Procrastination is the behavioral tendency to either avoiding a task altogether or deferring it to a later, often unspecified time. The origin of the term is derived from the Latin ‘pro’ (forward) and ‘crastinus’ (of tomorrow) so the word procrastination means ‘to put off until tomorrow’.
Procrastination has been considered a self handicapping behavior that leads to wasted time and poor performance. People who procrastinate have negatives consequences like anxiety, difficulty in concentrating, stress, self-criticism, depression and a back log of tasks.
There is no single answer to this. People procrastinate for different reasons at different times. However, the major reason which cause people to procrastinate when given a task include :
There are three laws that govern and affect your productivity. Some laws are in alignment with human nature, some are against human nature. We present each law with a brief description and how it can be used to your benefit.
*10 minute rule: *This rule says that you need to make a commitment with yourself, “I will do a task for at least ten minutes”. So, when you have to begin a dreaded task, just do it for 10 minutes . After being involved in the activity for 10 minutes, then decide whether to continue. Once you’re involved, it’s easier to stay with a task. Succeeding at a task does not require that you like doing it. This rule is extremely helpful and really works for any procrastinator.
Pomorodo Technique : Pomorodo technique is a very effective time management system for improving your productivity, focus and handling distractions. Francesco Cirillo, the inventor of this technique used a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato as his personal timer, and thus the method’s name.
This techniques involve breaking tasks into 25 minutes work period followed by 5-minute breaks. Each 25-minute work period is called a “pomodoro”, named after the Italian word for tomato. After every four “pomodoro” have passed, you then take a 15-20 minute break. These frequent breaks keep your mind fresh and focused.
Every time you finish a “pomorodo”, you mark your progress with an “X” and note the interruption you faced while working on a task. You schedule an interruption based on its importance, and keep your mind focused on a task. This technique is explained a bit more in the book, (PDF) and at the web site.
Pareto Principle aka 80/20 rule : This principle was introduced by economist, Vilfredo Pareto. It states that, for many events, 80% of the effect com from 20% of causes. Known to most of us as the 80-20 rule, it explains quite a bit about how or world is run; e.g., “80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients”, 80% of your complaints come from 20% of your customers , 20% of your activities take up 80% of the time. 20% of effort generates 80% of results. The list is endless. There are even variation the 80-20 principle, such as the 70-30, the 90-10 and 95-5.
So, how to apply it in real life ? Before you start a project, list out everything we need to do for the project, then determine which part of the project is the part that will only take 20% of time, but will account for 80% of the results and just do those tasks first. I can personally attest that this technique is really helpful to reduce stress.
Posted by – Ishank Badhani, blogger at Innolea.com