Paresh Rawal

How and why do you procrastinate?

do it - procrastination concept

According to Cambridge dictionary the word procrastinator means “someone who keeps delaying things that must be done”. At some point in time, we all are procrastinator. But does it really affect us? As eventually we do get our work done, then why worry about it.

Here we need to understand the distinction between our missions and our visions. Missions are such goals which we create for ourselves based on our current capacity and available resources. 

A vision on the other hand defines the desired future optimal state; it tells us of what we would like to achieve over a longer period of time. This vision can be our personal “why” or the organization’s core purpose of existence. We need to break down the vision into everyday goals and missions. This is where the problem of procrastination arises and affects most of us. 

Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States realised this challenge while serving in the army during World War II. To prioritise his work and mange it efficiently he came up with this Urgent-Important Matrix which today is popularly known as The Eisenhower Matrix.  It helps you decide on how to prioritize tasks by its urgency and importance.

Like any other 2*2 Matrix the Eisenhower has 4 quadrants:

  1. Neither Important nor Urgent
  2. Important but not Urgent
  3. Both Important and Urgent
  4. Urgent but not Important

This might look simple but it’s very tricky to classify things in their correct quadrant. We need to be honest and particular while doing this classification. Once we have put things in the correct quadrant, we need to take appropriate actions.

  1. Neither Important nor Urgent – Avoid spending time here
  2. Important but not Urgent – Strategize and schedule
  3. Both Important and Urgent – Do it first
  4. Urgent but not Important – Delegate it to others

Looking at the above four quadrants we might thing that procrastination has everything to do with spending more time in quadrant 1 (Q1) and ignoring the quadrant 3 (Q3) and quadrant 4 (Q4).

However, in most cases this is not what happens. Most of the procrastinators eventually wake up to the deadlines and finish the tasks in Q3. The real procrastinating happens when people spend more time in Q3 – doing what is urgent and important while ignoring the tasks in Q2 – which are important but does not have the urgency factor.

The quadrant 2 contains our visions, our long term-goals of life and wellbeing and since there are no deadlines to it there is no urgency to do them. Goals like doing exercise daily, spending more quality time with family, sharpening skills of your employees etc do not have any immediate urgency or deadline attached to it and that is where procrastination resides. And that’s where we need to find it and fight it.

PS: Your overall wellbeing goals reside in the quadrant 2 and in my webinars, I shall guide you how not to procrastinate about them and best way to achieve them.

As a spiritual life coach, I will take you through an entirely different set of goals; such as creating a perfect harmony between your Personal, Social and Financial wellbeing goals or abstracting energy from the universe. These goals aren’t always easily defined or measured but can be felt by the sense of fulfilment you shall experience in your daily life.

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