Procrastination. We are all experts, aren’t we…
Actually, you might be procrastinating to read this post, too. And, frankly speaking, I have been procrastinating a few things today myself. But why is that? I am usually well organized!
It made me think.
What are the main reasons of procrastination?
Well, it could be that the task we want to accomplish is too difficult for us, or too long, or we simply don’t like it. It is also possible that by performing it, we will have to face a new reality which we are not ready to digest.
Examples? There you go…
- Once you complete your M.A. dissertation, it will really mean there is an end to some period in your life. Now you’re going to step into the real life. Or, you’ll be expected to find a job which you have been studying for for so long (and this is not really an area of your interests!).
- There is this job offer your friend referred you to. The deadline is coming and time is ticking away. The company even restricted they may take it down before the said deadline. What do you do? You spend your time on social media, you go out for coffee, you watch movies. Literally everything but sending the application. You know you might loose your chance but still you do nothing. You wait. You tell yourself: “well, if I don’t manage on time, it wasn’t meant to be for me.”
Are you kidding me? And first of all, are you kidding yourself?
- Your house looks like a mess. You aren’t able to find your documents (you simply forgot which file or folder you had put it) nor clothes you need at the very exact moment. You stopped inviting your friends over because you feel ashamed by the mess you see. You know you have to clean and finally put everything in order but you never have time. Funny thing is that the bigger the mess the bigger your frustration is and you do not deal with it. Not to mention the lack of focus, guys. (Yeah, how would you imagine to concentrate and feel happy while everything around you is messy?)
But again, you postpone. You decide to do it later. “When you have more free time“. You forgot, dude, nowadays free time doesn’t exist!
How to help yourself…
What most effective people do (I follow some interesting executives and their articles on LinkedIn), unless they lie…, is to complete the most difficult task (the one that will give you the greatest results) in the very morning. Have you heard of “Eat that frog“ book? So basically the strategy suggests you first accomplish the “worst“ so that you can spend some more quality time on the things you love / prefer / enjoy more than the “frog“.
It’s all about motivation and reasoning anyway. There is no other way than getting things done, right?
- The first thing you need to do is to assess your procrastination / avoidance. Then, it’s a half of success, as we say it in my country.
Once you realize you actually procrastinate, and the reasoning behind that, it will help you decide on your next steps.
If you postpone to start your new diet and you never start it, ask yourself if your priority is really to loose weight. Or maybe you just hate diets and going to the gym twice a week would solve the problem? Eating what you love and exercising doesn’t seem that scary anymore…
- Ask someone to do the thing for you. You hate the client you need to call? Maybe your colleague could do it for you as they don’t mind the guy at all.
- Outsource, pay. You hate cleaning your house and find it as complete waste of time? Fine. Find a cleaning lady. Continue doing the things you care about more.
- If you cannot alter the task and you are the only one to do it, whether you like it or not, well, just do it. Stop overthinking and start doing. I’m serious. Once you sit down and open your laptop, once you put on your trainers and go out of your flat, once you pick up the phone and dial the number, once you get rid of all the cookies from your kitchen, etc…, it will come. The most difficult part is to get started. You know it.
- Then, you just need to eliminate distractions:
- Close all your social media websites
- Do not look into your email box
- Put your mobile on silent mode
Whatever works best for you.
I am not able to tell you what will work for sure, as you need to observe yourself.
Do you focus better while listening to the music / radio?
Do you enjoy more working in a cafeteria where there are a lot of people and inspiration factors?
Do you prefer sitting at quiet home to being in the noisy office?
- Set goals and prioritize. I will write more about goals soon. Let me know if you’re interested in something in particular.
I am convinced you will see the powerful feeling of accomplishment which is incredibly motivating. And you might be surprised by your own performance. Because at the end of the day, once we fulfill something big, we start being experts in the matter, don’t we? 🙂
Do you have any „favorite“ tasks you constantly procrastinate? How do you deal with that? Any particular tips you’d like to share?