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THE LIFE IMPROVEMENT : Triggers for Procrastination

Tutorial by:Sumit Boura      Date: 2016-05-30 03:03:38

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Understanding the Triggers for Procrastination

There are seven common triggers that lead people to put of certain tasks and these are listed below. Some tasks may encompass more than one of these triggers, which can make it difficult to isolate the reason for procrastination.

 

 Some tasks may encompass more than one of these triggers, which can make it difficult to isolate the reason for procrastination

 

Understanding the triggers for procrastination should help you to pin down why you are avoiding certain types of task, which is the irst step to regaining control over this destructive behavior. Even if none of the following seem to it your exact situation, they may help you to confront and clarify your own feelings about the tasks that you are avoiding.

The next part of this eBook considers each of these triggers in turn. Rather than simply reading through the list, you should think of situations where putting of a task has caused, or is causing you, a problem. Write down the name of these tasks in a grid as shown.

There is no reason to show the completed grid to anyone else, so be honest with yourself about your reasons even if they don’t show you in your best light. It is important that the grid is an accurate reflection of how you feel about each task otherwise you will be wasting your time with this exercise.

 

Trigger                   1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Task 1

Task 2

Task 3

Task 4

Task 5

Task 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can then think about each of the tasks in turn in relation to the possible triggers shown as numbers in the top row of the table. For each trigger there are suggested questions to ask yourself to ascertain if the particular trigger is why you are putting of performing the task.

If you recognize that a particular trigger is a factor in preventing you from starting the task, then mark it in the grid. If you really want to understand why you procrastinate then you need to take this exercise seriously, which means taking the time to think about each task carefully.

1)  The Task Appears Boring or Pointless

Do you feel that the task is not using your poftential? Do you feel that the task is beneath your skill level?

Do you feel that the output from the task will not be acted on? Do you feel that the task is being done for no good reason?

Do you feel that you’ve done this task over and over again and have lost interest in it?

2)  The Task Involves a Possible Confrontation

Does the task involve a poftential confrontation with:

  • a co-worker?
  • a customer?
  • a supplier?

3)  You Resent Being Given Responsibility for the Task

Do you feel that the task should be the responsibility of someone else? Is the task commensurate with your job title and job description?

Do you feel that you are not being properly rewarded for the responsibility that goes with the task?

4)  The Task Appears Overwhelming

Do you feel that you don’t have:

  • Sufficient time to complete the task?
  • Sufficient training to complete it?
  • Enough experience to complete it?

5)  You Don’t Know How to Proceed

Do you feel that you could start if you had a clearly defined first stage? Do you feel unclear about the expected outcome?

Are you unsure of exactly what is required to perform the task?

6)  You are Afraid of Failure

Do you feel that you will be judged by:

  • your boss on the outcome of this particular task?
  • your peers on the outcome of this particular task?

Do you feel that there is a significant chance you will fail to achieve what is expected? Do you feel that factors beyond your control are likely to cause you to fail?

7)  You are Afraid of Success

If you complete the task successfully, do you feel that:

  • you will be ‘rewarded’ with something even more difficult?
  • you will be moved to another team or department?
  • you will be promoted?
  • you will alienate your peers?
  • successful completion will have a negative impact on other people?

After working through the tasks in the table and considering each in turn, you should have a grid that looks something like the one below. Each task will have one or more crosses against it that represent your view of that task.

 

Trigger                1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Task 1

Task 2

Task 3

Task 4

Task 5

Task 6

 

X

X

 

 

X

 

 

X

X

 

 

X

 

 

 

X

 

 

X

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most people find that the crosses predominate ina one or two areas and these are the ones that you need to attend to if you are going to overcome your problem with procrastination.

In this example, three of the five tasks are being put of because:

  • the person fears confrontation,
  • resents being given responsibility for the task, and
  • fears failing at i

There may be some cause and effect at work here. For example it is quite possible that the fear of confrontation is leading to both the feeling of resentment and the fear of failure. In which case the fear of confrontation is the cause and the feelings of resentment and fear of failure are symptoms of the fact that this person is very uncomfortable with confrontation.

This example begs the question: Would the person feel resentment or fear of failure in the absence of their main concern, which is fear of confrontation? It is possible to imagine circumstances where they would not.

For example:

 

  • If they were confident in their ability to handle confrontation well, then they probably would not object to being asked to do the task and they would perhaps feel as though they could complete it successfu
  • On the other hand, the feeling of resentment might be perfectly justified, if the task does not fall within their job description or accepted dut
  • Similarly, the fear of failure might be justified if there is a lot at stake and they are being held solely responsible for the outcom

The point of completing your own version of the grid is that it will enable you to see if there are any patterns in your own behavior. he reasons for procrastination are often complex and interdependent and it is only by imposing some structure on them that you will be able to get to the root cause.

The next step is to consider each of these areas in turn. If you have managed to identify an area that is of particular concern to you then you should work on this area in isolation. As detailed earlier, procrastination is usually an ingrained behavior that is very difficult to overcome.

You will have far more chance of success if you concentrate on one area at a time and you may find that most of your procrastination problems have one root cause.

Key Points

  • Procrastination is not a character law.
  • It is a learned behavior that has paid dividends in the
  • Avoiding dealing with something you don’t want to do straightaway can be a rewarding strategy, even if only in the short t
  • There are seven common triggers that lead people to put of certain
  • Try to identify the ones that afect you the Procrastination problems often have one root cause.

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THE LIFE IMPROVEMENT

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