Ok so, before putting our procrastination predictors to work, let’s do a quick review.
At the start of a bigger project, time is abundant. You wallow in its elastic embrace. You make a few passes at getting down to it, but nothing makes you feel whole heartedly engaged. If the job can be put off, you will put it off.
The relief at getting a job done doesn’t always make up for doing a sloppy job. Even if in the end you performed brilliantly, the achievement is tainted with a whiff of what might have been. And this kind of procrastination has most likely cast a cloud on an evening out, an evening in, a friendly function, a vacation, which you couldn’t fully enjoy because your mind was elsewhere.
And you make a resolution and say … “this will never happen again”.
I’ve been saying that the degree of the procrastination will be dependant on 4 elements:
1. How impulsive do I tend to be? How easily distracted am I ? (Impulsiveness)
2. How do I expect the outcome to pan out ? Will I be successful? (Expectancy)
3. How much personal value about this task do I feel ? Am I ‘wanting’ to do it? (Value)
4. How far into the future is the deadline? How much mental abstractness around the project is there? (Time)
Here’s a small exercise. Just have a go!
1. Identify a project that is on your plate. Is there some awareness of potential for procrastination around it?
2. For each of the criteria above, and using your gut feeling, assign a number (between 1-10)
3. Jot the name of your project – and record your own Procrastination Predictor figures.
Next week we will use these figures and begin to construct the ‘Procrastination Equation’.