How To Stop Procrastinating At Work: Stop Delaying Important Tasks

Procrastination is my sin. It brings me naught but sorrow. I know that I should stop it. In fact, I will — tomorrow!—Gloria Pitzer

The reality that you are here indicates You’re considering how to stop procrastinating at work. To learn more about it, read this blog thoroughly.

The act of postponing something or prolonging tasks till the very last second or after the deadline has gone is Procrastination. 

Procrastination might be an issue that will never let you accomplish your task on time and will never let you reach your dreams. 

A note to remember: Procrastination is a difficult issue to tackle, but if you read and understand what we have written in this post, then you are likely to reduce or eliminate your procrastination habit.

The objective of this article is to explain the effects of workplace procrastination and how to overcome it.

What is Procrastination?

Procrastination is the practice of postponing necessary decisions and actions.  

Procrastination at the workplace is the biggest productivity killer. Businesses, freelancers, and entrepreneurs waste a lot of time and money. Approximately 20% of adults and 50% of students procrastinate seriously and chronically.

Some people say they are master procrastinators but always get things done according to schedule. But some of us who still suffer from this often stressful habit, have to work hard to break it before it ruins our lives.

Many of us suffer due to procrastination. Everyone deals with procrastination at some time during their lives, and once you’ve fallen into it, it can be difficult to get out of. Procrastination is common among even the most dedicated and productive professionals.

When your procrastination habits interfere with your career and business life, you must address the problem. 

5 Different Types of Procrastination

Procrastination can arise for various reasons and take various forms, resulting in different outcomes.

  • Procrastination might be mild, average, or severe:

It depends on a person’s severity of procrastination. How often and how long they procrastinate and the negative effects their procrastination has.

  • Accurate and chronic Procrastination:

Accurate procrastination is only effective for a short time, whereas chronic procrastination lasts for a longer period.

  • Anxious and hedonistic Procrastination:

There is a significant distinction between these two types of procrastination.

Anxious procrastination means delaying tasks despite a desire to complete them and knowing that the delay will be destructive and unreasonable. In contrast, hedonistic procrastination delays the activities voluntarily due to prioritizing other activities. 

  • Active and passive Procrastination:

Procrastination can be active or passive. Active procrastination involves intentional delay that results in positive outcomes. At the same time, passive procrastination involves voluntary delay that results in negative consequences.

  • Domain-specific:

The significant difference between these types of procrastination is the domain in which procrastination occurs. It could be workplace procrastination that results in work tasks delay and academic procrastination that leads to delays in academic tasks. 

Workplace Procrastination: 8 Negative Effects

Everyone is affected by Procrastination in some cases. Workplace procrastination has a variety of dangers and negative effects for both the people who engage in it and those who employ them.

According to research, Procrastination negatively affects 15%–20% of all adults chronically. Approximately 25% of all adults think of Procrastination as an intrinsic part of their personality.

The negative effects of Procrastination are shown below: 

1. Decreased Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem might be the reason for procrastination. Procrastination destroys confidence.

Low self-confidence can damage people’s lives and professions in many ways. People limit themselves and feel less than they should which results in self-destructive behavior.

2. Doubtful Reputation

Your reputation will be damaged if you keep promising you will do something and end up doing nothing.  

Moreover, in this case, your self-esteem and self-confidence will also be ruined, and you will finally lose people’s trust. Remember that a bad reputation has various negative effects. 

Must Read: How to build trust with employees?

3. Worse Mental and Physical Health

Procrastination is related to various mental and physical health issues such as stress and an increased illness rate.  

Procrastination can lead to mental health problems such as stress, leading to reduced well-being, poor physical health, and worse academic and job performance.

4. Interpersonal Relationship Issue

When it comes to interpersonal issues, procrastination can lead to different problems. Here are some of the following:

  • Whenever you fail to submit a shared assignment on time, you end up having relationship problems with your coworkers. 
  • Whenever you have planned to attend a meeting with your friend, you participate late to the event. This may lead to issues in relationships with your friends. 
  • The partner of the procrastinator might feel unimportant, uncared, and ignored. 

5. Wastage of Precious Time

Waste your money and you’re only out of money, but waste your time and you’ve lost a part of your life.” – Michael LeBoeuf

The time you have wasted procrastinating your important work, you have to pay a big amount for it. A moment comes when you realize you are 10 years older but nothing has changed.

Your mind might be filled with this debilitating feeling leading to depression. You may ask yourself, what is the importance of time management and how do I manage my time effectively at work?

If you waste precious time, you will have to live with regret because the hands of time cannot be turned back.

Must Read: Check out these time management tips to boost your productivity.⏱📅

6. Several Opportunities were Missed

Every person misses opportunities when they waste their time and do not take advantage of them when they are relevant.

You only get some opportunities once in a lifetime, and if you procrastinate, you will miss out.

And the undeniable truth is that majority of opportunities come along once in a lifespan, and lucky are those who get a second chance. 

7. It Can be Challenging to Achieve Goals

Procrastination comes when you put off your work intentionally and voluntarily. Procrastination is a productivity killer and causes us to miss out on achieving our goals. 

In life, achieving your goals is a great success, and it moves you closer to living a richer life. However, if you don’t prioritize your work because of procrastination, you will destroy any chance of living a more fulfilling life. 

Use smart goal-achieving concepts that are helpful to find out the main causes of procrastination.

8. Ruined Career

Your working style may have an impact on your business. If your procrastination habit prevents you from reaching your pre-set goals, you could end up losing your job.

High procrastination is associated with lower salaries, shorter employment periods, and a higher probability of being jobless or underemployed rather than working full-time. 

Why Do We Procrastinate at Work?

You’ve likely asked yourself some sort of questions in the past if you are a procrastinator, such as:

“Why do I procrastinate every time despite knowing that it’s bad for me and wanting to stop.” 

People think that they procrastinate due to laziness or a lack of determination, but the real answer is much more complex. We usually procrastinate at work due to certain reasons.

Factors such as hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, task difficulty, low self-esteem, fear of loss, and perfectionism increase our tendency to postpone tasks instead of completing them on time.

There are various circumstances, such as distracting environments and mental exhaustion, which directly affect self-control and motivation, resulting in greater procrastination.

Procrastination is a time inconsistency when the unconscious desire for immediate gratification overrides the desire for future rewards. 

Although you know you shouldn’t procrastinate since you need to get things done, it’s more appealing to do something now than to work towards a longer-term goal.

Best Tips on How to Overcome Procrastination

To beat procrastination, you must define your goals, and objectives and identify how procrastination hampers them. 

Procrastination can be broken, just like our worst habits. If you put in some effort and plan carefully, you can efficiently manage your time and reduce stress over completing tasks.

The steps below help you deal with and prevent procrastination so that you can use this approach as effectively as possible. 

Tips-to-overcome-procrastination

1. Prioritize, Plan and Connect Work to Goals

Prioritizing is the best way to stop procrastinating. The majority of people lack proper goal-setting and planning skills. 

Set achievable and tangible goals. Plan your day and stick to it. Make a daily list of what you need to accomplish by the end of the day.

Another best way to stop procrastinating is to clearly understand how your work helps the team or company accomplish its goals. When you have this level of transparency, work becomes meaningful. 

Instead of doing work for the company’s sake, you must think you are passionate about your goals. It becomes more meaningful when you realize how your work connects to something bigger.

2. Simplify Your Task

The first step is to break each task down into smaller chunks. You can use the Pomodoro technique to accomplish your task with good time management steps. 

When you have cycled through your full task, you can start with the hardest one. This makes you complete another task incredibly easy. Eventually, you will have completed all of your duties and likely be encouraged to see that you have time to spare. 

By simplifying a task, one can complete missions using the least time and energy, thus overcoming procrastination.  

The objective of simplifying tasks is to develop improved work that maximizes output while minimizing procrastination.  

 Must read: Time management using the Pomodoro technique

3. Stick To a Routine

Managing time is one of the effective methods for overcoming procrastination. You should use time management apps to stay productive and manage your time effectively. 

There are many apps available for managing your time, such as timeTracko. A physical calendar may be useful for keeping track of your daily activities as a tool for establishing and maintaining a routine.

  • Physical Calendar – Useful for managing time

Physical calendars are useful for keeping track of upcoming meetings, deadlines, and milestones, and it keeps track of important dates and reminders. 

  • timeTracko- Organize your time and tasks by tracking

 timeTracko is the best tool for employee monitoring and tracking. This tool is helpful when we have multiple tasks to complete, as it allows us to better manage workloads and track the progress of each job.

4. Turn Off All Distractions

It’s easy to become distracted during working hours, no matter where you are. 

Keeping yourself focused while working can be a challenging job, but it is something you can accomplish by forming habits that eliminate distractions. 

An excellent way to reduce distractions is to turn off distracting devices or move away from distracting coworkers.

Disconnect from social media, turn off all smartphone and desktop notifications and turn off your phone. Or set a daily limit for how many times you will check email, text messages, and social media. 

By controlling your devices instead of allowing them to control you, you can reduce distractions and improve your focus. 

Getting rid of distractions in the workplace boosts overall productivity and allows you to get your work done efficiently. 

Follow these steps to stay focused on your task:

  • Work during your most productive hours.
  • Set a timer
  • Block social media
  • Do a more challenging job first
  • Make a list of priorities
  • Create a separate workspace
  • Take regular breaks

 Related: Distraction Management tips at the workplace

5. Choose the Right Working Environment

The work environment strongly influences motivation. Positive work environments are important for success. Despite your best efforts, the wrong work environment can make you procrastinate.

Positive work environments boost your morale, productivity, and retention. Your work environment impacts your mental health, mood, and performance.

A positive work environment is one that fosters employee wellbeing, productivity, and growth. 

6. Make a To-Do List and Follow a List

According to research, every week 26% of deadlines are missed. Creating To-do lists enables you to do tasks stepwise if you don’t know how to do them. 

Creating a To-Do schedule enables you to keep your tasks in one location so that you don’t forget anything important.  

Ensure that you have a task list with you so that you are always aware of what needs to be done.

If you already know what tasks need to be performed before the end of the day, make a To-Do list. Determine how long each task will take while you’re making it. 

Establish a deadline for yourself if you don’t already have one. It is easier to commit to a task when there are hard deadlines. 

However, if you’re struggling to prioritize your goals, making a list can save you time, energy, and the hassle of coming up with excuses when things don’t get done.

Must Read: What are the best To-Do apps to boost productivity?

7. Reward Yourself

Motivation comes from little rewards in life. We all require small tips to keep us motivated in our daily lives. You can overcome procrastination by setting yourself rewards.

You can use this little trick to give yourself an extra push to complete tasks. It positively reinforces your progress and effort and provides a positive incentive to make you more motivated to complete each task more effectively and efficiently.

Give yourself a little reward when you complete a task on time. It can be a tasty snack, your favorite drink, order your long-desired item, watch an episode of your favorite show or watch one of your favorite blogs. Make sure you notice the satisfaction that comes with completing things.

Must Read: The best rewards employees love to receive

8. Stop Multitasking

Multitasking lowers efficiency and productivity because your mind can concentrate on only one task once. Attempting two things simultaneously results in procrastination, as the brain cannot handle both tasks. 

Multitasking is a major cause of procrastination and can seriously harm the mind and your creative ability. It results in poor work output and poor performance.

The more you multitask, the more likely you will be distracted and start procrastinating. Manage this by focusing on only one task at a time.

Shut down your phone, turn off your computer and mobile notifications, and disconnect from social media.

9. Track Yourself

Tracking your time is the most effective technique to overcome procrastination.

You can use time management apps to stay productive and manage your time effectively. There are many apps available for managing your time, such as timeTracko. 

Time management apps help you track yourself, manage your time effectively, and boost productivity.

Evaluate your weaknesses and work on them to keep track of your progress and see how much you’re improving.

10. Figure Out Why and Overcome Your Obstacles

Many factors cause procrastination at work. Probably the most common reason is that you lack the motivation or desire to do and finish certain tasks, so you put them off for a later time.

Whenever you find yourself delaying an important task, think about what’s happening. It would help if you didn’t punish yourself for procrastinating. Instead, take a moment to consider why you’re procrastinating.

It could be the most productive and effective step you take to complete your task. As soon as you realize what’s going on, you can make positive changes in your behavior. 

Before you begin a task, consider the obstacles that could get in your way. Prepare a plan to avoid such a situation.

When you plan, you can avoid procrastination, maintain your focus and be more productive. 

How To Overcome Procrastinating for The Long Term

If you want to know how to overcome procrastinating in the long term, the systematic method you should watch for is given below:

  • Analyze what your goals are

It’s important to consider whether your goals are clearly defined or not and whether they are feasible to achieve and significant enough to achieve meaningful progress. 

  • Determine why you procrastinate, when you procrastinate, and how you procrastinate

It is impossible to resolve procrastination without understanding why you are doing it.

For example, you avoid a particular task because you find it boring and unpleasant. In this case, you should analyze your situation and take steps to get out of it to focus on the job you enjoy more.

  •  Make a strategy based on anti-procrastination techniques

Break huge tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks. Set concrete deadlines to accomplish tasks. Eliminate distractions from your environment.

  •  Implement your plan and track your progress.

Implementing a plan and monitoring progress is critical to a successful implementation of initiatives and will help you identify what techniques worked and how you might improve them.

Top Anti-Procrastination Techniques

Procrastination is a bad habit. You cannot avoid this habit overnight. Habits only stop when you avoid implementing them, so try as many strategies for succeeding. 

Here are some of the most effective anti-procrastination strategies you can use:

  • Disintegrate a large task into smaller chunks
  • Establish a solid deadline for your task
  • Remove distractions from your working environment.
  • Reward your accomplishments.
  • Ask someone to check up on you
  • Forgive yourself for procrastinating in the past
  • Focus on your goals
  • Permit yourself to make a mistake

Does Procrastination Mean Being Lazy?

Many people get confused between laziness and procrastination, but the two are quite different.

Though procrastination and laziness may appear similar from the outside, they have a fundamental difference. 

A choice of laziness means not putting in the effort and energy. As a procrastinator, you would like to complete many things, but you feel unable to accomplish them. 

Procrastination means choosing to do another task instead of knowing that you have to do that work. In comparison, laziness means lacking concern towards work and unwillingness to perform the activity. 

If we procrastinate for a longer duration, we become frustrated and disillusioned with our work, which leads to depression, anxiety, and even joblessness in extreme cases.

Conclusion

The problem of procrastination is extremely difficult to fix. 

However, if you are willing to follow the steps to build a good plan of action, and if you put in the effort to pursue your activity, you might soon discover that you can beat procrastination.

If you take the time to try each step mentioned above, you will find the one that works best for you. By following these tips, you can beat procrastination and become more productive.

FAQs Regarding How To Stop Procrastinating?

Is procrastination considered a mental illness?

Procrastination is not a mental disorder. It can be the consequence of other health issues like depression, work burnout, stress, and hyperactivity disorder.

What happens when you procrastinate?

Procrastination can diminish productivity and goals are not met. People who procrastinate have experienced higher levels of stress, frustration, low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. 

What age group is the most prone to procrastination?

According to research procrastination was found highest in 14-29 years people.

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