Procrastination is one of the soft issues which today’s professionals cannot turn a blind eye to.  It is the tendency to avoid unpleasant or stressful tasks that are often unavoidable and to replace them with trivial activities. Procrastination is the habit of delaying an important task, usually by focusing on less urgent, more enjoyable, and easier activities instead. However, it is different from ‘laziness’ which is the unwillingness to act altogether.

In simple words, procrastination has the potential of restricting potential and undermining careers. Studies show that individuals who procrastinate experience higher levels of frustration, guilt, stress, and anxiety often leading to serious issues like low self-esteem and depression. Over time, chronic procrastination results into high productivity costs in addition to destructive effects on employees’ mental and physical health.

Although NUMS Center for Lifelong Learning is a budding department, established in 2021, it is actively on the lookout for best of initiatives and methodologies to train and develop its learned workforce in all areas.

In an effort to shed light on effective procrastination management on worthy VC’s suggestion, NCL organized a one-day workshop on ‘Knowing and Managing Procrastination’ on 20th May 2022 facilitated by Ms. Saira Javed (Lecturer Clinical Psychology, NUMS Department of Psychology). The workshop was a success and enthusiastically attended by administrative staff and university faculty members at the NUMS PWD Campus.

The resource person imparted her helpful knowledge of procrastination to workshop participants in two major steps. In the first step, she gave an insight into why people procrastinate and what are the driving forces behind it. She highlighted the importance of understanding the root of the problem in order to handle it effectively. In figuring out how to stop procrastinating, she talked about following eight chief reasons behind why people resort to procrastination in the first place, along with the mental health issues (e.g. depression, anxiety, and ADHD) which might also contribute to this habit:

  1. Abstract goals
  2. Fear of failure or rejection
  3. Fear of success
  4. Fear of separation
  5. Fear of attachment
  6. Low motivation
  7. Outcomes that are far in the future
  8. Feeling overwhelmed

In the second step, Ms. Saira emphasized the importance of identifying irrational beliefs and thoughts that force people to procrastinate. She also shared practical ways to evaluate and dissolve such thoughts and beliefs. The entire workshop was seasoned with self-assessment exercises and interactive activities which made the whole session quite palatable. Lastly, the expert engaged the participants by suggesting ways to productively manage procrastination and prioritizing their tasks into high, medium, and low priority categories.

All in all, the learned resource person made the participants realize that sheer appreciation and acknowledgement from the superiors can make procrastinating individuals get out of their shell and shine. She concluded her session by emphasizing that we need to finish our unfinished business to get out of the vicious cycle of procrastination and utilize our maximum potential in future.