Procrastination is something that we all have to overcome from time to time. Whether you’re a client or prospective employee, chances are you’ve been defeated by time at some point. Procrastination can’t prevent a client from acquiring a deal from a staffing firm like it can prevent a job-seeker from starting their career off with a recruiting agency. Using “staffing agencies” is only an example, as procrastination can shake up any industry, not just staffing firms. Recognizing the symptoms is critical and the first step to overcoming the procrastination pitfall! So what exactly are the signs of procrastination? How can you see it coming a mile away and avoid a potential collision?

I found some signs online and I decided to give my own personal commentary on the reasons why these signs are creating an issue.

The Signs

1. “You’re always focusing on the simpler, low-priority items on your to-do list, thinking if you check them off you’ll be able to focus on bigger picture items.”

• This simply isn’t true! By doing this you’re only pushing aside the tougher tasks because you’re intimidated. Low priority means exactly that…low priority. So in what order would low priority come for say a fortune 500 company…probably last. For time’s sake, you should tackle what’s most important first.

2. “An important task on your to-do list remains untouched for weeks at a time. Ever set up reminders for these types of projects on your computer and find yourself frequently changing the date?”

• A lot like the last sign, you’re intimidated. You either don’t know how to accomplish this task or are too lazy to find the resources necessary to get this job done. You’re human, it happens. But for how long can you avoid what’s on your to-do list? How many times can you change the date before it essentially holds you back from the next step? 

3. “You’ve finally carved out time to focus on a high-priority item, you sit down to do it, but immediately find something else “more important” to do – make a phone call, check your e-mail, etc.”

• Now you’re simply running from your responsibility. You may not be intimidated at all, this actually may be a case of simply not caring enough about the task. Is it important to you? Probably not.

4. “Rather than tackling your own priorities, you agree to do things (even tasks you’d usually avoid) when others ask you to do so.”

• Something isn’t right here. You avoid your task but happily complete another person’s task? This shouldn’t be. How dare you help others before you’ve helped yourself. It’s a nice gesture but in this scenario, you need to choose yourself first. Your priority in the matter should be YOUR priorities!

5. “You’re compulsively checking texts, messages on social media sites, and e-mail hoping something more important will require your immediate attention.”

• Again, you’re running from your responsibilities due to intimidation or lack of understanding. The best thing about texts, messages on social media sites, and e-mails is that they don’t have deadlines. They’ll be there when you’re done! Tasks, however, nine times out of ten, have a due date.

Did any of these signs hit home with you? If so, don’t worry. Head over to part two for tips on how to stop procrastinating!