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  • Writer's pictureGillian Brunton

Procrastination: I'll Come Up with a Title Later

Updated: Jul 4, 2023

As we all know by now, procrastination can be a symptom of imposter syndrome, although it's not always the case.

Where an individual with imposter syndrome doubts their accomplishments and feels like a fraud, despite evidence to the contrary, they may procrastinate as a way to avoid being exposed or to avoid the anxiety and stress that comes with taking on a task that they feel incapable of completing.

We need to be careful though - procrastination can also be a habit that's developed over time, unrelated to imposter syndrome. For example, someone may procrastinate because they find it difficult to focus or prioritise tasks, in which case some additional training might be needed, or because they simply enjoy the rush of working under pressure.

Whatever the reason, procrastination can have a number of negative effects on our lives, both in the short-term and the long-term. Here are a few ways in which procrastination can impact us:

1. Increased stress: When we procrastinate, we often put off important tasks until the last minute. This can lead to a sense of urgency and increased stress as we rush to complete everything on time.

2. Reduced productivity: Procrastination can lead to a lack of focus and reduced productivity. When we delay tasks, we may find it harder to get started and may spend more time on non-productive activities instead.

3. Missed opportunities: Procrastination can cause us to miss out on opportunities, both personal and professional. For example, if we delay applying for a job or submitting a proposal, we may miss the deadline and lose out on the opportunity altogether.

4. Lower quality work: When we rush to complete tasks at the last minute, we may not have enough time to do our best work. This can result in lower quality work, which can be detrimental to our reputation and future opportunities.

5. Negative impact on mental health: Procrastination can also have a negative impact on our mental health. The stress and anxiety associated with procrastinating can lead to feelings of guilt, shame, and low self-esteem.

Overall, procrastination can have a range of negative effects on our lives. It's important to recognise when we're procrastinating and take steps to overcome it.

So, is it not okay to enjoy working to a deadline?

It's not uncommon for some people to enjoy working under a deadline. In fact, for some individuals, the pressure of a deadline can provide a sense of focus and motivation that helps them to work more efficiently and effectively. It's important to recognise, however, that while some people may thrive under pressure, others may find it stressful and overwhelming.

Enjoying working to a deadline can be a positive thing as long as it doesn't lead to excessive stress or negative consequences, such as rushed or lower quality work. It's also important to recognise that not all tasks require a tight deadline, and it's often best to plan ahead and work steadily towards a goal rather than relying on last-minute deadlines.

Ultimately, it's up to each individual to determine what works best for them and their work style. If you find that working under a deadline helps you to be more productive and focused, then there's nothing wrong with that. However, if you find that it's causing you excessive stress or impacting the quality of your work, or it’s as a result of you running imposter syndrome, it may be worth exploring other strategies for managing your workload and deadlines.

What strategies are there for managing workload?

1. Prioritise tasks: Make a list of all the tasks you need to complete and prioritise them based on their importance and urgency. Focus on completing the most urgent and important tasks first whether it’s your favourite task or not.

2. Break down tasks: Large or complex tasks can be overwhelming, so try breaking them down into smaller, more manageable tasks. This can help you to stay focused and make progress on the task over time.

3. Schedule your time: Set aside specific times for completing tasks and stick to your schedule as much as possible. Use a calendar or planner to help you keep track of your schedule.

4. Delegate tasks: If possible, delegate tasks to others who are capable and available to help. This can help to reduce your workload and free up time for other tasks. It can also be empowering for team members to be given extra responsibility.

5. Say no: Learn to say no to tasks that aren't essential or that you don't have time for. It's important to prioritise your time and focus on tasks that are most important.

6. Take breaks: Taking breaks can help you to stay focused and avoid burnout. Take short breaks throughout the day to rest and recharge.

7. Avoid multitasking: While it may seem like multitasking can help you get more done; it can actually be counterproductive. Instead, focus on one task at a time and give it your full attention.

Remember that managing your workload is an ongoing process, and it may take time to find the strategies that work best for you. Be patient, and experiment with different approaches until you find the ones that help you to be most productive and efficient.

3rd May 2023

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