Ok, I just binged watched about 14 YouTube videos when I have photos to edit, blog posts to write, laundry to do, proposals to write, and a business to work on (more on that coming soon!)
This my friends is what we call procrastination at its finest.
I haven’t done one of these free flowing blog posts in a while so I thought I would grab a cup of coffee and chat about a topic that I have been working extremely hard over the past few months to overcome: procrastination.
Simply put, procrastination is the act of delaying something without reason. Sometimes in life we put off doing something because we lack the time or resources to do it. Other times, we have everything we need to complete a task yet we still delay doing it seemingly without a valid reason.
I believe there is a reason for everything and discovering the true reasons behind my procrastination was the first step in correcting it.
Before I share with what I discovered to be my own personal reasons for procrastinating here a few common reasons why people in general procrastinate.
- You don’t feel passionate or engaged about the task or subject matter.
- The task at hand has been presented in a negative way.
- You are criticized about your ability to complete the task before you have a chance to complete it.
- The directions for completing a task are not clear and efforts to gain clarification were not successful.
- No timelines or deadlines have been set for the task.
- There is no foreseeable reward for completing the task.
- You are stressed or preoccupied by other life responsibilities.
- Your work area has too many distractions.
- You feel that no one will care about your work once the task is complete.
- You worry your work will not be perfect so you think it’s better to not do it at all.
- There are too many other commitments in your life causing you to feel overwhelmed.
- Someone in your life or immediate surroundings has expressed negative feelings about the task or subject matter.
- The task is not actually in your skill set or skill level but you agreed to complete it out of a feeling of obligation or guilt.
I can identify with many of the reasons above regarding why I have procrastinated about something. Do you see anything on the list that you connect with? Let’s discuss it in the comments section!
Recently I have been doing a lot of thinking about unfinished tasks and reasons why I have procrastinated about something. There are several reasons from the above list that I connect with including worrying about my work not being perfect. I have often worried that something I want to do will not turn out perfectly so I procrastinate to the point of not even doing it. With this digital age of so many lives being portrayed as “perfect” I feel I am not alone on this one. I am slowly overcoming this one by reminding myself (sometimes daily) that it is better to do something to the best of your ability than to not do it at all. Nothing will ever be completely perfect for everyone.
Another reason I have found myself procrastinating on something is that I have committed myself to too many things, making me feel paralyzed by the amount of things I have to get done. This causes me to procrastinate on certain items as I try to prioritize everything. My solution to this has been to be more selective with what I commit myself to. If I really don’t feel passionately about something I will politely decline or let the person know that I am interested but just not at this time due to other commitments. Yes, this method does mean that some people will feel let down but it is better to be upfront and honest with someone about your time and ability to complete a task rather than commit and never follow through.
Getting yourself organized both physically and mentally also plays a huge role in preventing procrastination. The more organized one area of your life is, the more organized you will be with the other areas. For example, if your work space is a mess and disorganized it may be harder to focus your mind and complete other tasks to the best of your ability. If you have procrastinated on organizing your physical space it harder to organize your mental space. Once your physical surroundings are in order, take time to organize your mental space. What I mean by this is you need to organize your thoughts to better understand your priorities. I am a huge advocate of journaling and list making. Making a to do list everyday is a good way to see the tasks that need to be completed and then identify items that need priority. Items that are in danger of procrastination should go at the top. You can even highlight them or write them in a different color. It may also help to set aside a certain amount of time each day for these items.
Ok, you procrastinated so much and the project is so delayed …can you ever recover? Yes. You can at the very least try. Of course this depends on the circumstances. Sometimes you will have missed an opportunity completely and you will have to take the loss and learn from your mistake. If possible though, try to finish the project and admit your error. Apologize if your delay has hurt or caused distress to someone else. Don’t forget to take time to think about why you procrastinated on this specific item and make a plan to correct your actions for the future.
Procrastination causes a domino effect of negative actions so if you can discover the real reason you are procrastinating you can reverse this effect and cause a chain reaction of positive behavior for the future.
We are all a work in progress.
Let me know your thoughts on the topic of procrastination down in the comments section. I would love to hear from you!
I hope you have a great day don’t forget to follow me on my other social media platforms to stay up to date with what I am doing (and hopefully not procrastinating on)
Check out another motivational post HERE