Have you ever found yourself staring at a blank screen with a deadline approaching, yet you just can’t seem to bring yourself to start working on it?
Or perhaps you’ve started, but you’re not making any real progress, and it feels like you’re stuck in quicksand. Well, welcome to the world of procrastination, where everyone lives, but some people procrastinate more than others.
Contrary to popular belief, procrastination is not a sign of laziness.
It’s quite the opposite.
Our biggest procrastination is usually the task we need to do the most. So why do we continue to procrastinate? It’s because procrastination is a form of avoidance behaviour, and it’s usually triggered by either the fear of what we need to do or the discomfort around it.
The key to overcoming procrastination is to address the underlying issue. If you can identify the specific triggers for procrastination, you can effectively overcome it. Procrastination is often a symptom of a deeper issue like fear of failure, lack of motivation, or feeling overwhelmed by the task at hand. Understanding the root cause of your procrastination can help you find a solution that works for you.
For example, if you procrastinate on tasks that you find uninteresting, try to reframe your thinking and focus on the benefits of completing the task once it’s done. On the other hand, if you procrastinate due to feeling overwhelmed, break the task into smaller manageable pieces or delegate some of it to others.
In addition to addressing the underlying issue and identifying triggers, creating a plan for avoiding these triggers in the future can also help. If you tend to procrastinate when working from home due to distractions, set aside specific times for work and create a dedicated workspace that minimizes distractions.
We all procrastinate, but the goal is to procrastinate less. Here are a few tips to overcome procrastination:
- The Five-Minute Rule: This is a simple technique that involves committing to work on a task for just five minutes. The idea is that once you get started, you’ll often find that you continue working for longer and the momentum of taking action will carry you forward.
- Breaking down large tasks: One of the reasons why we procrastinate is because a task may seem too overwhelming or too large to tackle. To overcome this, it can be helpful to break down large tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks. This way, you can focus on completing one step at a time, making the task feel less daunting and help you make progress toward your goal.
- Eliminating distractions: Distractions can be a major hindrance when focusing on a task. Whether it’s notifications from your phone, email, or social media, it’s essential to eliminate these distractions as much as possible. Consider turning off notifications, working quietly, or using tools like Focus@Will to help you focus.
- Creating a timeline: Another way to overcome procrastination is by creating a timeline for your task or project. This will help you stay on track, prioritize tasks, and hold yourself accountable. It can also help you visualize your progress and give you a sense of accomplishment as you complete each step.
- Setting deadlines: Deadlines are an excellent motivator for overcoming procrastination. They give you a sense of urgency and help you stay focused. Make sure to set realistic deadlines, but also be willing to adjust them if necessary.
- Finding a support system: Finally, finding a support system can be extremely helpful in overcoming procrastination. This can include friends, family, coworkers, or even a therapist. Having someone to hold you accountable, encourage, and help you stay motivated can be the extra push you need to overcome your tendency to procrastinate.
Procrastination is a common issue faced by everyone. But by understanding the root cause and identifying the triggers, you can overcome it effectively. So let’s start taking action and break free from procrastination!
Here’s a link to my Procrastination Activator worksheet and video that can help you get started.
This article was based on an episode of the Business Owner Breakthrough podcast entitled Overcoming Procrastination.