Procrastination

What leads one to procrastinate, and how do you combat it?  Is laziness inherited or can it be learned or unlearned?

On the surface of things, it would seem I’m not a very lazy person.  I’ve accomplished quite a bit with career and education and have generally disciplined habits like working out, but that is definitely misleading.  If given the chance, I would much rather procrastinate than work on a task.  Even right now I’m writing on this blog when I need to be working on school work.

During a training class for work last year I took several personality tests designed to teach you about your leadership style and personal tendencies.  One of the things that stood out is that I have a preference to be very pressure prompted.  That is to say that I generally don’t work on things until the pressure is on and deadlines are tight, basically a nice way to say that I tend to prefer procrastination, much more than the average person apparently.  The flip side is that I tend to do well under pressure, my best actually.  It makes sense in hindsight, my best grades in college were during the more stressful time periods when I had a lot going on.  When I was allowed to just focus on classes, I became more of a slacker and just wasted all my free time.

So what does this mean, how can this knowledge be used?  Well, I’ve started to make sure I have enough on my plate to keep me challenged.  For instance, I’ve decided to do my school part time while working full time, and I’ve actually done better with that format.  When I’m under the right amount of stress then I perform.  Also I work hard to develop good habits like working out and trying to stay somewhat organized with my tasks, just so I know when I’m under pressure.  So overall, I get a lot done just by the virtue that I need to get a lot done in order to stay afloat with everything I’ve signed myself up for.

It seems to work, although it would be nice if I could motivate myself to get things done early, but then again, if you wait to the last minute, it only takes a minute.

~Dmitri

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