A Word On Procrastination, Our Daily Risks And Forgotten Desires

Posted under Procrastination on Tuesday 29 May 2012 at 10:45 pm

procrastinationProcrastination is a common bad behavior pattern. Procrastination usually happens when a person bases the assumptions on some negative experience, and procrastination is directly linked to the risks of entering some uncomfortable zone. Therefore, procrastination goes hand in hand with risks and uncomfortable zone, and it can understood as the situation when a person does not assume the responsibility to take risks or take a responsibility for making a certain choice. Procrastination is based on our fear to face certain consequences of our actions, the consequences which are most likely to be negative or unpleasant and which a person does not want to face or deal with at the moment.

Undoubtedly, we all try to avoid making mistakes because all our mistakes lead to disappointments and being out of conceit with our life, our friends, other people, or our feelings. That is why we are ready to do everything possible in order to stay in our own comfort zone at all times. That is why we procrastinate and try to avoid the things or actions which can make us out of it. Many experts say that procrastination can actually have positive effects, and until you procrastination starts bothering you or starts ruining your life, you can look for ways to procrastinate and avoid assuming too much risks on doing what you do not  want to. However, in many people procrastination causes a lot of discomfort and arises the question “What do I want in this life?”

We all want something and we’re all interested in something, but we all hate to risk with something in this life. Therefore, in order to avoid risking, we give up our interests, forget about our values, our true desires and even our needs, misplace them or just substitute with our responsibilities and duties. We ignore our true feelings and emotions in order just not be bothered and remain in our comfort zone for as long as possible. We totally do not understand curiosity of small children and their desire to learn everything, try new things and take a great deal of risks. We understand that is can bring to pains, aches, numerous mental and physical stresses, failures, mistakes, and more and more disappointments.

As a result, we get lost in procrastinating and there are no curiosity or real passion in our life. We’re trying to play as safe as possible, that is why our life is becoming harder and harder, filled with undeveloped initiatives, unfulfilled desires and the dreams which have never came true. We’re afraid to look stupid, funny, or misunderstood. Those are the bases of our daily procrastination which makes us be deaf and not hear our inner voices and desires. Procrastination teaches us nothing else but being blind and senseless, being unhappy with our working and personal life, making only small and very often unnecessary steps to our happiness, instead of making one-two big steps and being happy right now. Procrastination makes us pull up at every corner instead of riding fast all along our way.

The Procrastination Equation

Posted under Procrastination on Friday 11 September 2009 at 1:24 am

Procrastination EquationProcrastination is a serious problem of many modern people, which actually goes several hundred years back and was troubling humanity centuries ago. St. Augustine, a Father of Latin church, who lived and worked in the IVth century, spent years in studying the issues related to procrastination. This concept helped St. Augustine to fight against his physical and mental temptations, that is why he was looking at positive sides of procrastination. Another famous scientist, Leonardo da Vinci,  was also a victim of this negative behavioral model. Due to his chronic delaying, lots of his paintings and bright technological ideas were left half-done. Mark Antonius, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Douglas Adams, Agatha Cristie and many more of famous successful people were chronic procrastinators as well.

Why do we always start a new life or a cholesterol lowering diet tomorrow, not today? Why our kitchen should be cleaned right before important exams? Why we have a tendency to check out our e-mail messages every morning instead of coming straight to work? Why do we go on putting the things off even knowing about negative consequences of procrastination? A scientist from Canada Piers Steel, as associate Professor of industrial psychology at Haskayne School of Business (University of Calgary), studied these issues for more than 10 years, and his research ended up with creating a new concept called the Temporal Motivation Theory, publishing a wonderful book and a series of articles in the journal of the American Psychological Association.

The heart of procrastination“, the specialist says, ” is an adaptive natural tendency to value today much more than tomorrow“. It is interesting that Steel decided to use a complex mathematical approach to the problem of putting things off and attempted to create a formula, which would define procrastination. The specialist claims that chronic delaying can be expressed by the following Procrastination Equation: U=EV/ID, where U is our desire to complete a certain task (or our drive to delay the completion). At that, E is expectancy to succeed at the task, V is the value of the completed task, I is the degree if urgency of the task and, finally, D is our individual sensitivity to delay.

After studying the subject both from theoretical and practical perspectives, Steel offers several innovative explanations of procrastination as a social phenomenon. The expert is convinced that the majority of today’s procrastinators (which, according to Steel, account up to 5% of today’s population) are not just lazy people who want to avoid doing the things they do not want to do. He says that such factors as our natural impulsiveness, a lack of self-knowledge or self-confidence,  an absence of strong motivation and our natural desire to see immediate results are among the main factors that contribute in development of this bad habit. The Temporal Motivation Theory, the procrastination equation and the study in general received positive reaction of many management specialists, who found it applicable to modern business leadership practices.

7 Steps to Making Your Future Clearer and Brighter

Posted under Procrastination on Wednesday 24 September 2008 at 11:12 pm

Along with lack of motivation, such factors as vagueness, uncertainty and lack of clarity are among the key reasons of our bad habits, discouragement and procrastination. For those who are determined to fight with these problems and look for positive changes in their life, I would like to offer a strategy created by Dr. Brian Tracy, an experienced time management specialist, lecturer and business coach, who wrote several books of special techniques and recommendations for those who suffer from chronic procrastination and lack of personal effectiveness. He argues that everyone who wants to be successful in this world has to define own goals and aspirations. This can be done in the following 7 steps:

Step 1. Decide, what exactly do you want to achieve in this life, where do you want to be and what do you want to possess? Specifying your goals and your strategies to achieve them will help you in one important thing: to avoid doing useless, low value tasks and wasting your time and efforts. “One of the very worst uses of time is to do something very well that need not be done at all”, Tracy says.

Step 2. Think on paper. Try to write down at least 10 goals you want to achieve within the next year. Make them clear and crystallize them on paper. Now you see that by writing them down, your dreams and goals turned from fantasies into something tangible and real, didn’t they?

Step 3. Estimate an optimistic deadline and a pessimistic deadline for your goals. If your goal has no fixed time limits, it loses its relevance and urgency. You have to establish clear time frames for achieving your goals and assume the responsibilities not to procrastinate all the time, but work on this day by day.

Step 4. Think about everything you need to do, learn or accomplish in order to achieve your goals, and make a list of the findings. This will, definitely, make your goals closer to you. Also, this list will give you a picture of the most important or the largest tasks you need to accomplish on your way to every goal.

Step 5. Organize the list of the findings by priority and time sequence. You can use charts, boxes or circles. This plan will help you to increase your productivity and efficiency, so you will definitely be more successful than anyone who carries his goals in the mind.

Step 6. Take action! Find something that you can do right away in order to get closer to your goals at least for an inch. You can arrange a meeting with your future business partner, or find some important online information for your project. Do anything right away!

Step 7. Make a habit of doing something that will move you toward achieving your goals every single day. Learn something new every day, get engaged in specific activities or discussions, and involve more and more people in your projects. Keep moving forward and do not miss a day!

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