How do I avoid procrastinating at work?

While you are at work, do you find yourself continually putting off tasks, especially when they are top-priority or boring to do? If you find yourself postponing tasks that should be done then and there, we call that procrastinating. Edward young, an English poet from the 1700’s once said that procrastination is the thief of time and for good reason. Procrastinating in your job steals time away from actually getting work done.

It may be a report that your supervisor has asked to be placed on his desk once completed, an invoice to be done, a message/call to follow up on or even an email to reply to. Whatever it may be, there are always going to be laborious and boring job activities that you have to do at work. So what do you do? Well you delay it. But how do you really know whether to delay it or act upon it then? You should ask yourself the question – what will happen if I don’t do what I’m postponing now? What will the outcome/consequence be?

It is good to remember that if you can and should take action, then you would be wise to do so since delaying important tasks could result in problems later on. For example, not returning a customer’s call could result in the customer going elsewhere or feeling unimportant. Postponing a report may result in a meeting to be held up.

There are a number of reasons why we procrastinate. These come down to our desire, attitude and worries.

Desire

“If my boss genuinely wants it done, he’ll ask me more than once”

“This can wait. I have other urgent matters which require my attention.”

“I’ll do it before I leave work then I’ll have more motivation to get it done.”

Attitude

“I can’t be bothered getting it done”

“I’m not self-disciplined”

“I’d prefer doing something else”

“I’ll do it when I feel like it”