Wasting time when we have other things to do is common in our lives. Faced with a task that makes us tedious, we prefer to “take the time” watching a funny video, watching Instagram or even doing chores around the house so as not to get down to what we really have to do. Although this has always happened to us, it has been a few years since the term “procrastinate” has become popular. This word, whose literal meaning is to postpone or defer, refers to those moments when we evade our responsibilities by doing other things.
There are many who procrastinate, surely it has happened to all of us. But, like almost everything in life, this also has a remedy. This is stated by Garland Coulson, a popular lecturer who teaches productivity, in the book “Stop wasting time” (Books Dome), in which the author develops a five-week program to leave, once and for other, behind this bad habit.
“Trying to solve the problem of deferring tasks without first understanding why you put them off for later is like trying to repair a leaky and leaky roof by putting a bucket on the ground to collect water when it rains,” explains Coulson in the book. Therefore, the first step we must take is to find the reason why we are procrastinators.
What type of procrastinator do you identify with?
The author identifies the five procrastinator profiles that we can find:
1. The apprehensive: they are the people who focus on everything that can go wrong and are worried because they will not be able to finish on time or do a good job. “They spend tons of energy on these imagined problems, and thus they run out of energy to finish the task,” explains the professional.
2. The perfectionist: they are people who need each project to be “perfect”, so they spend a lot of time reviewing the work over and over again, in an attempt to improve it, and the consequence is that they never manage to “finish” anything . “This attitude can cause a single project or objective to keep them busy, while other projects and tasks of great importance remain unfinished because they are spending too much time on the first one,” says Coulson.
3. The complacent: They are people who seek to help, so they always answer yes to everything without assessing how this will affect the planning of their work. “As they accept more and more work and other people’s personal requests, they leave their own tasks aside. The complacent are overburdening themselves with the work of others simply because they are unable to say no, “says the writer.
4. The hummingbird: “Hummingbirds flit from task to task like the hummingbird from flower to flower. They feel busy, but fail to finish many long-term projects, “says the author of the book. Therefore, these people are often frustrated. They work on many small things, but in reality they cannot take on longer jobs that involve concentrating in depth.
5. The sneaky procrastinator: “Most people won’t see the sneaky procrastinator in action, because they never miss deadlines. The only reason he is meeting deadlines is because at the last minute he makes a Herculean effort to finish his job, “says the expert.
What is it that steals our time?
Another factor to consider in order to end our habits of wasting time is recognizing what it is that steals our minutes. On the one hand, the cause of our procrastination may be other people, who interrupt us for help or with whom we chat during our working hours. Also, another factor may be social networks and electronic devices: email or text messages are often great distractions. The author speaks of “cannibalistic tasks”, a type of work “that eats up the time that we had reserved to devote to other plans”, something common in projects that do not have a closing date and that we are going to lengthen.
Tips for learning to disconnect
Finally, the author shares some tips to learn to disconnect and, in this way, be able to concentrate efficiently while working or performing the tasks that we must do:
– It is better to work in blocks of 30 minutes and take breaks of five.
– Make “clean and new account” between each project or task, closing all navigation tabs or open programs. “We must breathe deeply and shift all attention to the new job,” says Coulson.
– We must take breaks to eat, and accompany them on walks, “preferably outdoors.”
– Choose hobbies that are not related to our work. “There is no use spending the whole day on the computer and trying to relax depending on it.”
– Allow days of “low connection” in which we can limit the use of the computer. .