16 Haz

Do Not Procrastinate

Almost everyone has exhibited procrastinating behavior at some times during their life. Postponements that start during school years can become increasingly chronic, spreading many areas such as not paying bills in daily life, delaying answering emails or messages, or delaying health checks. The complex structure of procrastination behavior encountered in all aspects of life, which significantly undermines our productivity, can be solved by simple methods.

Problematic behavior is defined as being good in the short term and causing trouble in the long term. If we tried to make a definition of procrastination, it would be possible to make exactly the same definition. The person, who postpones the problem thinks that he may have escaped because he postponed the moment, believes that he can escape, whereas all he does is to make the problem appear bigger and more challenging in the future. Human beings are prone to immediate reward activities. In other words, when I choose to watch a movie instead of writing tonight, the award comes immediately and is temporary. But when I choose to write, the prize comes with the newsletter printed a month later and is permanent.

The first step towards deferred work is to place mandatory activities (permanent reward activities) first and enjoyment activities at the end. If you're running away from what you need to do because you think it's difficult and not rewarding, guessing how enjoyable it may be will reduce your avoidance. Just before you list the jobs you need to do, you say, “How much do I enjoy doing this job?” I would guess that and immediately after I did the job I would say, " How much did I enjoy it?” you can take note of that. If you tend to postpone activities because you think you won't enjoy them, seeing before and after the enjoyment predictions will make you more realistic predictions.

Each goal consists of steps leading to the goal. The goal is achieved when those steps are taken appropriately. It is against postponement to make a list of deferred jobs, so set the priority order from the deferred jobs list, write down each step of the jobs deemed to be the primary priority, and aim only to complete the first step of that job. Just focusing on the first step will keep you from focusing on the whole thing and postponing it.

Another anti-deferral proposal is to make a list of the long-term and short-term advantages and disadvantages of deferral. Seeing what it may cost you will help you take action.

Another behavior related to procrastination is the perfectionist personality structure. Exaggeration in order to do the right thing is one of the indicators of perfectionism. Since individuals with this behavior think they should not make mistakes, they constantly check their performance and repeat it until it is error-free. However, individuals over-control themselves and do so in order to perform without errors. In this context, perfectionists may choose not to start or quit as they choose to postpone work for fear of making mistakes.

In order to ensure that perfectionism-induced delaying does not undermine your productivity, it is helpful to divide your work into small pieces and to expect 60% or 70% performance from yourself for each step, as well as to stay process-oriented.

Asiye Nurnihan YURDAKUL

Specialist Clinical Counsellor