Do you struggle with Procrastination? Do you put off doing things until the deadline is only a couple days away? Do you take on extra items to prevent from doing the one major thing you know you need to do? Do you know why you do these types of things?
1. The act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention.
2. The avoidance of doing a task, which needs to be accomplished. It is the practice of doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, or carrying out less urgent tasks instead of more urgent ones, thus putting off impending tasks to a later time.
Does any of that sound familiar to you? We all do this in one form or another. Even the successful people in this world will delay doing something from time to time. It’s a normal thing to do, but sometimes it’s also you avoiding your fears and not taking charge of your choices in life. Many of us will sit down to work on a task and then get up to make coffee or fix ourselves a snack or you fill in the blank. We leave those items on our To Do list far to long, even when they are important.
In some cases a particular task for a job or item to get done is unpleasant and you put off doing what is unpleasant. Another reason is you feel overwhelmed by the task or you are disorganized and unable to prioritize these things appropriately.
Here are a few tips to help you overcome procrastination:
• Identify the unpleasant consequences of NOT doing the task and write them down. Are you dealing with a fear that you now have to identify and overcome? Is there something from a time in your past that makes doing this task very uncomfortable for you? Are you just being lazy? Are you forgetful and don’t keep a list?
• Do the most unpleasant tasks first thing each day and then move on to other things feeling accomplished that you completed something you weren’t comfortable with doing, but you stuck to it and made it happen.
• Keep a To-Do list to help with disorganization and you won’t forget those important tasks you keep saying you will get to.
• Set deadlines on tasks so you won’t have time to procrastinate.
• Focus on one thing at a time. It’s easy to see a long list of things to get done and jump to the easy ones first, but that still leaves the important items to get done. Focus on that one task until it’s completed, then you will feel better as you venture towards other goals.
• Visualization can help you with this problem. Many of us overestimate how unpleasant something might be so we continue to put it off. If you tell yourself what is the worst that can happen, like in sales and you get a flat out no, then you know what the worse case is and you can move on. Visualize the situation going the way you want it to. It may not happen every time in that manner but it does help you build some confidence as you rehearse in your thoughts how best to handle objections and overcome.
• Fill your mind with positive. Reading positives sayings, quotes, affirmations can help you learn to not delay with things you must take care of by reinforcing positive thoughts over negative ones. We all can use more positive reassurances from day to day to help us be more successful.
These steps are simple in thought and theory but sometimes it is a struggle when we are facing down a fear. Remember, it will only be a fear until you do it and once you do those doubts you had will then go away. Long ago I was rather shy and talking on the telephone to anyone, even my own mother, was a challenge for me. I took a job as a receptionist to answer the phone and over time it became easier and easier for me to have conversations on the phone. I was still uncomfortable with it but I overcame it by doing the very thing I was fearful of.
You can overcome your fears, take on those difficult or unpleasant tasks and just get them done and off your list. The sooner you mark them off the better you will feel, the easier the rest of your day will go and you won’t build more trepidation waiting until you finally get around to doing it.
If you are someone that has good intentions of doing all these things you tell others you will take care of but forget to write it down or figure out a way to remind yourself then you aren’t being true to your word. Your reputation is on the line because you aren’t doing what you say you will get done. Put it on a list, make it a priority, give it a deadline and make it happen.
Let me know if these suggestions helped you with changing habits of procrastination. Please share with anyone that you feel could benefit from this information and thank you for reading.
Have a blessed week!