Procrastination is the postponement of important and urgent matters, replacing them with something insignificant, but pleasant or very significant, but not urgent. That it is considered the worst enemy of performance. Just imagine: you need to send a letter to your business partner, but you sit in social networks and watch photos of your former neighbor. Or you need to urgently agree with suppliers, and you read the article on logistics, justifying yourself the importance of self-education. As a result, the work is worthwhile, the deadline is approaching, and you are tormented by a feeling of guilt over your time spent.
But it turns out that this medal has another side: often procrastination benefits you and opens the door to success. To see its advantages, let’s see why people tend to postpone things? According to J. Ferrari from Carleton University, as many as 20% of the world's inhabitants are distracted by extraneous problems in order not to solve the important tasks facing them right now. Agree, from the point of view of evolution, it looks strange: after all, every living organism should strive for its own benefit and well-being. And it is not always beneficial to postpone urgent business.
So why do we paint?
The reason for procrastination is of interest to many. Some blame the lack of willpower and a violation of self-control. Others see the main reason for laziness and inability to manage time. In fact, procrastination, in the first place, is a way to avoid stress. Timothy Pichil, author of the book "Do not postpone for tomorrow" and a professor at the University of Carleton, says that if the work causes fear or anxiety, then you will definitely find a reason to postpone it. The ancient part of the brain prefers to relax and indulge in pleasures, even if in the future it will lead to trouble.
According to psychologists, procrastination is also characteristic of people who put instant pleasure above long-term goals. They enjoy every moment of life, not trying to find pleasure in solving important problems, but creating it from scratch. For example, in the heat go to the beach instead of working under the air conditioner.
Timothy Pichil identifies another reason for postponing cases - this is the gap between the idea of the present and the future of oneself. You exist in the present tense and don’t want to work, and the problems of that tomorrow’s boy are of little concern to you. It's hard to argue with this - indeed, the desire to watch a new video on YouTube right now causes more emotions than unpaid utilities in a month.
By and large, procrastination occurs when the irrational ancient brain conquers the rational part of the cerebral cortex. Those who dominate the rational zone become workaholics. And only rare lucky people live in harmony, doing the right things in time and indulging in rest.
However, it is precisely in the stress of approaching deadline that the evolutionary benefit of procrastination is hidden. Let's see how the ancient people lived: when everything is calm and there is food, you can sleep or draw cave paintings. Is the mammoth over or the enemy has come? It's time to do business: look for food or run away. In modern people, this reflex also works. So, some procrastinators are able to get together at the last moment and solve 20 important cases at once in an hour, having paid only with a headache.
Stress before the deadline can be called the first advantage of postponing cases. Often it becomes an effective motivation to solve the problem. According to the time manager Steve McCletche, fear gives you the necessary energy - it was she who was not enough before when there was a lot of time and you were distracted by other things. In addition, the horror of the deadline makes you concentrate on work, perform it better and faster than in the normal state.
Procrastination has other benefits. After all, it does not always lead to stress, and sometimes, on the contrary, helps to avoid it.
What else is useful procrastination?
- It enhances creativity. The advertiser Shugerman in the book “The Art of Creating Advertising Messages” suggests the following way of “giving birth” to great ideas - you need to think a little over the question, and then put things off and do something pleasant. This technique he called the "incubation process", allowing the idea to ripen. Such a paradox - postponing a task sometimes helps to find its best solution. This fact confirms not only the experience of Shugerman, but also scientific research. Jayi Shin, a professor from the University of Wisconsin, asked people to come to the study with new creative ideas. Some of them laid out their thoughts immediately after their arrival. And the second group first put the solitaire on the computer - their ideas were 28% more creative.
- Allows you to solve complex problems. Psychologist Zeigarnik 100 years ago discovered that people remember an unfinished task, as it remains in the subconscious. Not able to find a good way out of the situation? Take a break and let your unconscious work.
- Suitable for refinement and refinement of ideas. Procrastination will allow you to look at the idea with a fresh look, to see its flaws, imperceptible at once. This principle also works on a global scale - in large business it is much easier to improve someone else's idea than to create something new from scratch. Scientists Peter N. Golder and Gerard J. Tellis found that 47 percent of the market pioneers fail, and only 11 percent of the current market leaders were actually pioneers. For example, Facebook was launched after Myspace and Friendster, and Google appeared a few years after Altavista and Yahoo. A good example is Warby Parker, which sells points via the Internet. Its creators delayed the launch of the site for 6 months, which led to problems with customers and investors. In addition, they missed the advantage of being the first, but they figured out how to help people get rid of the fear of buying glasses over the Internet. As a result, the startup received a smashing success, and the first customers agreed to wait for the order for 9 months. Now Warby Parker is estimated at more than a billion dollars and is considered one of the most innovative companies in the world.
- Relieves stress and increases productivity. Achieving the goal with work without breaks and as many hours per day as possible is an excellent choice for a robot, but not for humans. Professor of the Israel Institute of Technology Perez Lavi conducted a study on the study of biological rhythms. He found out that the change in working time intervals of 90 minutes and 20-minute breaks almost coincides with the natural biorhythms of a person and helps maintain a peak of productivity for a long time.
- Frees up time for more important things. The history of George Akerlof, the Nobel laureate in economics, is indicative. For 8 months he could not send a parcel to his friend in the USA, but during that time he completed his designs nominated for the prize. What happened made Akerlof think and write an article "Procrastination and Submission." It was after her that other scientists became interested in studying the phenomenon of postponing cases.
- Lets create something new. For example, Henrik Aasted Sorensen, the developer of Adblock ad blocker, wrote the source code for him in 2002 as a student, while he was distracted from preparing for exams.
- It helps to see the goal - often procrastination becomes the first bell that you are not doing your own business. In this case, the postponement of affairs allows you to discover your true vocation and change your life in the right direction.
- Promotes strategy development for the future. Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos leaves two free days a week to free his mind and come up with new ideas. Sometimes he just sits online, on other days he devotes time to meeting in person.
- It is a way to evaluate your own strengths and perspectives of an idea. Steve Wozniak, one of the founders of Apple Corporation, has long postponed his dismissal from a permanent job. He continued to work full-time as a Hewlett-Packard engineer for a year after the invention of the Apple I computer. Psychologist Adam Grant argues that many successful people limit themselves to doing their own business and combine it with other things to reduce risk - and this strategy turns out to be 33% more efficient.
Procrastination teaches finding a balance between rest and work, work and personal life. It is important not to confuse good procrastination with a negative procrastination. Sometimes, procrastination is caused by the fear of success, it forces one to give up the primary tasks, which are the first step to cardinal changes in life. The transition to large earnings and success in business is just as stressful as the lack of money, so we unconsciously try to avoid it. Psychologist Denis Waitley wrote: “Procrastination is the fear of success. People put things off because they are afraid of success, which, as they already know, will follow if they continue to move forward. Because success is a heavy burden that imposes responsibility, it is much easier to put off their important business and live by the principle of "Someday I will ...".
The habit of putting things off is a phenomenon with a complex character. You will have to understand yourself well in order to understand which sign is “plus” or “minus” for your procrastination. And if you postpone even the most important tasks for later, use the services for self-discipline upgrade.
Tools for successful time management
Eight time planners and tutors:
- Rescuetime - A program to track your actions at the computer. It also has an online service that processes the data and generates reports. It will allow you to find out what you are wasting time and how many hours it is wasted. The service is free, suitable for PC and mobile devices (Apple and Android).
- Motivate clock - free service to control the time spent for work and rest. Allows you to set a timer, reminiscent of a respite.
- Simple time track - Chrome extension. Time is very easy to take into account with him: you need to add a new task and turn on the timer. The app counts the running time until you stop it. Later you can return to the task and resume the countdown.
- Mind42 - A free and convenient service designed to systematize data and efficiently manage workflow. It is based on the Mind map technique, a visual map containing important tasks.
- Manictime - tracks your work not only in the Internet browser, but also in most computer programs. It allows you to record in the smallest detail everything that you are busy during working hours, for example, which pages you open and how much time you spend on them.
- LeaderTask - suitable for PC and mobile devices, works without an Internet connection. Allows you to create tasks and manage them, schedule meetings and affairs.
- TimeEdition - a free service that shows how much time you spend on solving a single task or completing a single project. Looks like a stopwatch that stops as soon as you stop working. You can also leave comments on time periods and save information.
- Pomodoro timer - PC timer, allowing you to set 25-minute segments to work with a five-minute pause between them.
Seven blocking sites:
- Stay focused - Chrome extension, you can set the time allotted to visit distracting resources. The rest of the time sites, "chronophages" will be unavailable. If such measures do not help, there is a radical way - to block all sites, except for those that are allowed, during the work period.
- Selfcontrol - A free application for Mac OS X, in which you can create a blacklist of sites that take precious time, and also set the period of their blocking. A positive thing is that if you change your mind, a stubborn application does not unlock the page even after restarting the computer or deleting it. You will have to wait for the end of the lock.
- Cold turkey - application for Windows, there is a free version. Also creates a list of sites to block. If you suddenly need to go to a closed site while the application is running, you will have to restart the PC.
- Leechblock - extension for Mozilla Firefox, allows you to specify up to 6 sets of sites and choose for each its own time or day of blocking.
- Go fucking work - the application for Google, after its installation, it is enough to indicate in the browser options sites that distract from the work. As soon as you want to go to the forbidden pages, the system will transfer you to the application site. And also will issue an obscene reminder of the return to work.
- Productivity Owl - the application is integrated into the browser. Allows you to create two lists of sites: allowed with unlimited visits and blocking prohibited with time. You can also set free hours for Internet surfing without restrictions.
- Anti-social - Version of the famous blocker Freedom. The latter completely denies access to the browser. But Anti-Social will not allow you to go only to the pages of "time eaters". These services include social networks and email programs.
Seven tools to monitor procrastinating staff:
- CrocoTime - monitors how much time employees spend at work, and how much they spend on visiting entertainment resources. As a result, calculates the efficiency ratio of each employee and creates a report indicating the most "harmful" sites.
- Disciplina.ru - a system that collects information about the programs and applications used, as well as controlling the time spent at the workplace and recording processing. From her reports, you can see the structure of the working day of employees, which allows to optimize business processes.
- Planado.ru - service control over field staff. Shows them clear instructions on how to do the work and allows you to create photo reports that demonstrate the fact of solving the problem. Integration with Yandex maps allows you to track the movement of each employee.
- Pyrus - A system that controls the observance of deadlines. Allows you to identify employees who do not fit into the deadline.
- Yaware - takes into account the working time at the computer, analyzes the productivity of employees, controls the use of various programs and viewing sites. Allows you to monitor the performance of the tasks assigned by the staff.
- OfficeMetrica - A simple service of time tracking and control over visited Internet resources.
- Stakhanovets - spy system for the most vigilant supervisors of chiefs. Full control over the working time of employees, including the monitoring of correspondence and voice conversations on various messengers. Mobile control, interception of conversations and SMS, tracking of phones of workers, and also video and audio recording of each step.