What Is Procrastination?

Procrastination at work refers to the tendency of some employees to always put off certain tasks when they could be done sooner.

Why Do Employees Procrastinate?

Reasons why employees procrastinate include:

  • Lack of motivation
  • Lack of organization
  • Lack of concrete repercussions for their actions
  • Difficulty managing time
  • Lack of confidence
  • Lack of information to accomplish a task
  • Lack of commitment to work
  • Forgetting things
  • Lack of initiative
  • Belief that one is more productive under pressure

How to Overcome Procrastination at Work?

Certain strategies can be put in place to overcome procrastination at work:

  • Using rewards to motivate staff to complete tasks
  • Dividing tasks into smaller sub-tasks to make the goal more attainable
  • Establishing a work routine
  • Making lists
  • Making oneself accountable to a colleague
  • Recognizing the signs of procrastination early
  • Avoiding distractions while working

What Causes Procrastination?

Causes of procrastination include:

  • Underestimating the time needed to complete a task
  • Overestimating the time left to complete a task
  • Underestimating the motivation needed to complete a task
  • Assuming that a person must be in the right mindset to accomplish a certain task
  • Lack of short-term rewards
  • Mental health problems
  • Lack of clarity of objectives
  • Fear of failure
  • Anxiety
  • Burnout
  • Lack of support from management

What Are Some Examples of Procrastination at Work?

Examples of procrastination at work include:

  • A retail employee who wastes time on the Internet instead of working.
  • An employee who prefers to work on a less important project rather than write a report.
  • An employee who practices presenteeism by shopping online during work hours rather than completing their tasks.
  • An employee who discusses their weekend with colleagues rather than taking inventory.

What Are the Different Procrastinator Profiles?

The different procrastinator profiles vary according to the experts. They typically include:

  • Perfectionists: who put off tasks for fear of not doing them perfectly
  • Dreamers: who procrastinate because they don’t pay attention to details
  • Provocateurs: who believe that no one should tell them how to do their job
  • Anxious: who put off tasks for fear of stepping out of their comfort zone
  • Crisis directors: who think they work better under pressure
  • High achievers: who can’t find the time to do their tasks because they’re taking on too much

What Are the Impacts of Procrastination?

The impacts of procrastination at work for employees generally include:

  • Increased stress
  • Increased risk of burnout
  • Reduced quality of relationships with colleagues
  • Reduced performance
  • Reduced pay
  • Dismissal

The impacts of procrastination for businesses generally include:

  • Reduced employee productivity
  • Difficulty achieving company performance objectives
  • Reduced quality of work
  • Decreased quality of employee relations
  • Increased dissatisfaction
  • Increased turnover

How to Help Employees Stop Procrastinating?

Managers who want to help their employees stop procrastinating can:

  • Set clear objectives
  • Set short-term deadlines
  • Help employees prioritize their tasks
  • Hold one-on-one meetings to discuss the procrastination problem and find solutions with the employee

What Is the Difference Between Laziness and Procrastination?

Procrastination means putting off what needs to be done now later on.

Laziness, on the other hand, is a lack of courage or moral energy that causes a person to abandon a task or objective altogether.

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