Are you putting off more and accomplishing less? Have you tried time management tools, like daily planners, but feel like you’re getting nowhere? (Does this sound like a commercial?) Do you want to understand why you procrastinate? Okay, start with the two minutes it will take to read this post. Do not do it later! Do not touch that dial. This post is designed to help you understand procrastination, offer a few strategies, and link to more resources.
Indecision leads to procrastination. Everyone has the fear of making bad choices; however, you must not let fear stop you from making a decision. Gather information, ask for input, and make a decision.
You are not perfect
You should not be expected to be right all the time (except for air traffic controllers when I’m on the plane, and my doctor!) What should be expected is a thought process, or the reasoning behind the decision. Do you suffer from perfection paralysis? If you cannot do it perfectly – you don’t do it at all! Stop! No one is starting a religion after any of us, so guess what? Sometimes you will be wrong!
Have the courage to learn from your mistakes
If you had a plan that din’t succeed, analyze the plan and learn from your mistakes. Okay, I get it, you don’t want to make decisions, because you don’t want to be wrong. You’re not alone. Everyone is afraid of making a poor decision. However, consider the old phrase trial and error. When you make a mistake learn from it. It’s a process. Do your homework first, and make the best decision you can, based on the information available, because making no decision is a decision, and probably a poor one.
The Gumption Factor
At times we all put off tasks that are not as enjoyable as others. The gumption factor is defined as beginning and completing the least attractive, most demanding task. Try it — the feeling of accomplishment is wonderful. Procrastination can be the byproduct of a lack of prioritization. How are you prioritizing tasks? What type of tasks take priority? Are they important tasks, urgent tasks, or tasks you enjoy? What tasks and activities have been postponed? Whenever possible, do the tough stuff first!
Understand the stress you create
The stress of procrastination interferes with production, and it becomes a time waster — especially when it is caused by indecision, and the indecision process is recycled. This is stress amplified!
Procrastination is seldom a time management problem. It is a thought process problem that affects time management. To improve procrastination, the decision making process must be improved. Joseph Ferrari, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at De Paul University in Chicago states, “Telling someone who procrastinates to buy a weekly planner is like telling someone with chronic depression to just cheer up!”
Want to learn more?
“Too often, we find ourselves procrastinating, because we’re not sure what to do first. We feel overwhelmed, confused, or disorganized. We put off getting started, because we’re not sure what the first step is. The key is to acknowledge that it’s totally normal to feel overwhelmed or stupid when you’re just starting out, especially if you’ve never done the task before.” — Psychology Today: 5 Ways to Finally Stop Procrastinating
“Visualize the future you want. Imagine the emotions you will feel. Picture yourself in a favorite place celebrating what you’ve accomplished. Imagine those who love you most celebrating your success.” — Forbes: Why You Procrastinate, and How to Stop It. Now.
“Ask yourself, What’s the worst thing that could happen if I did this today? Do you fear the consequences associated with the action you’ve been avoiding? The worst-case scenario most likely would be a minor inconvenience or a temporary setback.” — Success.com: 7 Simple Ways to Stop Procrastinating
“Change your environment. Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.” — Lifehack: 11 Practical Ways To Stop Procrastination
We’re starting a procrastinators club as soon as we can find the time — GetToItLater.com will be coming soon.
If you enjoyed this post you might also like, Are You Waiting for Others to Change? How’s that Working for You?
How Can I help You?
I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me.
Does your business have a management training plan? Many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. I’m also available to conduct training.