Procrastination is something that we've all struggled with at one point or another. Whether it's putting off a project at work or putting off going to the gym, starting a diet or making healthier choices.
Perhaps you’re procrastinating tasks that will improve business or lead to more income. Perhaps you agree, avoiding these important tasks can have a negative impact on our lives, any temporary perceived payoff we’re getting isn’t really worth it.
But why do we procrastinate?
One theory is that procrastination is a way of coping with anxiety. When we're feeling anxious about a task, we may procrastinate in order to avoid that anxiety. Another theory is that procrastination is a way of managing our time. We may procrastinate because we're trying to prioritize other tasks, or because we're trying to save the best tasks for the 4th quarter.
Whatever the reason, procrastination can have a negative impact on our lives. It can lead to missed deadlines, poor quality work, and even lost opportunities. If you want to be successful, it's important to learn how to overcome procrastination.
We've all been there - procrastinating on a project that's due, putting off studying for a test, or avoiding exercising even though we know we should.
Why do we do it? There's no one answer. Maybe, deep down we mistakenly believe that procrastination will help us succeed. We tell ourselves that we work better under pressure, so procrastinating will just give us an extra boost when it comes time to finish the task. Unfortunately, this often backfires. The stress of the looming deadline can actually hinder our performance and lead to lower quality work.
Possibly another reason we procrastinate is because we're bad at prioritizing. We may procrastinate on an unimportant task simply because it's easier than dealing with a more pressing issue. Or, we may postpone tackling a difficult task because we're not sure where to start. Whatever the reason, procrastination is something we all struggle with from time to time. Perhaps by understanding why we do it, we can start to find ways to overcome it.
Let’s explore further.
Procrastination is something we've all struggled with at one point or another.
It's the feeling of wanting to do something, but not being able to muster up the motivation to actually do it. For some people, procrastination is a regular habit that can impact their ability to be successful in life.
After working with many clients who wanted to get better at getting things done, we discovered the deep reason was a fear of failure. Do you ever feel like you’d rather not try at all than risk not being good enough?
Personally, I’ve found trying to do something perfectly can stop me in my tracks from getting it done. Lurking thoughts in the back of my mind can sound like: “What will they think if I put myself out there? What if I fail? What if I’m not good enough?” Ever feel like that? This really translates into fear that isn’t real.
Fear is often a big reason we don’t do something we know would make our lives better. Remember what F.E.A.R. really represents: False Evidence Appears Real. Is there really anything to be afraid of?
Unfortunately, procrastination can be a hard habit to break. One way to try to overcome this daunting human trait is to break down a task into smaller, more manageable steps. That way, you don't feel overwhelmed by the task at hand and you're more likely to get started. You can also try setting a deadline for yourself, even if it's a fake deadline. Having a specific date in mind will help motivate you to get started.
Lastly, some experts say that procrastination is simply a matter of prioritization. I tend to agree with this idea.
Procrastination is really a priority issue.
When we make something a priority, it is in the forefront of our mind and we can just get it done.
It’s so easy to get distracted by other things that really are not a priority, silly things really, like throwing in a load of laundry, or taking out the garbage, or even spending hours on social media. These things will not lead us to accomplishing our goals. Sit down and write down the things in your life that are a priority. Every day, do them first.
Make what you truly desire the priority in your life. Everything else can wait.
Lastly, try to avoid putting too much pressure on yourself. Accept that you might not be perfect and that's OK. Just remember that even if you don't complete a task perfectly, you're still moving forward and making progress.