Saturday, May 25, 2024

Overcoming Procrastination by Identifying Its Source

Procrastination is a problem that many people experience.  Not only can it keep you from being successful, it can also cause problems with everything from your mental to your physical health.

There are so many different reasons why people procrastinate.  Whatever the reason, the first thing that needs to be done is to identify why you have a problem with procrastination so that you can attack it from the right angle. Is the job too difficult?  Is the task something that you just don’t enjoy doing?  Do you not have all of the items necessary to complete the task?

If the job seems too difficult, consider this – the fear of failing is one of the most common reasons why people procrastinate. A close second is a fear of success. In this case, it is not necessarily the job that needs to be done but rather, it’s the uncertainty of the outcome. If this sounds like you, the first thing you’ll want to work on is cultivating a positive attitude. You can start by focusing on the job at hand, and visualizing a positive outcome. Although this sounds simplistic, it really will make a difference.

Another reason the project could seem to be too difficult is because all of the small details can be overwhelming you. When this is the case, prioritizing the parts of the project will cut down on the feeling of overwhelm, and will help you in overcoming procrastination.

If you are procrastinating doing a task because it is something that you dislike doing, there are a couple of methods that you can employ.  The first is to impose a consequence on yourself if you don’t complete it in a certain amount of time.  For example, I know a couple who made a “deal” with one another.  The wife wanted to buy a set of exercise videos that she saw on an infomercial.  The husband agreed, saying that if she did not use the video a certain number of times a week for a set number of months, that he would be able to buy a really high-ticket item that she didn’t want to spend money on.  This really motivated her to keep up her end of the bargain!

On the flip side of that, you can offer yourself a reward for completing a task within a certain time frame.  (Though fear of consequence can be a very good motivator, a reward is generally nicer to work toward!)  Examples of motivating rewards might be a dinner at your favorite restaurant, a new golf club, getting your car detailed or an afternoon to spend browsing at your favorite bookstore.

One other reason why people procrastinate regularly is out of frustration due to not having the tools that you need. In this case, you will need to spend time gathering your resources (or getting help from somebody to do this).  Once you’ve gathered everything that you need, make sure to store everything together in one spot where you can easily access them.  Once you are able to start the job and work regularly on it, you will find that it is moving along nicely and your procrastination will disappear.

As a recovering procrastinator myself, I can tell you that it is very easy to justify your reasons for putting off the task. Don’t allow yourself to make the excuses.  You are now armed with some anti-procrastination tools, so don’t wait any longer to get started!   :o)

If I can be of any help, please leave me a comment by using the form below, or send me an email.

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