Stop procrastinating! 别拖了!行动起来吧!

更新时间 2012年 9月 6日, 星期四 - 格林尼治标准时间07:25

Vocabulary: Procrastination 词汇:拖延


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 测验

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)

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