The effects of procrastination are the one thing that will destroy the best laid plans of family time management. Plenty of people procrastinate, and some researchers and psychologists say that procrastination is a learned response that we subconsciously teach ourselves or learn from others. What is worse is that putting things off and waiting until the last minute has been linked to depression.
There are four themes connected to procrastination which are –
- The Self Doubting Procrastinator – Who fears he will fail at his task so he second-guesses himself out of taking action.
- The Discomfort Dodger – Who avoids activities that cause anxiety or discomfort.
- The Guilt-Driven Person – Who feels guilty about putting off important tasks but continues to procrastinate to avoid the pressing guilt.
- Habitual Procrastinator – One who has procrastinated so many times that the action has become routine, just a part of the person.
The worst thing about procrastination and how easy it is to continue to develop this habit is that society actually accepts it and unknowingly rewards the behavior. How many times have you apologized for being late and been excused? Or asked for an extension to a deadline and actually gotten one? What about being told ‘good job’ for having put in a burst of last-minute effort to get a project done? Slow and steady progress does not seem to attract as much notice, does it? One issue around procrastination is that once you have discovered you do it and want to change, it is difficult to know how to start correcting the problem, but changing your ways can be done.
The first step toward breaking the procrastination spell is to make a to-do-list. The list does not have to be in order, but it needs to be somewhere visible so that it can serve as a constant reminder of what needs to be done. After you have made a list, it would be great if you could prioritize that list. You could rank your tasks by deadline or what is considered to be most important. You can also invest in a large calendar that can be a constant source for dates and writing notes. You need to put the calendar in a place that is common, so that it can be seen often and not hidden by a closed door and forgotten. If you have a punctuality problem when it comes to time and deadlines, you can up your deadlines by two days and set your clocks ahead by ten minutes. When you mentally think that the new time and deadline are the right ones, you will find yourself relieved that you not only made your deadline, but you did it early and now you have free time.
Procrastination is unpleasant, both for the procrastinator himself and the people that surround him. There are plenty of adjectives tagged to procrastinators, undesirable ones such as unpredictable, unreliable, and unstable. No one really enjoys procrastinating nor being the victim of someone who does, and it is a good idea to try to slowly get out of the habit to be someone punctual and reliable instead.
What is more, you will actually find that since you have stopped putting things off, you get far more done in the time you have and will actually end up having more free time to spend with your family.