The Upside of Procrastination
Instead of seeing procrastination as a terrible thing, I now see it as a tool that helps me learn how I work best. Here are six different reasons why we seem to procrastinate…
and a few tips on what you can learn from (and do for) each.
Reason 1: You are procrastinating because you don’t enjoy the entire task or job.
Solution: One of my life coaches told me several years ago that if I didn’t like doing something, I should “delete it, delegate it, or automate it.” What a great way to look at things! I’m a big fan of ONLY doing tasks I enjoy or am good at. The rest I give to people who are good at it and/or enjoy it. (If you can’t afford to hire someone, try bartering.)
Reason 2: You are procrastinating because you don’t enjoy a PART of the entire task or job.
Solution: If you’re putting off a whole project just because there’s one part you don’t want to do, figure out how you can get away without doing that part. Again, delete it, delegate it, or automate it. Or, if applicable, ask a friend to do it with you; teamwork helps!
Reason 3: You are procrastinating because you don’t know how to handle the task or job.
Solution: The answer will not drop in your lap. Get help — a friend, co-worker, or family member to teach you how, a book or home study course to show you how, or give it to someone who can do it for you.
Reason 4: You are procrastinating because you simply can’t find the time.
Solution: Schedule future time to do it, or get rid of other tasks to create the time you need. If you still can’t do this, and timeliness is important, then find someone to do it for you. I put everything on my calendar, in time, so if the day is full, the item goes to an open day. And I try to space projects out so I don’t have too many going at once.
Reason 5: You are procrastinating because you feel stuck.
Solution: You may just need to jump start your momentum. Give yourself permission to do just one small part of the project. Or do the easiest part first to get you on a roll. This usually creates momentum, and you end up doing a lot more than you intended to! I have some coaching buddies who I’ll call sometimes for a “Do It Now” session, usually 3 hours…we call each other at the top of the hour and say what we’re going to accomplish; then we report back on our progress each hour…again, teamwork works for me!
Reason 6: You are procrastinating because you don’t really want to do what you thought you should do.
Solution: This means you may have the wrong objective or strategy in the first place! Is this something you really want to do, or do you just think you SHOULD do it? Or is it an old goal that doesn’t fit you anymore? Your answer may surprise you. Let the goal go for awhile and see what happens. Maybe this is someone else’s goal, not yours and you now have free time to do something you want to do!
Start Paying Attention!
Once you start paying attention to which activities you put off regularly, you’ll know sooner when to be stricter with yourself or find help to get those tasks accomplished in a more timely manner. So take a minute and make your list right now of what tasks you’ve been putting off! Don’t beat yourself up about it, just make a note and figure out how to get them done. (Or delete them and find an alternative to help you reach the same goal.)
Hope these tips help you find peace with your procrastination:)
(This is adaption from one of my previous coaches…)