Remote work and flexible working are the future of work. However, picking up seemingly harmless habits like procrastination can be deceptively easy. Procrastination in remote working can be indicative of deeper reasons. It’s important to recognize procrastination and delve into possible reasons, so it can be rectified before it impacts your work. After all, procrastination can be a form of self-sabotage.
What is procrastination?
Procrastination should not be conflated with taking a break, rightfully asking for a deadline extension, or not being productive 24/7. According to Merriam-Webster, procrastination can be defined as “to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done.” Procrastination requires intentionality and is different than having to delay a task because of bandwidth reasons.
Here are some potential reasons you may be procrastinating:
- You’re feeling the burnout
In a world that prioritizes productivity, taking a break may feel antithetical to progress. It may seem as if brute force and heads-down work may be the only way to get any work done. However, taking a small break can help recenter and reinvigorate you if you’re feeling burnt out. Great ideas aren’t necessarily born from stressed-out situations.
- You’re scared to fail
Technically speaking, failure is always a possibility. However, procrastinating can actually be a way to push back what may seem like an impending failure. While this may sound counterintuitive, it’s a possibility. The longer it takes for you to complete a project or finish a test, the longer it may take for you to receive feedback or a score. Thus, procrastinating may seem like an efficient way to extend the possibility of failure.
Completing a project or exam that feels high-stakes is always daunting. The tricky part about procrastination is that it feels comfortable. However, consider procrastination a form of self-sabotage and a hindrance to your journey as opposed to a comfortable way to stay in limbo. Submitting that project earlier if it’s completed means you may receive feedback earlier, sure. But, challenge yourself to think further. Is it such a bad thing if you submit this project earlier than intended? If you submit this project sooner rather than later, you’ll have the means necessary to proceed and will be able to make any changes.
- You feel uninspired
Feeling stuck? Staring at a blank page and wishing it would be filled with rows of text. Ironically, staring at a blank page may be hindering you instead of helping. It’s easier to jot something down and iterate than it may be to perfect something from the get-go.
4. You’re a perfectionist
It can be difficult to do something if you feel it’s not up to par. The problem with perfection is that it seems to imply a linear trajectory. Your first, second, or third attempt may not be perfect. However, it’s important to not let perfection dissuade you from trying. It’s a lot easier to build upon something than it is to generate something perfect on the first try. A survey by the Hardin Group shockingly revealed that “92 percent of respondents said they consider themselves perfectionists and 86 percent believe their work is impacted by perfectionist expectations.” You’re not alone–this statistic is telling by showing us perfectionism is rampant. It’s not only hard to show up as our best selves every day, but showing up with the expectation to be perfect isn’t sustainable. So, try to dismantle the notion that your first draft must be perfect.