How to execute your assignments within the stipulated time frame

The client presentation your boss asked you to make two weeks ago isn’t done yet. And you are also aware of the fact that if your boss is able to successfully present your work in front of the client, your name would be recommended for a promotion as a gesture of appreciation.

But even after having sufficient time in hand to finish the task assigned, you chose to delay it till a point (read: a night before submission) where you didn’t sleep the whole night. Due to lower concentration levels and productivity, the output wasn’t appreciated.

The question here is, even though you know this project could enhance your career prospects, why did you still choose to be indifferent?

The answer: procrastination.

Procrastination is lack of interest in completing a particular task

Procrastination generally refers to the avoidance of a specific task or work, which needs to be accomplished. It is quite a common practice, as everyone tends to procrastinate at some point of time in life.

Reasons for Procrastination

Non-clarity of one’s job role, lack of ability to delegate work, lack of planning, slow decision making, etc., are the reasons for procrastination at work..  Fear of failure also makes some people to procrastinate. Distractions are another cause of procrastination. Most people find it difficult to start something from ground zero. The inertia of starting from zero is very high; hence, they just sit over it. Many people tend to keep aside projects/tasks that are complex or unpleasant.

Find out the reasons and get out of it

If any of these reasons are preventing you from accomplishing your tasks on time, you must identify the reason and work towards getting out of it. You need to understand whether procrastination is a one time phenomenon or if it is recurring on a regular basis. If it occurs on a regular basis, it has to be addressed by the individual as well as management. If it is a one-time recurring issue, it’s better to isolate the matter in question and counsel the person and explain its effects on his/her work and productivity. Most of the time, people could see through this and correct themselves.

Tips to overcome procrastination

Planning is very important to finish tasks successfully. In case of overwhelming projects leading to procrastination, it is advisable to break the project down into smaller components and tackle each component individually. Although not all tasks are enjoyable, they still need to be completed. To avoid procrastinating in this situation, try implementing a reward for the completion of an unpleasant task. And you would be able to keep procrastination at bay!

Work/tasks should be prioritized. Do the ones that are the most time consuming or urgent in the beginning while the rest towards the end depending on its nature.

Divide the key objectives as per the time plan into annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily targets.

It’s always advisable to follow a timetable. Teams and individuals should set practical deadlines for themselves. Setting targets, despite knowing that they are unachievable, would only lead to disappointment.

Source : Economic Times

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