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Putting Off Procrastination
David J Dunworth
We all have put some important task on the back burner rather than face the cause of our angst. Some unpleasant item on the TTD list gets pushed back so that something less daunting or more fun can be worked on rather than tackling the tough stuff. What ends up happening is an increased stress level, anxiety
and lost sleep. If you can answer “yes” these questions, you may need some help with procrastination.
- Do you start on the easiest or most difficult task on your To Do list?
- Are you the Tom Sawyer in the office that gets others to do the nasty work?
- Is a workout or a few cups of coffee or tea, or some other morning routine duty mandatory before getting to work on the Things To Do list?
- Is loss of sleep, nausea or the jitters bother you when you put off projects?
- You must work to support your family, but you dread going to work daily?
If you scored a “yes” on any of these questions, you may need some time management training. If “yes” was the answer two, three or more, you need serious help. That is, if you really want to perform at a higher, more stress free level.
What happens to the mind and body when unnecessary stress is introduced is well documented, and relieving work related stress through minimizing delays in your tasks is a sure way to improve your life, and your health.
According to Wikipedia:
In psychology, procrastination refers to the act of replacing high-priority actions with tasks of low-priority, and thus putting off important tasks to a later time. Psychologists often cite such behavior as a mechanism for coping with the anxiety associated with starting or completing any task or decision. Schraw, Pinard, Wadkins, and Olafson have proposed three criteria for a behavior to be classified as procrastination: it must be counterproductive, needless, and delaying.
Procrastination may result in stress, a sense of guilt and crisis, severe loss of personal productivity, as well as social disapproval for not meeting responsibilities or commitments. These feelings combined may promote further procrastination. While it is regarded as normal for people to procrastinate to some degree, it becomes a problem when it impedes normal functioning. Chronic procrastination may be a sign of an underlying psychological disorder.
Workplace stress is the harmful physical and emotional response that occurs when there is a poor match between job demands and the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker.
Stress-related disorders encompass a broad array of conditions, including psychological disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder) and other types of emotional strain (e.g., dissatisfaction, fatigue, tension, etc.), maladaptive behaviors (e.g., aggression, substance abuse), and cognitive impairment (e.g., concentration and memory problems). In turn, these conditions may lead to poor work performance or even injury. Job stress is also associated with various biological reactions that may lead ultimately to compromised health, such as cardiovascular disease, or in extreme cases death.
Stress is a prevalent and costly problem in today’s workplace. About one-third of workers report high levels of stress. One-quarter of employees view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives. Three-quarters of employees believe the worker has more on-the-job stress than a generation ago. Evidence also suggests that stress is the major cause of turnover in organizations.
Procrastination, or Task-Aversion, is a debilitating and misunderstood malady that affects much of today’s workforce. It is mistaken for laziness or loss of ambition and possible job dissatisfaction.
What’s the cure? It isn’t as simple as the Nike slogan, Just Do It. The issue is much more in depth than a simple fix. Serious cases require intervention by a licensed care person, such as a psychologist, mental health care professional or therapist.