[EN] Are you a procrastinator?

Perhaps you are familiar with the following situation? You have to prepare a presentation and, thanks to the methods you use from previous contributions, you have the motivation, both free capacity and sufficient time to implement this task up to the dead line. They start optimistically and think: There is still so much time and decide not to start the presentation immediately but at a later point in time.

On the day of the launch, which you have scheduled for the research of your presentation, you will find out that Wikipedia provides even more exciting topics that have nothing to do with your task. Of course you decide to investigate this - your dead line is still in the distant future. The days and weeks go by - you still haven't started - until, yes, until the big bang is about to hit. You only have two days left. You get stress, you don't sleep anymore because you have to use all your energy for the presentation and it comes out of nowhere.

Somehow you'll be able to hold the dead line with "Oh and noises". And you promise yourself you'll do better next time. Surely you can imagine the tragically funny course of the "next time".

Ideally, the situation described seems completely strange to you. Perfect - the article is already over for you. Unfortunately, many people also know what is called "postponementitis" or the English term "procrastination".

And mostly those affected feel very bad about it, because you distract yourself again and again from the actual topic.

Wikipedia has the following explanation in stock:

Procrastination is a behavior characterized by the fact that tasks, despite existing opportunities and abilities, are either not completed at all or only after a very long time and often too late. Instead, alternative activities are often carried out which are relatively more pleasant and/or allow immediate reinforcement (e.g. cleaning). It leads to subjective suffering, since those affected do not complete their tasks at all or only with great effort.

Behaviour becomes apparent in particular when the conditions for achieving the goal are not very concrete, but also when the task is perceived as particularly large or for other reasons as particularly unpleasant (aversive).

This means that although you have the ability and time to do the job, the scope is too complex or unclear. "Create Presentation" tells you what the result is and on which day it must be completed - but there are many small sub-tasks behind it.

What is the subject? Where can I get the necessary information? Are there any good books, or do you know a specialist for an oral exchange? What form of presentation do you choose and what style of presentation do you choose? And so on and so forth.

In addition to "deferral inflammation", one often hears the lamentations of people who are chronically overburdened at work. And this even though you organize your tasks in a ToDo-List Manager.

Is there possibly also a connection between the "postponeritis" and the permanently busy ones?

Certainly, a "procrastinator" is more interesting from a psychological point of view, since different circumstances can lead to the behavior. And at the same time there are general solutions for both types.

1.   Plan in small steps
Subdivide projects or more complex tasks into clear and concrete actions. The processing of such sub-tasks is still more effective than doing nothing.

2.   Clarify what exactly to do
Often, tasks and requirements are unclearly formulated, or you need more information to fully understand the facts. Again, use the technique of point 1. Plan a task in which you take your time for research. Once everything is clear, divide the main task into small subtasks

3.   Use your biorhythm
Often people hesitate to tackle tasks if they do not have the energy balance at their disposal that is necessary. Perhaps you feel too tired after lunch to tackle the task. Listen to your own biorhythm - you are a morning person? Then schedule complex tasks for the morning. Pay attention also to your nutrition - heavy lunch food lets you tire quickly and fall into a hole. The likelihood that you can motivate yourself is decreasing.

4.   Power napping
A short power napping can give you a real energy boost. You will then feel fit and full of energy.

5.   Streamline your ToDo-List Manager
Many people use a ToDo-List Manager for task planning. Unfortunately, you plan yourself too many tasks for the day that you want to complete. But the problem with a long list of to-do's is that even the sight of such a list can lead to a feeling of overwhelming and distract you from even starting with the list when you look at it. Therefore, reduce the number of tasks between 8 and 10 tasks per day.

With this number of tasks you should be able to advance your projects step by step as well as intercept the daily sources of disturbance (urgent tasks for your supervisor, fire brigade exercises, etc.). However, daily routine tasks should not be part of the 10 daily tasks.

6.   Block your time
In order to concentrate and efficiently tackle your 8-10 tasks a day, it is advisable to block times in your calendar. This can be one or two hours in the morning and/or afternoon. Reduce the sources of interference within these windows to a minimum. And switch off your smartphone during this time.

7.   Learn to set priorities
The method you use to determine 10 tasks (2 + 8 priority planning) for the next day on the previous day forces you to set priorities. We all have a lot of things in mind that we would like to do every day, but we only have 24 hours to do them. And we can't do everything at once. If you limit yourself to only 10 meaningful tasks per day, you will be forced to think about which of the tasks you have to complete will have the most positive impact on your day and your active projects. Plan 2 tasks which, come what may, absolutely must be implemented. Schedule 8 project tasks to help you drive your projects forward.

With the points described above you can tackle the "Aufschiberitis". You will see that these small steps will have the success you want over a longer period of time.