Stop Procrastination if you want to achieve anything in life now or in the future.
Procrastination is probably the number one cause for people to be disorganized, not achieve what they want, and not be the best they could be. People don’t realize that all you need is the right tools to conquer it.
Let’s brush away the reasons why you might be procrastinating, and we will leave you with no excuse to get it done.
“I haven’t got the time right now.”
This is the most popular excuse for procrastinators. The thing is, you are probably right.
You have not got the whole block of time it takes to tackle the spare room, the whole of the ironing pile, or the complete reorganization of the kitchen. But you have got 10 minutes, or maybe even 20 or 30. And that is all it takes to make a start.
Start by sorting through one box, ironing 10 or 20 items, tackling one single drawer. And if you do that every day, you will realize that you are making slow but steady progress.
If you find yourself still procrastinating, there must be other, deeper-rooted reasons behind that. These possible other reasons fall into two categories, one concerning the project itself, the others your personality style.
First, let’s look at the project itself. The project might be perceived as:
2. Too difficult
4. Impossible to finish
5. Waste of time
1. If a project or the outcome of the project is perceived as threatening, thoughts like “I’m in trouble if I get this wrong” might be going through your head. In this case, a natural reaction is not to start the project at all or not to progress beyond a certain point to avoid failure. In cases like this, make sure you have all the facts right.
“What is the worst thing that could happen – realistically?” “How likely is this to happen?”
“What exactly do I need to do to get it right?”
“Have I got all the skills and abilities to do this project?” – If the answer is no, then you should probably consider getting someone to help.
2. If you think a project is too difficult, you might never start it. Sit down and think about what is difficult. Are you just unsure of how to start and how to break the project into smaller manageable chunks? Find an expert on the subject, someone who has done a similar project before, and ask for help.
3. If you think a project is tedious, try and make it more interesting; see how much you can achieve in a certain amount of time, and then for the next chunk, see if you can beat your previous record. Or put some of your favorite music on while you work.
4. If you think a project is impossible to finish, either it’s the type of project that never ends (like housework), or it is a large project. Again, breaking it up into smaller portions will help. Set yourself a daily target.
5. Finally, if you consider the project a waste of time, re-evaluate it. Does it need to be done? Is it merely one of those jobs that regularly needs to be redone, like tidying up or ironing. Use one of the solutions from number 4 to get the job done. Some jobs do seem to be a waste of time, but we would sink into crud and chaos if we didn’t do them at all.
The second set of reasons is to do with someone’s personality. These could be:
2. Thriving on adrenaline
3. Lack of self-confidence
4. Internalized negatives
5. Externalized positives
Let’s look at these hurdles to getting things done in detail, see what they are about and how they manifest and what you can do about them.
1. A lot of people have a perfectionist trait. This kind of mindset is acceptable if that perfect condition is feasible and you have a good track record of starting and finishing your projects. If you don’t, then your perfectionism is probably an excuse for not starting the project at all.
2. “I work better under pressure.” We all know people like that, and we might have used that phrase ourselves. Again, there are two ways of dealing with this.
Number one, it’s a good excuse not to start until the last possible moment, and it’s merely a way to put things off. Divide your project into segments and do one each day until it’s done.
If you work better under pressure, and some of us do, then make the project more challenging. Set mini-goals with a shorter deadline. This way, you keep yourself on your toes but are still making timely progress towards your end goal.
Also, get a project buddy. Tell someone about your project and the deadline. Make yourself accountable. And be sure that particular someone is a person who will check up on you.
3. If you suffer from a lack of self-confidence and feel that you can’t tackle the project, find out what the first thing is you need to do to start the project. Do that, and then find out the next step and so on. Also, divide the project into smaller chunks.
4. Internalizing negatives means that you always look for faults within yourself. If you do this, you will quite easily come up with negative emotions, such as “I’m lazy, that’s why I don’t get things done,” or “I’m stupid, that’s why I don’t know where to start.” I can assure you that none of this is true. You might lack motivation or not be an expert on a particular subject, but you can easily do something about that.
Think of a treat that you reward yourself with once you have completed the first part of the task, and then keep rewarding yourself for every bit you achieve until the project is completed. Also, there is no shame in asking people for help and advice on tackling a particular project.
5. Externalized positives are usually the reverse side of the same coin as internalized negatives. It means that you attribute anything positive that you do to outside influences and not to your skills and abilities, such as “I was lucky last time, and it was easy. I could never do that again.” It is usually a sign of a lack of self-confidence.
Achieving something has most often nothing to do with luck, so stop the procrastination. It is more likely to be the result of hard work and skill.
When you found something easy, then you had the skills and talent to do it and nothing less.
Any more excuses?
I guess not; think about it; the energy that you use to make all the excuses can be best put to use by actually doing the work.
So what’s stopping you now?
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To your success
Your Coach Lionel Sanabria