Stop procrastinating! 別拖了!行動起來吧!

更新時間 2012年 9月 6日, 星期四 - 格林尼治標準時間07:25

Vocabulary: Procrastination 詞匯:拖延

Clocks

Do you procrastinate?

You really should finish compiling that boring spreadsheet, but you just can't bring yourself to do it. Maybe it can wait a little longer? Or it might just disappear if you ignore it long enough? You know the feeling.

According to Professor Piers Steel, of the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary, 95% of people postpone important tasks at some point. But for some, procrastination isn't occasional, but incessant and disruptive. Professor Joseph Ferrari, of DePaul University Chicago, found that 20% of the population of the world are chronic procrastinators. Sadly, delaying our duties isn't very good for us: task-avoiders are less happy, less healthy and less wealthy than people who tackle tasks immediately.

We like to tell ourselves that we work better under pressure, when a deadline is looming. But the truth is that working at the last minute is counterproductive: we make more mistakes, our behaviour annoys other people and we end up feeling guilty and ashamed. Worse still, we risk wasting a significant portion of our life putting off tasks that will only come back to haunt us later. As the poet Edward Young wrote: "Procrastination is the thief of time".

Piers Steel gives us some advice to help us confront important tasks. He suggests breaking it into smaller chunks and taking baby steps until the task at hand has been completed. Or you could give a friend £50 and tell them that if you don't go through with it, they can give it away to a cause or a political party you dislike.

Those who are highly-organised and efficient won't need to take heed of this advice. For everyone else: will you start following these tips and confront those urgent tasks that await you today? Or will you stop procrastinating tomorrow... or perhaps the day after?

Quiz 測驗

1. What is a procrastinator?

A procrastinator is someone who postpones important tasks and duties until a later date, rather than confronting them.

2. Find four verbs in the article that mean 'to wait until later to do something important'?

To postpone, to procrastinate, to delay, to put off.

3. Why can working at the last minute be a problem?

When we work at the last minute we make more mistakes, our behaviour can be irritating for others and we feel a sense of guilt and shame.

4. Find an expression in the article that means 'to take one small step at a time to accomplish something'?

To take baby steps.

5. Is the following statement true, false or not given? Professor Piers Steel will give you money if you stop procrastinating.

False. Professor Piers Steel suggests you give money to one of your friends and tell them they can give it away to a cause you dislike if you don't complete the task.

Glossary 词汇表 (点击单词收听发音)

BBC © 2014 非本網站內容BBC概不負責

如欲取得最佳瀏覽效果,請使用最新的、使用串聯樣式表(CSS)的瀏覽器。雖然你可以使用目前的瀏覽器瀏覽網站,但是,你不能獲得最佳視覺享受。請考慮使用最新版本的瀏覽器軟件或在可能情況下讓你的瀏覽器可以使用串聯樣式表。