when you are unable to wear appropriate jacket just because it is dirty because you postponed taking it for dry-cleaners.   Behavioral procrastination leads to reduced level of quality lifestyle because you also tend to eat badly not because you have financial challenges.  You postponed going to buy groceries and ended up eating eggs for breakfast the whole week.  Other behavior traits include the following:

1.   Depression and anxiety contribute to skewed decisions.  A depressed person would stay in bed and wake up with low motivation to perform any task.  Anxious person tends to bend rules to accommodate favoritism; thus avoiding ownership of making unpopular decisions.  
2.   Poor self-control to balance and manage time to address easy and challenging matters.  For an example, a student may end up getting poor grades because of failure to draw a time-table to revise all subjects or adjust time to focus on challenging subjects more than favorite ones.
3.   Self-deception. In most cases officers would make an error of allocating insufficient time for given assignments and end up submitting a harried and unprofessional work, which eventually would  earn them poor job evaluation grades.
4.   Non-competitiveness denotes a relaxed attitude associated with inability to apply necessary effort hence negatively impact on personal growth and professional maturity.  Failure to demonstrate efficiency means lack of desire to build a positive upward mobility for career advancement.

Decisional: Pertains to unnecessary delay in making decisions because of uncertainty.   This is a case in executive positions where delay is cause be exhaustive fact-finding before arriving at decisions. The following are evident:

1.   Low self esteem could contribute towards not wanting to be decisive therefore not accountable for unpopular decision or judgement. For an example, an executive who calls a departmental meeting to address a problem done by one staff member instead of applying a policy to correct the behavior of one person. 

2.   Perfectionism tends to want all or none.  They tend to be poor in empowering people because they would rather work with proven skilled person rather than recognize skill and work to perfect mistakes of those under training.

Procrastination is a negative behavior, which could significantly slow down your attempt to move forward especially with regard to challenging situations.  You need to address it if you intend to take control of your life and discover a progressive attitude to your professional and personal goals.