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What makes workers procrastinate?


At times it seems like procrastination is almost a contagious disease that does not discriminate, and attacks regardless of position or industry. While we would like to believe that theory when we are guilty, procrastination is always a decision. It is consciously deciding to postpone a task when the consequence of doing the task doesn’t appear to be significant{{more}}.

Generally, people procrastinate for one of the following reasons.

The Pain Factor: Humans will avoid pain at all cost, that’s how we are built, and to some people delaying a task is equal to avoiding the pain of doing the task. It’s the old “out of sight out of mind” concept. This isn’t a very effective strategy, because even though the pain is avoided temporarily, the brain becomes preoccupied with the thought and causes unnecessary stress.

Lack of Urgency: We all place priority on what needs to be done and sometimes there is no real urgency to get a task done. Obviously we do what’s most important to us first and everything else gets postponed until their importance increases. Operating in this manner is problematic, as we tend to always have critical matters before us and little time for anything else.

The Fear Factor: This is perhaps one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Fear has the power to paralyze and too often we procrastinate because we are afraid of producing substandard work. This also works in reverse, and believe it or not, some people are actually afraid they will succeed.

The Creativity Factor: There are some people who genuinely believe that they are at their best when they are up against a deadline and time is of the essence. This type of individual thrives on the adrenaline needed to beat the odds and produce in spite of the deadline.Unfortunately, it could be disastrous for a project if this type of person is asked to work with an individual who likes to plan ahead and begin on time. This also is ultimately very stressful and leaves no room for real breakthrough creativity.

Regardless of why you procrastinate, most people including the procrastinators are bothered by the habit. Make every effort on a daily basis to cut back on the number of duties you push aside or put off until later. Later will be here sooner than you expect.

Karen Hinds President/CEO

Workplace Success Group

Toll Free: 1-877-902-2775

Tel: 1-203-757-4103

Creator of The Workplace Success Program (TM)