How are those New Year’s Goals going? Have you given some thought about what you want in 2020? One thing many of you probably have in mind for this year is overcoming your procrastination.
What is procrastination?
Procrastination means putting off something we know we should be doing but, for some reason can’t motivate ourselves to do or facing it only when it is inevitable. You need to understand better why you procrastinate. There are several reasons for it, and more than one may apply to you.
When we feel that a task is going to be one or more of the following, we avoid it like the plague:
- Lacking in personal meaning
Procrastination is a bad habit, which, over time, can negatively affect your life, resulting in increased levels of stress, reduced performance, and productivity. The good news is that like any habit it can be changed and it all starts with your mindset.
Every time you find yourself thinking “I’ll do that later,” stop and ask yourself why you’re finding the task at hand so off-putting?
Everyone procrastinates sometimes. The problem with procrastination is it causes you to take tasks that could’ve and should’ve been done yesterday and brings them into today. I’ve found that procrastination is caused by one of two feelings, fear or dread.
You put off a task because you’re afraid you’ll mess it up and can be summed up as fear of failure or not being good enough.
- Fear that you’ll fail or do badly. Probably the most common one.
- Fear of the unknown, the task is not familiar to you, so you don’t know what to do or where to start.
- Fear of the uncomfortable. It’s easy to do things we’re comfortable with, but doing new things is uncomfortable so we put them off.
Dread occurs when you don’t like the task you need to perform so you put it off, until it becomes an emergency and then you have to deal with it. You spend so much time thinking about your distaste of the task at hand that you just never do it, letting yourself and others down in the process.
There’s an easy three step fix for this that I’d like to share with you that has really worked wonders for me and I think it will for you too. Before I share this with you though, I need you to see that right now you’re focused on the feelings your brain is telling you to feel. Once you’re aware of this, you can take control simply by changing your focus. Instead of focusing on feelings like the fear of failing or the dread of doing the task, I want you to start thinking of the result instead using this process.
- Say – tell yourself how good it’s going to be when you’ve completed this task. What benefits do you gain? How does it make you feel accomplishing the task?
- See – see yourself completing the task and receiving the rewards that you’ve told yourself about.
- Feel – feel the feelings you’ll feel for getting the task off your plate and enjoying the benefits of what you did.
If you procrastinate often, you are not managing your time wisely. You are adding to your workload burden with each task you put off and are making it more difficult to complete these tasks in the future. Create positive habits by prioritizing tasks and completing them before they pile up and become unmanageable.