I know that I’m not alone in procrastinating about some issues – both from a personal and business perspective. However, this was a characteristic I quickly eliminated from my life, as it has so many negative consequences. I’m not talking about putting off washing the windows one week, but chronic procrastination.
Cyprus society and culture seem to still have a long way to go though! What prompted and inspired my blog this week was a result of two polar opposites regarding communication and responses to emails, from Cyprus and abroad. I asked for some quotes from four companies in Cyprus, and within 24 hours, had a response from only one. The others have still to reply! It isn’t difficult to fathom who secured the work.
The emails from Europe garnered a response from everyone. So, what is one to deduce from this? Is Cyprus slow? Well, not everyone – but it’s the responders who are achievers. There are a few people in my address book who seemingly respond almost before I’ve sent a message… well, you understand what I mean. I asked how they keep up, and the response was “If I respond immediately, it looks efficient, but also, my head is cleared and I’ve taken action, so don’t need to keep it pending. You can imagine with over a hundred emails a day requiring action, I would never get them done if I didn’t respond immediately.” Bang goes the theory of not being distracted by emails and leaving time during the day to address them.
Procrastination has also cost our government as we all know from huge disasters which have happened over the last years. The incident at Mari, when we literally blew up our people and electrical station because of ‘passing the buck’, the financial crash of 2013 because of being in denial, the fines and penalties we’ve incurred for not implementing EU directives and the list goes on and on.
Procrastination is also a great driver of stress. Planes take off, deadlines pass, jobs go to the applicants who submitted resumes on time, theatre tickets and vacation packages sell out, students fail because of lack of revision, and the list goes on and on. It creates a cycle of self-defeating behaviour, which results in a downward spiral of self-esteem.
It is time for us to take action. There is no band-aid solution but I’m a firm believer in writing down and making lists divided into categories. Allocate a time spam and do the difficult tasks first. Build in down time too – so that you reward yourself for progress. That good feeling will inspire you to get to the next step.
If everyone takes responsibility in their work environment, and stops passing the buck and making excuses for other flaws in the system, we will make great strides forward!
What is your opinion?
Warmest wishes to everyone