Think back to how you handled your school projects. When you got an assignment…
A) You laid out a plan right away and thought of everything you needed to get it done. You had a schedule and stuck to it to get the work behind you early.
B) You gave the assignment some thought, but took your time getting around to what you had to do. You finished it, but with only a day to spare.
C) You never gave it a thought until you were hit in the face (usually by someone from Group A) saying, ”Hey, did you start that project yet? It’s due in 2 days!” You were frantic trying to get things done and were either just under the wire, or a little bit late.
- If you fall into Group A— good for you. You plan ahead and make your time work for you.
- Group B — it’s great that you finished it in time but imagine how much better it could have been if you started sooner and you were less stressed out about finishing.
- Okay Group C — or should I say adrenaline junkie – you obviously thrive on working under the wire, but aren’t you tired of racing for every deadline?
If you fell into Group C, although you may like the rush of working under the wire, in the long run it’s holding you back. It might be time for you to try to figure out why you’re always cutting it so close.
Everyone procrastinates on something at some point, and it’s not always due to lack of discipline. Often, it’s due to lack of insight into the project or task.
What’s Your Reason?
People give many different reasons for procrastinating. Some of the best ones are:
“I don’t want them to think I don’t know what I’m doing”
“I don’t have time to make it perfect”
“I don’t know what to work on first”
“I work better under pressure”
“It’s boring, I’d rather do something else”
“I’m not even sure what I’m supposed to be doing”
In working with my clients, I’ve learned that there are many reasons why people procrastinate-and it’s never a simple answer.
Sometimes they’re being forced to do something. A project may bring back bad memories. The person may not be confident enough to do the work, or they simply have too much on their plate.
Whatever the reason, don’t put yourself on a guilt trip if you do
procrastinate once in a while.
Do you feel you have a black belt in procrastination?
Here’s a list of procrastination busters-listed in no particular order-that might help. Pick one and give it a try. If it doesn’t work…there’s bound to be one idea here to help you!
- Figure out why you’ve been procrastinating in the first place.
- Tackle that dreaded project.
- Say “no” to the things that aren’t as important.
- Dodge interruptions.
- Place deadlines on all tasks that you have been putting off.
- List the advantages of doing the task and compare them with the consequences of not doing it.
- List the things you have been putting off, choose the simplest task and do it.
- Decide on a reward for finishing a task that you have been delaying.
- Break down the overwhelming tasks into chunks and do them a little at a time.
- Schedule the task in your prime time when you are at your peak mentally and physically.
- If the task you’ve been putting off is work-related, put the project paperwork on your desk when you go home so it will be visible when you arrive the next morning.
- Commit yourself to do the task at a definite time and tell others of your plans.
- Get help and share the task with others willing or able to help.
- Keep telling yourself, “If it’s unpleasant, I’ll do it now and get it over with.”
- If you tend to be a perfectionist, recognize that good is good enough and that it’s better to get it done than to wait until it’s “perfect. “
- If you’re afraid of failing, acknowledge the fear and do it anyway.
- Disorganization breeds procrastination, so get organized.
- Tackle the distasteful tasks when you’re in a good mood.
- Don’t wait until you have more time.
- Think about what you like about the project and focus on that.
If you’re struggling with procrastination and need a little help to kick it-schedule a Discovery Session so we can dig a little deeper on your reasons why.