Procrastination is a fact of life! Whether it’s the piles of paper on your desk waiting to be dealt with, the phone call you dread returning, or the doctor appointment you avoid making, there are seven basic reasons for procrastination.
1. You don’t like the nature of the task and you consider it a waste of time. The task maybe boring or time consuming and you just don’t want to do it!
Figure out what it is you don’t like about the task or the project. Think of alternative ways of dealing with it. Delegate it, ask for help, or find a way to get it off your plate once and for all. If all else fails, break the task into smaller steps, schedule time to tackle each step at a time, and reward yourself for completing the cycle. Find a way to motivate yourself and make it interesting.
2. You’re afraid of the outcome.
Consider the possibility that you may be afraid of what it means to complete this project. Is there something that’s working behind the scenes that you are not clear about? Are your concerns realistic? Are you making things worse by procrastinating?
3. You may not feel equipped to do something well.
Think about the project or task and be honest with yourself. Are you concerned that you may not do a good job with this project? If the answer is yes, identify the area of concern and think of the resources that you have at your disposal. Are your fears realistic? Is there someone you can go to for additional guidance and support? Would it be worth passing the project to someone else?
4. You lack the resources.
Think it through. Make a list of what you need to complete the task or project. Identify what additional resources you need. Get everything you need in place and schedule time to complete the project. If you can delegate parts of the work, then delegate it!
5. You think that by avoiding something it will just go away.
By now, experience has taught you that you can’t bet on this one. It could go away but how can you be sure? Is it worth the risk? Read reasons 1-4 and see if there is anything there that’s of use to you.
6. You like the rush of going up against a deadline.
Take a mental journey into your past and determine whether leaving things for the last minute is a habit of yours. If it is, accept it and ask yourself whether you are willing to keep up with this pattern. Is it worth the rush? Are you ready to make different choices? It’s up to you.
7. There is something you get by not completing the task that you are not aware of.
It’s possible that procrastinating with a particular project or task is the clue to something bigger. Is this a project you should be doing? Does it serve your original intention or personal goals? Does this project hold a message for you? It’s worth finding out!
The key to dealing with unproductive habits is not beating yourself up or avoiding the truth altogether. Take some time, think it through, and get to the bottom of it. You’ll be amazed.
Photo by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash