Have you ever been in that situation where you know you have a lot of things to do but, instead of tackling them directly, you start wasting time on less important tasks? You may be a victim of “procrastiworking”, an invisible enemy of productivity.

Procrastiworking is the art of looking busy while actively avoiding important tasks. Technically it’s work, but in reality it’s a sophisticated form of procrastination. It’s as if our brain is trying to convince us that we are working hard, when in reality we are just dragging our feet to avoid more challenging tasks.

Difference between Procrastination and Procrastiworking

The main difference between procrastination and procrastiworking lies in the activity itself. When we procrastinate, we avoid doing something altogether, postponing the task until a later, undefined time. When we procrastiwork, on the other hand, we engage in less important activities instead of dealing with the most important ones: exactly the opposite of what the Eisenhower matrix or the Eating the frog technique teach us.

Procrastiworking can creep into our daily routine without us even realising it. We may spend hours organising our e-mails instead of writing an important proposal, or we may spend half a morning planning our day instead of actively starting to work.

Identifying these situations and their frequency is key to fighting procrastiworking. Some classic signs are:

  1. Constantly postponing the most important tasks in favour of unimportant ones.
  2. Constant jumping from one task to another, without completing any of them.
  3. Spending most of the time on unimportant tasks, without tackling the urgent ones.
  4. Sense of unproductivity at the end of the day.

The impact of procrastiworking on productivity, well-being and relationships

When we fall into the trap of procrastiworking, productivity levels drop significantly. We often end up working longer to complete postponed tasks or tackle more complex tasks last minute, making our workday much more stressful.

When we realise we’ve wasted valuable time, we also feel frustrated, guilty and less confident in our abilities, which leads us into a state of anxiety and chronic stress.

Procrastiworking can also negatively affect relationships with colleagues: if we’re constantly busy with unimportant tasks, we may not be available when someone needs our help.

Causes of Procrastiworking and how to deal with them

Now that we understand what procrastiworking is and what its effects are, it’s important to examine its causes, which may be exogenous (environmental) or endogenous (individual).

Some of the main ones include:

  • A cluttered and uninspiring workspace – The solution here is very simple: organise your desk better, eliminating distractions.
  • Constant interruptions from colleagues – Talk to them, explain how you have difficulty concentrating and how the constant demands prevent you from starting more complex tasks.
  • Time management problems – Plan your days in advance and set realistic goals.
  • Fear of failure – This point is perhaps the most complex and only practice can help you overcome it: only by facing challenges can you conquer them.
  • Difficulty in delegating – If possible, start asking for help when you need it, especially for less important but time-consuming tasks.

Procrastiworking may seem a “clever” form of procrastination, but it actually slows down productivity and undermines self-esteem. Recognising its signs and adopting strategies to fight it are crucial elements to becoming more efficient, motivated and satisfied.

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