It can be safely stated that practically everyone has procrastinated at some point in their life. For the most part, procrastination is fairly harmless. Many believe that if it becomes a habit it may lead to additional stress and anxiety associated with the consequences of not completing a project or task on time.
So, when can it be said that procrastination moves from being harmless to becoming a real issue? There are certain warning signs that take place when a person begins to make procrastination a habit in their lives.
In other words, habitually not starting a project or task on time due to pushing it back and in the place of working on it, less important projects or tasks are worked on instead. For students, this can mean putting off starting a term paper until after surfing the web, hanging out with friends or doing other things that are not relevant to their paper.
While this does not mean that every task needs to be started immediately, consistently putting other, unprioritized or lower priority tasks ahead of the one that has been labeled a higher priority is a definite sign of procrastination.
The Task Never Gets Completed
The task that require extensive amount of work and has little or no work done on it, with a deadline looming of today or tomorrow, will not be completed ontime. Some take this as a challenge and attempt to pull out a winner at the last minute.
However, the quality of the work could be questioned. Could the quality have been higher if the task wasn’t rushed? In addition, there are also many prioritized task that simply don’t get completed ever and create a constant source of guilt and/or disgust for the person responsible for the particular task whenever he/she thinks of it, which is only multiplied by family members or colleagues who precieve this behavior as a failure and believe the project will not ever get completed.
Believing the task/project will get completed one day keeps the person from collapsing into the guilt of having failed. However, this possible delusion does not affect those who have witnessed the failure.
Circumstances preventing a project from being completed by its deadline is normal. However, voicing an excuse, then another, then another indicates a pattern that the deadline for the task or project will come and go and the excuses will continue to flow.
It’s easy to get distracted. Possibly adjusting your way of thinking about procrastination and taking steps to prioritize what’s important to you can help you avoid your time being wasted on activities that do not benefit you.
By setting honest priorities to tasks, appropriate start times and deadlines, letting go of your own judgment and the judgment of others, and focusing on one small task at a time, you can get the jobs that are important to you completed on time.
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