Procrastination; the silent killer

Back in school, I was a last minute reader, and surprisingly, I would pass highly. If I was told that we had a test the following day, I would read 10 books in one night and somehow, it would all sink in. I admit that it was a lazy method of revising. Even when I had all the time, I was never in the mood to read until a paper or test was announced.  With time, I noticed that if I had started reading earlier, probably, it could have helped me achieve even higher scores.

I was struggling with a ‘disease’ called procrastination; this is the act of delaying or postponing something. That is exactly how life is. Sometimes we think we have a lot of time, which makes us choose minor tasks then rush to do major ones at the last minute. On some occasions, we suspend assignments to another day.

We have all at some time failed to meet deadlines, or postponed tasks, or carried out less urgent errands rather than urgent ones.

Procrastination kills time; you might lose life changing opportunities. Delaying to take steps might rob you of the chance to set and accomplish goals. When procrastination takes over, your career will crumble. Failing to meet deadlines could result in poor results; you might also lose your job or miss out on promotions.

Self-esteem is lost while trying to wonder why you can’t do something and accomplish it. When confidence is lost, you feel like you are not worthy of something. As you haste to finish tasks at the last minute, you might make wrong decisions due to pressure since you are out of time. Poor decisions keep one in regret. Reputation is lost when you give empty promises about doing something then push it to the next day.

Denial, fear of failure, excessive fussiness, low energy levels, laziness, external blaming, comparisons, lack of focus, and distraction, are the key causes of procrastination.

Signs of a procrastinator could be perfectionism. Perfectionists in most cases want to present neat work in fear of being judged.

Aspirants rarely meet deadlines. They are always afraid of being exposed as mediocre or unqualified. They fear taking risks, for that reason they deny taking on tasks. They can easily be noticed if they work with a serious team.

Boredom pushes us to delay to perform some duties. We could be entertained by other tasks or just want to be comfortable in the current state. This leads to laziness and lack of trust from the people we are answerable to, for instance, our bosses, friends, partners, or even those that highly believe in us. If you are overwhelmed, have many duties to fulfil, it could be hard for you to even start, hence ending up doing nothing. Too many duties keep one confused of where to start and how.

So, do you wait to do your duties under pressure? The results might be good, but you strain a lot to do well in limited time.

Break down your tasks and commit to them. Do the urgent work first, and later focus on the less pressing things. Partition your time effectively. If you are to do something today, finish it, don’t push tasks to another day. When you learn to utilise your time successfully, you will never panic or work under pressure.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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