Google what the definition of procrastination and while there are a great many ways to say it, it boils down to postponing doing something. It is as simple as that so why is it such a challenge to cure. I decided to write this article in hopes that talking it out with all of you will help me to find a remedy to my procrastination ailment. Perhaps just recognizing that I have it will be a step to my personal cure.
When I think of the time I spend procrastinating by reading and responding to email as it comes in rather than allowing it to accumulate and dealing with it in one or two sessions during the day, or making a telephone call or making yet another cup of coffee rather than knuckling down to my tasks at hand, I know I could be more productive. I know that I want to be!
What about you? Do you ever find yourself putting off some task rather than dealing with it straight away? Does the need to rearrange the pantry cupboard or the tools in garage seem much more pressing in the face of some task that you really can’t bring yourself to start? If so, you too may be falling into the procrastination trap.
So, why does it happen and what can we do about it?
According to one study, procrastination is caused by several “cognitive distortions” or, in other words, perception problems. These are (in the words of the study author):
Putting it another way or in more simplistic terms that I better understand:
In my online research to find a cure I came across a myriad of articles and helpful sites. To sum it up, I think following some of these guidelines might just help you, if you too suffer from this what seems to be now a curable disease!
Dragging one’s feet or procrastination is unproductive and can even be harmful to our best interests if taken to extremes. It is not just a simple act of putting off until tomorrow what we could get done today. Studies show that procrastination is a symptom of self-doubt, self-downing, discomfort-dodging and irrational guilt. In turn, the results of procrastination can be a further stimulus for the erroneous beliefs that led to procrastination in the first place. Recognize that the change process is rarely smooth but will certainly have up’s and down’s. If we persist at making the effort to become more efficient and effective there is no question this will improve the quality of our lives!
Joanie Ogg is a 40+-year travel industry executive that has been recognized by all facets of the travel industry. She and her husband, Tom Ogg and son, Andy Ogg own and operate a plethora of websites supporting Travel Professionals with resources and tools to grow their respective businesses. As co-author of a variety of books and publications she has inspired tens of thousands of travel agents attending her presentations and keynotes at trade events, cruise seminars, international trade gatherings and numerous local educational venues throughout the United States. Joanie is a Master Cruise Counselor (MCC) and a Certified Travel Counselor (CTC) as well as a recipient of numerous awards and recognitions within the travel industry.