One of the greatest silent killers of productivity in the workplace is procrastination. I think all of us have procrastinated at some point in our life. Procrastination is an interesting topic that I believe can be addressed quickly and in itself shouldn’t be procrastinated.
We all have our own stories about why we procrastinate. It might be ‘I’m the last-minute guy’ or ‘I’ve got to have pressure before I’ll take action’ or simply ‘I’m just a procrastinator.’
I know for me, one of my procrastination stories is ‘I’m not ready.’
When we procrastinate, essentially we put off moving forward. And in life, if you’re not moving forward, then you’re moving backwards. So let’s get down to the core of what procrastination really is.
Procrastination is ‘protecting safety.’ The interesting thing is that when we believe that we are trying to protect safety through procrastination, what we’re actually doing is protecting the illusion of safety. It isn’t until you take action that you ultimately get results. So this illusion of safety is actually a version of danger.
It is moving away from responsibility. We call it ‘procrastination’ because it allows us to justify in our minds that it’s okay. But essentially, what it’s saying is that ‘I’m choosing to not step out into uncertainty or take responsibility.’ My story of ‘I’m not ready’ is really, ‘I haven’t taken responsibility for things I need to learn or know yet.’
The answer is–ultimately embrace true safety which is taking responsibility.
Stop protecting the illusion of safety and take action. Be an activator at work.
I’m curious to know what have been your biggest reasons in the past for procrastinating?