Why We Procrastinate

Why We Procrastinate

Leadership | Posted by YouInc.com - October 5, 2016 at 1:00 am
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My closest friend through grad school and today has perfected the art of procrastination. She is a master. She compensated for this behaviour with her smarts and charismatic influence. In other words she got away with it. One of our professors gave her a book on time management. I noticed the book on the floor of her car and I asked her what her takeaways were. Her reply, “I didn’t have time to read it.” The best part was she laughed uproariously as she responded to me.

There are a number of psychological obstacles that get in our way and can seriously compromise getting to the finish line. Here’s the list. Any ring true for you?

  1. A misguided sense of mastery. Sometimes we believe we have the required skills to tackle the challenge. This has a cascading effect, compromising the quality of your final product and ultimate execution. The necessary planning and organization is absent. One of two things happens: either you possess a bit of bravado or you are not quite as seasoned as you think you are.
     
  2. Fear of success. Being an entrepreneur might be your lifelong dream. Perhaps the very success associated with the realization of your dream is overwhelming. You might inadvertently set yourself up to fail by not developing a proper business plan, not understanding the market, failing to raise capital or overlooking a host of other key variables.
     
  3. Steam heat. Just like cramming for exams, you burn the midnight oil, drink copious amounts of caffeine and exist on little sleep. In your youth you got away with it. You thrived under pressure, pulled an all-nighter and annoyed all your friends who were working for weeks on their assignments. Now though, the critical difference is your world is far more complex and there is no way that this furious scrambling will add up to quality output. I have news for you: you can no longer dance as fast as you could. Well try it on for size and let me know how far you get.
     
  4. Fear of failure. It’s always shocking to watch entrepreneurs put in intense hours, expend tremendous focus and engage in mammoth tough slugging. The good news is that you are on target and basically a tiny sliver away from execution. Then you either grind to a halt or find many reasons to fine-tune with the ultimate rationale that you are seeking perfection. You protect yourself from perceived failure when in fact you are so close to winning.

Ultimately if you are poor at planning, disorganized, have tunnel vision, do not anticipate unforeseen variables, do not engage in due diligence, or lack contingency planning you indeed may be a procrastinator. These are some of the many red flags. This is your wake up call. Pay attention to these key indicators, as this shortsightedness could be your kill switch to a very great business venture. Stand up and garner the necessary business maturity and foresight to see yourself through to success.

Tags: time management, productivity, procrastination, cindy wahler, media

Cindy Wahler
Cindy Wahler, Ph.D., C.Psych. is a leadership consultant specializing in succession planning and talent management. For additional information or to get in touch with Dr. Wahler, please click here.
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