How To Live Above Procrastination
18 Aug 2017
You will be surprised at the alarming number of people who are finding it difficult to get things done because of procrastination; it becomes a real problem if it is robust enough to reduce your effectiveness and overall productivity. Procrastination can pin you down with such intense force that your potential will never see the light of day and your career (or business) prospects will always be dwarfed by this menace that fuels your limiting beliefs and cause you to struggle for growth. In many cases there can be no growth unless one is able to rise above this scourge called procrastination.
Procrastination involves putting off the most important things for others that are not so important but are more enjoyable. Things like not doing the dishes immediately while prioritising checking other people’s profiles on Facebook, postponing the research on your business idea unendingly while following the latest rumor in the tabloids. Basically, being very busy without any results and repeatedly failing to meet or beat deadlines. Procrastination puts you in place where immediate rewards seem more valuable than future rewards.
- You need to consciously recognise that you are procrastinating
The first step to solving any problem is to recognise the problem itself and how it came to be. Beating procrastination starts with realising that you are already falling into its pit again and again. Once you have recognised it you’ll need to realise that, at this point, you can still turn the tables around and all it will take is an honest conversation with yourself. Taking responsibility immediately puta you in charge. The truth is that procrastination doesn’t just happen, it starts with a little indulgence and grows into a mechanical monster that becomes difficult to tame; the best time to kill it is when it is still an indulgence. The early signs of procrastination include but are not limited to simple things like wasting time to make a cup of coffee instead of getting started on a high-profile task, choosing simpler tasks instead of taking the most important ones. The most common one is always waiting for deadline day before completing projects and telling yourself you could always do it tomorrow.
- Recognise the consequences and make them more immediate.
The reason the subject of procrastination is so common is that it has such a tremendous negative effect on human productivity. The guilt, shame and anxiety that results from acting against your better judgment is totally debilitating. But even worse are the results that could turn up in your life if you fail to complete the tasks that are critical to your survival or well-being. It is often the recognition of these consequences that leads people to frantically take last minute action to complete tasks. When people realise that their job could be on the line or their source of livelihood could be in jeopardy or they might fail to graduate from college, they will frantically take the necessary actions. Whatever the case maybe, recognition of consequences has the impact of jolting one into action. So the earlier you recognise the consequences and realise their impact the more driven you would be to take action to complete your important tasks even if you find them unpleasant or difficult or challenging in the current moment.
- Make your tasks more achievable
One of the primary reasons for procrastination is the sheer overwhelming nature of some of the things we have to do. A report will seem humongous if you consider that is it going to be a 5000-word document, for example. Where would you even start, you ask yourself. One great way of making tasks more achievable is to break them down into smaller, manageable chunks. Using the example of the 5000-word document, you could simply allocate yourself 30 minutes of writing as many words as you can at a time and focusing only on each allocated chunk of 30 minutes that you have available. At the end of every allocated 30 minutes you will have the satisfaction of looking back at what you have already achieved. That will have the effect of making rewards of acting more immediate. Once you begin this routine it’s often less painful to keep working, once you start something it’s easier to keep going. Small measures of progress help to maintain momentum over the long-term, which means you’re more likely to finish larger, more demanding tasks.
- Have an accountability partner.
In order to fight back procrastination with precise and deliberate actions one can benefit from having someone to be accountable to. Once you realize that you are procrastinating, you will need the willpower and the commitment to take the bull by the horns and aim to beat procrastination today and every other day. Reporting yourself to someone and authorizing the person to keep you accountable to doing the things you need to be doing is a sure way of lighting a fire under your seat, especially if the person you choose is someone who is really interested in your growth and development. The person can help remind you about the consequences of your delay and inaction, ensure that you reward yourself for completing the task, have a to-do list with a time attached to them and meeting the timelines you set for yourself. This is the part that a great coach or mentor can play. They will not be able to do the work for you, that’s still your responsibility, but they will hold you accountable.
Remember that while procrastination may seek to master you, how you respond to it is what defines you and how productive you will be in the long run. One particular character trait of successful people is their ability to beat back the lure of procrastination on a consistent basis. Master procrastination and you will see how much difference that makes in your life, your career, your health and in your own business.
I hope you found this short guide on procrastination useful. If you’re looking for more ideas on how to take your life to the next level of success, then check out more of my articles at www.wellofinspiration.co
If you like this article, please feel free to leave a comment below and share it with your network. The more we discuss these life issues, the better our chance of making a difference. You can see more of my work here, but if it works better for you, drop me a message in my inbox, I’d love to have a conversation with you.