Are You Procrastinating or Just Being Lazy?

| 3 min read

Like many habits such as drinking coffee or biting your finger nails, procrastination is a habit that is a deeply ingrained pattern of behavior that you just can’t break overnight. It becomes a much greater problem when your habit impacts negatively on your team’s progress in the workplace. People who procrastinate either rush through to get the job half baked or never meet deadlines because they keep delaying and postponing their tasks. But, do you know when your habit of “I’ll do it later” is the reason for your team’s poor performance?

Procrastination Is Not Laziness

Although often very confusing to tell procrastination and laziness apart, they are very different. Whereas procrastination is an active process where you choose to do something else in place of the task you should be doing. Laziness suggests apathy, inactivity and an unwillingness to act.

Clearly, procrastination involves ignoring an unpleasant, but likely more important task, in favor of one that is more enjoyable or easier. So yes, you are not lazy but you need to act now.

Perhaps you’ve failed at efforts to stop procrastinating. These strategies will help you;

1. Forgive Yourself for Procrastinating in the Past

Self-forgiveness can help you to feel more positive about yourself and reduce the likelihood of procrastination in the future.

2. Commit to the Task

Focus on doing, not avoiding. Write down the tasks that you need to complete, and specify a time for doing them. This will help you to proactively tackle your work.

3. Promise Yourself a Reward

If you complete a difficult task on time, reward yourself with a treat, such as a slice of cake from your favourite culinary shop. And make sure you notice how good it feels to finish things!

4. Ask Someone to Check Up On You

Peer pressure works! This is the principle behind self-help groups. If you don’t have anyone to ask, an online tool such as Procraster can help you to self-monitor

5. Act As You Go

Tackle tasks as soon as they arise, rather than letting them build up over another day. You do you self more harm than good when your work load piles. Worst is you may never get any of them done the way you are expected to.

6. Rephrase Your Internal Dialog

The phrases “need to” and “have to,” for example, imply that you have no choice in what you do. This can make you feel less motivated and might even result in self-sabotage. However, saying, “I choose to,” implies that you own a project, and can make you feel more in control of your workload.

7. Minimize Distractions

Turn off your email and social media, and avoid sitting anywhere near a television while you work!

8. Aim to “eat an elephant beetle”

First thing, Every Day! Get those tasks that you find least pleasant out of the way early. This will give you the rest of the day to concentrate on work that you find more enjoyable.

Well done! You successfully read this piece without procrastinating and took your first step to success. Remember, to get it done and dusted now, there is no room for tomorrow.

Which of the above strategies is most helpful to you? Tell us in the comment session below.

Nelly Sadongo-Bawa
Social Media and Community Marketer at Jobberman Ghana || Blogger || Motivator || Radio host || "Knowledge is like a garden. If it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested."