It happens to the best of us.
I’m a procrastinator from way back. There were times (usually the night before an exam when I realised I’d left my run too late), that I figured my procrastination came from a place of laziness. Then there were other times when I could explain away my procrastination as just another care-free quality of my laid-back nature.
Either way, procrastination can lead (and often does) to unnecessary stress. Always looking to reduce the stress in my life, I set about researching why we procrastinate and how we can stop. (In the process I found a few good recipes, funny video’s, and added to my reading wish list, but I digress).
Melbourne based psychologist Susan Telfer says there can be many different mental triggers for procrastination.
“For instance, not looking forward to a task, feeling overwhelmed, feeling as though you lack a skill, stress or laziness. These mental states plus some environmental blocks, like bad weather for example, can cause procrastination.”
The important thing is to recognise your own justifications and patterns as habits.
“Once you realise this as a habit you can then go about changing your behaviour,” says Ms Telfer
Surely, in this day and age technology can help?
Susan did tell me that research has shown that eighty-one per cent of respondents to a recent Microsoft survey said they use technology to help stay organised.
Before I was able to get too excited though, she explained that there’s another side to that handy solution.
We are living in that golden are where it has never been easier to research, communicate, or create because of the technology many of us use every day. BUT, it’s also probably never taken so long to complete a task either. One thing is behind both of these things: the internet.
Technology: can be your greatest work friend; can be your greatest adversary.
Eighty-three per cent of people from the same survey said they believed they could save at least an hour every day if they were better organised.
With so many distractions and commitments we all seem to have these days, being organised does seem to be a challenge. Not being organised leads to a lack of good time management, which then causes me unsolicited stress and then lo and behold, my procrastination gene kicks in.
Hello, welcome to square one. Again.
I was discussing this dilemma with a good friend who is a high school teacher. She’s one of those annoyingly calm and organised people who never seems to be in a hurry and always has time for everything and everyone. What’s her secret I needed to know.
“I use a planner,” she said simply. “It’s the exact planner that all my students use. Procrastination is an issue for a lot of students and I figured that if I could get them more organised, it would limit the opportunities for distractions, procrastination and be able to keep on top of their workload.”
She commented that, “So far it’s a tool that’s proving to be successful for many of them. They each have a clear picture of what’s required for the term and have a pathway to follow to get there. They’re all a lot less stressed, which means, so am I!”
She showed me the website to download a digital version of the planner. (We also checked out a you-tube video another friend posted on facebook and found some recipe ideas for dinner tonight).
Is that the time already? Must fly.
Oh! The website for those of you, like me, wanting to stop procrastinating, is www.redtickeducation.com.