Procrastination is frustrating!
It’s funny because people often know they’re procrastinating. They’ll even share how excited they are about making progress. Then they’re off doing almost anything but what they need to be doing.
How can this be?
Here are 3 of the top reasons people procrastinate:
Lack of Clarity
This is a big one! People often procrastinate when they are NOT clear about:
- WHAT to do
- HOW to do it
- WHEN to do it or
- WHY they are doing it.
Fear is a powerful procrastination tool. It doesn’t matter what you’re afraid of (e.g., failure, not being perfect, what others will say). Fear keeps you stuck. Fear shifts your focus to EVERYTHING except what you have set out to do.
Lack of Urgency
Have you ever noticed how much more focused you are when you have a quickly approaching deadline? If there is no sense of urgency, it’s easy to procrastinate!
Now that you know some causes of procrastination, here are 3 tips to overcome it:
Take time to figure out what you want to accomplish and the associated benefit(s). The benefit(s)is(/are) your “WHY”. Without this, there is no reason to move forward. Be sure to write what you want to do and the benefit(s) down! Then, find a way you’ll see this often. Some ideas are:
- Tape it to a bathroom mirror
- Make it your laptop background
- Put it by your bed.
Decide on Your Next Steps with Deadlines
Jot down at least the next two or three steps you want to take. You don’t need to have everything worked out before you start. You do need to know the direction you’re heading. It’s also helpful to include deadlines for completing these next steps. Be sure to block time in your calendar dedicated to working on your next steps.
Hold Yourself Accountable
If you’re a disciplined person, holding yourself accountable may not be hard to do. But most people struggle with this. It can be helpful to ask a friend or colleague to check in with you on a particular date to see how your progress is going. Setting up a reciprocal relationship, where you do the same thing for this person, can be great, too.
Bonus Tip – Build in Some Fun!
If the project is complete drudgery, procrastination will be something you will deal with constantly. Building in some fun will motivate you to continue to work on your project. This will make it feel less like work and more like something near and dear to your heart.
Procrastination affects everyone at one time or another. Use these tips to ensure it doesn’t keep you stuck, frustrated and unmotivated.