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Human Relations

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Human Relations­ MGMT611
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Lesson 29
IMPROVING WORK HABITS-1
(Dealing with Procrastination)
Developing good work habits
Good work habits means, being organized and prioritizing tasks according to their importance. Good work
habits and time management are extremely important because of the current emphasis on enhancing
productivity. They are also important for the personal success. Effective work habits are beneficial for
yourself and your organization, because if you have good work habits, you have control over yourself, and if
you have control over yourself you are productive, and if you are productive you have good human
relations.
Work habits refer to a person's characteristic approach to work, including such things as organization,
priority setting, and handling of paper work and e-mail.
Procrastination
The productivity can be enhanced by improving work habits relating to procrastination. Productivity is the
amount of quality work done with the resources consumed. The leading cause of poor productivity and
career self-sabotage is procrastination, delaying a task for an invalid or weak reason. Even productive
people have problems with procrastination at times.
Reasons of procrastination
Delaying or postponing of assignments makes you less productive or unproductive. There may be a number
of reasons of procrastination.
Key reasons for procrastination include:
(1) Unpleasant tasks
If you do not like the tasks or assignments which you are supposed to do, might be the reason of
delaying them.
(2) Overwhelming
Sometimes you think that the task given to you is so huge that you can not handle, you keep on
hesitating to initiate it.
(3) Concerns about negative consequences of one's work
Sometimes the fear of negative results of doing a task becomes the reason of postponing it.
(4) Fear of success (worry about assuming too much responsibility)
Just like the fear of failure, the fear of success also becomes a hindrance in performing a task. One
thinks if he/she successfully completes some task he/she might be chosen for some bigger assignment.
(5) Lack of a perceived meaningful reward for doing the task
If you feel that you would not be rewarded meaningfully, you would hesitate to do that work.
Rebellion against being controlled
Another reason of procrastination is that you do not like to be controlled by others. You think that you
will do your work as and whenever you like it to do.
(6) Enjoyment of the rush derived from scrambling to make a deadline
Some people enjoy doing things at the eleventh hour.
(7) Perfectionism
People also become victim of procrastination due to the habit of perfectionism.
The tendency of perfectionism can be measured through this self-assessment quiz.
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Human Relations­ MGMT611
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Human Relations Self Assessment Quiz
Tendencies towards perfectionism
Many perfectionists hold some of the behaviours and attitudes described below. To help
understand your tendencies toward perfectionism, rate how strongly you agree with each of the
statements below on a scale of 0-4.
1
Many people have told me that I am a perfectionist
01234
2
I often correct the speech of others
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3
It takes me a long time to write an email because I keep checking and
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checking my writing
4  I often criticize the colour combinations my friends are wearing
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5  When I purchase food at a super market, I usually look at the expiry date,
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so I can purchase the freshest
6  I can't stand when people use the term `remote' instead of `remote control'
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7  If a company representative asked me `what is your social', I would reply
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something like, `do you mean my social security number'
8  I hate to see dust on furniture
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9  I like the Saima's idea of having every decoration in the home just right
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10 I never put a map back in the glove compartment until it is folded just right
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11 Once an eraser on a pencil of mine becomes hard and useless, I throw the
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pencil away
12 I adjust all my watches and clocks so they show exactly the same time
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13 It bothers me that clocks on personal computers are usually wrong by a
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few minutes
14 I cleaned the key board on my computer at least once a week
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15 I organize my email messages and computer documents into many
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different, clearly labeled files
16 You won't find old coffee cups or soft drink containers on my desk
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17 I rarely start a new project or assignment until I have completed my
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present project or assignment
18 It is very difficult for me to concentrate when my work area is
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disorganized
19 Cow webs in chandeliers and other lighting fixtures bug me
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20 It takes me a long time to make a purchase such as a digital camera
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because I keep studying the features on various models
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21 When I balance my cheque book, it usually comes out right within a few
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Rupees
22 I carry enough small coins and Rupee notes with me so when I shop I can
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pay the exact amount without requiring change
23 I throw out any underwear or T-shirts that have even the smallest holes or
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tears
24 I become upset with myself if I make a mistake
0
1
2
3
4
25 When a finger nail of mine is broken or chipped, I fix it as soon as possible
0
1
2
3
4
26 I am carefully groomed whenever I leave my home
0
1
2
3
4
27 When I noticed packaged goods or cans on the floor in a supermarket, I
0
1
2
3
4
will often place them back on the shelf
28 I think that carrying around antibacterial cleaner for the hands is an
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excellent idea
29 If I am with a friend, and he or she has a loose hair on the shoulder, I will
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remove it without asking
30 I know that I am a perfectionist
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Scoring 91+: You have strong perfectionist tendencies to the point that it could interfere with
your taking quick action when necessary. Also, you may annoy many people with your
perfectionism.
Scoring 61-90: Moderate degree of perfectionism that could lead you to produce high quality
work and be a dependable person.
Scoring 31-60: Mild degree of perfectionism. You might be a perfectionist in some situations
quite important to you, but not in others.
Scoring 0-30: Not a perfectionist. You might be too casual about getting things done right,
meeting deadlines and being aware of details.
Source: DuBrin, Andrew J. `Human Relations: Career and Personal Success', Pearson Prentice Hall, 2005.
Techniques for Reducing Procrastination
Being aware of the productivity consequences of procrastination is a good start for reducing
procrastination. A few specific techniques are also helpful.
1. Cost of procrastination
2. Counter attack
3. Jump-start
4. Sub-divide the large task
5. Motivate yourself with rewards and punishments
6. WIFO (worst in first out)
7. Commitment to other people
8. Express positivity
1.
Calculate the Cost of Procrastination
Lost opportunity is a major cost. A useful example of a direct cost is procrastinating about adding motor oil
to your auto (about Rs500), and then have to replace the motor (about Rs50,000).
2.
Counterattack
Force yourself to do something overwhelming, frightening, or uncomfortable. It may prove that the task
was not as bad as initially perceived.
3.
Jump-Start Yourself
You can often get momentum going on a project by giving yourself a tiny assignment just to get started.
One approach is to set a specific time for working on the overwhelming task. Another jump-start is to find
a leading task (an easy warm-up activity) to perform.
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4.
Sub-divide the Large Task
If the task allows for it, just peck away a little bit at a time until the project gets down to manageable size.
Another approach is to subdivide the task into smaller units.
5.
Motivate Yourself with Rewards and Punishments
Behavior modification can sometimes be applied successfully to overcoming procrastination.
6.
Follow the WIFO Principle
Use the technique of worst in, first out, for dealing with unpleasant tasks you would prefer to avoid. A
related motivational principle is that after completing the unpleasant task, moving on to a more pleasant (or
less unpleasant) task functions as a reward.
7.
Make a Commitment to Other People
If others know you are committed to accomplishing something by a given date, you are less likely to
procrastinate. Avoiding embarrassment acts as a strong motivator in this situation. It can help you stop
delaying tasks.
8.
Express positivity
Express a More Positive Attitude about Your Intentions. If you choose words that express a serious
intention to complete an activity you are more likely to follow through than if you choose uncertain words.
"I will" is more compelling than "I might."
References:
Dubrin, A.J. (2005). Human Relations: Career and Personal Success. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey,
07458.
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Table of Contents:
  1. HUMAN RELATIONS:Some Guidelines for Effective Human Relations, Communication has 3meanings
  2. CULTURE AND PERSONALITY:Definition of sub culture, Definition of Personality, Types of Persons
  3. PERSONALITY AND STRESS:Personality, PERSONAL TOOLS TO CONTROL STRESS
  4. PERCEPTION AND INDIVIDUAL BEHAVIOUR:Three concepts of personality, Bias in Perception
  5. PERCEPTION AND GROUP BEHAVIOR:Characteristics of Groups, Individual and Group Behavior
  6. ATTITUDE AND BEHAVIOUR:Types of Attitudes, Steps to turn attitude into action
  7. PERSONAL MOTIVATION AND ACHIEVEMENT:Needs and Motivation, Self-discipline and motivation
  8. SOLVING PROBLEMS SKILLFULLY:Problem solving and cognition, Ways to solve problems
  9. CREATIVITY IN PROBLEM SOLVING:Barriers to creativity, Tips to solve problems creatively
  10. HANDLING PERSONAL ISSUES:Self-Defeating Behaviour, Positive attitude to tackle personal problems
  11. CONFLICT RESOLUTION:WHY SO MUCH CONFLICT EXISTS, TECHNIQUES FOR RESOLVING CONFLICTS
  12. COMMUNICATION AND HUMAN RELATIONS:Process of communication, Improving gender barriers to communication
  13. ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION:To improve listening skills, Types of organizational communication
  14. UNDERSTANDING COMMUNICATION STYLES:Modeling communication style, Sociability continuum
  15. SELF-ESTEEM:Building process of self-esteem, Self-esteem and public image
  16. BUILDING SELF-CONFIDENCE:The importance of self-confidence and self-efficacy, Balanced Self-Confidence:
  17. BECOMING A LEADER-1:Assessing leadership role, Traits and Characteristics of Effective Leaders
  18. BECOMING A LEADER-II:Theories of leadership, Developing leadership potential
  19. GLOBALIZATION AND CROSS-CULTURAL DIFFERENCES:Religious Values and Bicultural Identities
  20. IMPROVING CROSS-CULTURAL COMPETENCE:Strategies to improve cross-cultural relations, More steps to improve Cultural Relations
  21. BUILDING GOOD RELATIONS WITH MANAGERS:Impressing your manager, Coping with a problem manager
  22. BUILDING GOOD RELATIONS WITH CO-WORKERS:Make Co-workers feel important, Maintain Honest and Open Relationships
  23. BUILDING GOOD RELATIONS WITH CUSTOMERS:Salesperson Represents the Business, Approaching the Customer, Excuses vs. Objections
  24. CHOOSING A CAREER-1:Ten Myths about Choosing a Career, Attitude toward and Perceptions about Myself
  25. CHOOSING A CAREER-II:Choosing a career and developing a portfolio Career, Suggestions for career Preparation
  26. FINDING A JOB:Targeting your job search, The Internet and Résumé Database Services, Extreme Job Hunting
  27. SIGNIFICANCE OF RESUME:Major types of resumes, Electronic Submission of the Résumé
  28. IMPROVING INTERVIEW SKILLS:Successful interview, Knowing the employer or Organization
  29. IMPROVING WORK HABITS-1:Reasons of procrastination, Techniques for Reducing Procrastination
  30. IMPROVING WORK HABITS-2:Developing the proper attitudes and values, Time-management techniques
  31. NEW MODEL OF CAREER ADVANCEMENT:Career portability, HUMAN RELATIONS SELF-ASSESSMENT
  32. TAKING CONTROL OF YOURSELF:Develop Outstanding Interpersonal Skills, Business etiquettes
  33. EXERTING CONTROL ON OUTSIDE ENVIRONMENT:Important communication tip, Exerting control over the outside world
  34. MANAGING PERSONAL FINANCES-1:Your personal financial plan, Steps in budget making
  35. MANAGING PERSONAL FINANCES-2:Basic investment principles, Tolerance for Investment Risks, Types of investments
  36. ACHIEVING HAPPINESS-1:Finding happiness and enhancing your personal life, The key to happiness
  37. ACHIEVING HAPPINESS-2:The Five Principles of Psychological Functioning, Your mind and Happiness
  38. ACHIEVING HAPPINESS-3:Need for intimacy, Working out issues with relationships
  39. APATHY AND ITS REMEDIES:Let us try to understand the various definitions of apathy, Coping strategies for apathy
  40. ENHANCING PERSONAL ETHICS-1:Influence of Culture, Common ethical problems
  41. ENHANCING PERSONAL ETHICS-2:Common ethical problems, Guidelines for Behaving Ethically
  42. HELPING OTHERS GROW:Being a Nurturing, Positive Person, A list of mentoring behaviour, Coaching skills and techniques
  43. REVIEW-I:What is a Human Relation?, Meanings of Communication, Two types of stress, Some personal problem, Communication style
  44. REVIEW-II:Steps to build self-confidence, Globalization, Building Good Relations with Co-workers, Good work habits
  45. REVIEW-III:New model of career advancement, Choosing your investment, Tactics for Dealing with Difficult People