The Ultimate Cheatsheet On Procrastination : Analysis And The Solution

Whoa! assignments, I will do them later.”

From Monday onwards, I will focus on all my pending works.”

I will write my next post after the movie.”

This is too lengthy, let me schedule it for next week.”

All these statements were said at different occasions & time.

But the reason because of which they were saying is same, “Procrastination.”

Do you know that over 20% of the population is affected by serious procrastination?

According to researchers, it has been continuously increasing for last 30 years.

What could be the reasons which have contributed so much to procrastination in the past 30 years?

Let’s conduct an analysis.

Cause Analysis

Some of the reasons might be:

  1. Technological Advancement

People today are completely dependent on the technology and its products.

They can not imagine their life without mobile phones, laptops, and other electronic gadgets.

procrastination : technology vs productivity

Deloitte University Press has come up with some stats on employee productivity.

According to their research findings, it became evident that from the year 1999 to 2011 indexed growth in worker’s productivity has increased with a rate of 2% whereas 3 core digital technologies grew at the rate of 49% CAGR annually.

This gap has created the instability.

We started utilizing the technology, but at the same time, we began losing our productivity.

For example, when mobile phones or smart phones were not there we used to remember the phone numbers, addresses and the birthdays of our near and dear ones even for others.

But what has happened now, we are entirely dependent on computer’s memory and are not relying on our own.

This is a point to ponder, that if for some time these social networking platforms stopped working, then how many birthdays would like we remember?

A study says, “One in every 4 minutes people go online to check updates on the social networking sites.”

One more study says, “We need at least 15 minutes to get the flow or concentrate properly to get involved in the work entirely.”

So, now can you imagine why most of the assignments never get completed on the given deadline?

  1. Deficit of Skilled Manpower

    procrastination - competition level

In a study conducted by Mckinsey, on the availability of workforce in India depending upon the skills, it was found that there is an over supply of highly skilled and low-skilled workers but the companies often face the shortage of medium-skilled workers.

It means that there is a need of 13 million medium-skilled workers to fill this gap for the required positions.

In this case, who do you think will perform the work?

Since there is a scarcity of labor and not work in the companies, so it is quite evident that people who are more efficient will be over loaded with work in the name of some incentives.

This instability in work and life leads to procrastination.

  1. Fear of Failure

Since childhood, we were trained to avoid risks.

If you focus more on sports instead of studies, you will never get a decent job.

If you get friendly to the strangers, you will land yourself in trouble.

Try to be perfect and avoid mistakes as much as you can, and the list is long…

As far as I can bring out the intent from these points, it was just to make you avoid the risks and lead a simple life. However, the fact is, risks make you stronger and more determined.

Whereas the fear of failure and not experimenting with the things takes you nowhere, since you have not tried anything new, you won’t be able to guide others or share your experiences.

In short, you had just walked on the path paved by the others; you have not built a path of your own.

And when you are supposed to perform a given task you start procrastinating of the things which make you feel unsafe.

Since you have developed an attitude of avoiding to commit mistakes and learn new things, you always look for an easier solution.

And when you do not get a solution, you simply start procrastinating, since you have still not developed self-confidence within you.

  1. Unhealthy Lifestyle

Today, an unhealthy lifestyle is emerging out to be a common problem.

We prefer having a burger, a pizza, and other junk foods in place of healthy and nutritious food items.

As per a survey conducted by National Geographic Magazine, it has been found that a person from a lower income background, consumes more healthy food as compared to people living in high societies.

Procrastination : unhealthy lifestyle

Once you start having this mouth watering unhealthy food regularly, the reason could be any, it becomes a habit and then continues as a cycle till it gets challenging to break the loop.

This sequence is depicted in the images below:

procrastination- unhealthy lifestyle

Unhealthy food leads to an unhealthy state of mind.

This negatively impacts your metabolism and decision-making ability.

It also invites laziness, which renders negative energy in you.

You sometimes take a number of resolutions to start with a healthy and nutritious life, but finally, procrastination overcomes you.

Mentioned below are the most important causes of procrastination.

All these factors which arise due to unhealthy lifestyle may lead to:

  • Distractions
  • Disinterest in work
  • Search for shortcuts
  • Stress
  • Depression, anxiety, sleep disorder
  • Memory Loss
  • Financial Loss

Suggested Resolutions

So the following actions could be taken to beat procrastination.

  1. Do it Instantly

As soon as you get the work in hand, try to complete it within the stipulated time.

It’s good to be a multi-tasker, but most of the successful people do not practice it.

It is always appreciable to finish the work before it gets too late.

Your planning will be in consistency with the execution only if both have been attempted in the same time frame because the fact is that today you don’t remember what you have planned a week before.

Doing a number of tasks simultaneously might bring them to completion at the same time, but believe me working on one task at a time will ensure quality and the level of satisfaction will be beyond expectations.

  1. Try an Unscheduled Calendar

Working on an unscheduled calendar often helps in improving your productivity. You can try an unscheduled calendar to check your productivity.

To test your levels of concentration and procrastination simultaneously, give yourself a topic/subject to work on within a stipulated time.

Set the timer and try to be as quick and accurate as you can.

This will motivate you to work efficiently and increase your determination level.

  1. Avoid False Commitments false committments - procrastination

Do not commit to anything which you can not achieve.

Be transparent to your commitments and the amount of sincerity you can devote to a task.

Your key mantra for every task should be that “work should not suffer.”

For this, you need to be very clear about the scope of the task which you are going to perform.

First of all, analyze your situation and strengths and set a well-calculated timeline to complete that task.

Vaguer your assumptions will be, more the quality of your work will suffer.

  1. Convert Big Junks into Small Chunks

big work to small chunks - procrastinationA trusted and most widely used way of work adopted by smart people is to divide big tasks into smaller portions and then work on them.

Let’s say, for example; you have to create 100 slides for a presentation.

You won’t directly start writing about the subject; rather you will first create a table of contents, a list of the subtopics to be covered under the main topic, weight to be given to each, etc. so that you have a fair idea of how you are going to proceed.

In such cases, you first need to make up your mind to sort the things and make them easy to be worked upon.

For example, if I have to work on a defect reduction case study, how I am going to approach?

I will divide it into the following parts:

  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Identification of the problem
  • Causes of the problem
  • Analysis (Important portion)
  • Countermeasures (Bigger part)
  • Results verification
  • Standardization
  • Benefits
  • Horizontal Implementation

So I got the structure for my presentation ready.

Now, I will work on first four points and complete them quickly.

After that, I will focus on critical portion – the cause analysis.

Since the entire presentation derives its essence from this part; I will spend some extra time to get the best out of it.

After that, I will start working on the countermeasures portion.

This is also a significant section of the presentation.

Rest of the parts will take less time as compared to these two, being not so complex.

Through this structure, I know where I have to emphasize more and devote less time so that I do not have to hurry up in the end.

  1. Meditation/Mindfulnessmindfullness : procrastination

Some thoughts prevail in our mind every second, whether we are alone or in a crowd.

Our brain functions the entire life no matter we are asleep or awake, don’t you think it also needs some peace.

If a machine runs continuously, it efficiency reduces with time. Likewise, our brain will also reduce its efficiency to perform better, if properly not taken care of.

So, what we could do to put our mind at peace for some time and let it relax?

Consider shutting down a machine for some time, what happens is that it reaches its home position. The home position is nothing but its first reference position.

Similarly, our brains also need a home position to function better. For this, we need to practice meditation and yoga.

Once your mind is relaxed, it regains its energy and gets prepared to work more efficiently.

We have full control on it, and we can make it function the way we want.

The reason why we are not able to concentrate on our work, if we don’t’ practice meditation regularly is because of the hindrance/disturbances from the surrounding.

There are some applications, which can help you to meditate and relax your mind.

Below is a list of such apps for your perusal. You may try out any of these:

  1. Headspace
  2. Simple habit
  3. Pacifica
  4. 10% happier
  5. Calm: meditation
  6. Zen
  7. Stop, breathe and think
  8. Streaks
  9. Spire breathe + Activity tracker: Discover calm
  10. Samsara timer
  11. Serenity meditation timer for mindfulness, Reiki

 

If you are going to apply these ways to your life and make them a habit, you’ll soon be a different personality.

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