Leading Edge: Limitless Transformation – Procrastination

Limitless Transformation from Aegis Learning and Tim Schneider


The accepted and classic definition for procrastination is delaying, postponing, or deferring something until later. Later is a word that the procrastinator uses a lot. Later, as in I’ll finish reading this later.

Procrastination is closely related to perfectionism in that it causes missed opportunities both in a working environment and for us personally. The cost of procrastination is missed opportunity. Consider the poor person who had great dreams and plans for the Pear Computer and associated operating system. It was an elegant dream with great design concepts and an even cooler logo (a pear with a bite out of the right side). But rather than jump and act, this soul sat around and worked on other things, overthought the process, and never really got going. Sad, and certainly exaggerated, but it occurs every day.

The classic procrastinator uses a variety of self-created excuses for continued procrastination. The most often cited excuse is a lack of time. This hollow excuse is really about a lack of prioritization (see below) and a lack of commitment to do what is needed.

When faced with a deadline, the procrastinator pushes the envelope all the way to the point of being late and often rushes the deliverable. Quality suffers, and thought is non-existent in this kind of waiting followed by frantic chaos. Without a deadline, the procrastinator will kick something down the road indefinitely until the point the task or project no longer has value.

The busy addiction often afflicts the classic procrastinator. To look at them, they appear to be busy, in some cases overwhelmed by stuff but there is no regard for what they are busy at. It is not nearly enough to be busy or even really, really busy but you must know what the targets and priorities are.

As much as the procrastinator misses opportunities in a working environment, they also miss out in their personal lives as well. Failure to respond to invitations lead to unavailable reservations for dinner. Non-responsiveness leads to future invitations not being extended.

Some causative factors that make people procrastinators include an intolerance for any degree of risk, lack of any type of organizational and time management skills, the inability to distinguish priorities, and a1 fear of being first (yes, that is a real thing and it’s why some people can never be on time to a party or meeting). Sometimes procrastinators come from a long line of procrastinators passing this defeating behavior from generation to generation.

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