It’s half way through the year, how time flies. You’re far behind the goals you set for yourself in the beginning of the year, you are actually still giving excuses for haven’t launched the business idea you’ve had since last year, while silently cursing yourself for not starting it.
How did this happen? What went wrong? Why did you lose your focus?
Well, there were the times you spent making the wrong phone calls, having the wrong and sometimes long conversation, spending more time on social media, spending too much time on trying to figure out a single goal.
Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone!
Procrastination is a trap that many of us fall into. In fact, according to researchers, 95 percent of us procrastinate to some degree. While it may be comforting to know that you’re not alone, it can be sobering to realize just how much it can hold you back.
Is Procrastination the Same as Being Lazy?
Procrastination is often confused with laziness, but they are very different.
Procrastination is an active process – you choose to do something else instead of the task that you know you should be doing. In contrast, laziness suggests apathy, inactivity and an unwillingness to act.
Procrastination usually involves ignoring an unpleasant, but likely more important task, in favor of one that is more enjoyable or easier.
But giving in to this impulse can have serious consequences. For example, even minor episodes of procrastination can make us feel guilty or ashamed. It can lead to reduced productivity and cause us to miss out on achieving our goals.
If we procrastinate over a long period of time, we can become demotivated and disillusioned with our work, which can lead to depression and even job loss, in extreme cases. so let us move on to how procrastination can be a thing of the past.
1. Recognize That You’re Procrastinating
You might be setting aside a task because you’ve had to re-prioritize your workload. If you’re briefly delaying an important task for a genuinely good reason, then you aren’t necessarily procrastinating. However, if you start to set aside things indefinitely, or switch focus because you want to avoid doing something, then you probably are.
You may also be procrastinating if you:
- Fill your day with low-priority tasks.
- Leave an item on your To-Do list for a long time, even though it’s important.
- Fill your time with unimportant tasks that other people ask you to do, instead of getting on with the important tasks already on your To-Do list.
- Wait to be in “right mood,” or wait for the “right time” to tackle a task or launch an idea.
2. Figure Out WHY You’re Procrastinating
You need to understand the reasons why you are procrastinating before you can begin to tackle it.
For instance, are you avoiding a particular task because you find it boring or unpleasant? If so, take steps to get it out of the way quickly, so that you can focus on the aspects of your job that you find more enjoyable.
Poor organization can lead to procrastination. Organized people successfully overcome it because they use prioritized To-Do list and create effective schedules. These tools help you to organize your tasks by priority and deadline.
Even if you’re organized, you can still feel overwhelmed by a task. Perhaps you have doubts about your ability and are worried about failing, so you put it off and seek comfort in doing work that you know that you’re capable of completing.
Some people fear success as much as failure. They think that success will lead to them being swamped with requests to take on more tasks. well, this is the reason why some people are yet to launch their business ideas. LOL
Another major cause of procrastination is poor decision-making. If you can’t decide what to do, you’ll likely put off taking action in case you do the wrong thing.
3. Tackle it Anti-Procrastination Strategies
Procrastination is a habit – a deeply ingrained pattern of behavior. This means that you probably can’t break it overnight. Habits only stop being habits when you avoid practicing them, so try as many of the strategies, below, as possible to give yourself the best possible chance of succeeding.
- Forgive yourself for procrastinating in the past. Studies show that self-forgiveness can help you to feel more positive about yourself and reduce the likelihood of procrastination in the future.
- Commit to the task. Focus on doing, not avoiding. Write down the tasks that you need to complete, and specify a time for doing them. This will help you to proactively tackle your work.
- Promise yourself a reward. If you complete a difficult task on time, reward yourself with a treat, such as a suya or shawarma from your favorite shawarma shop. And make sure you notice how good it feels to finish things!
- Ask someone to check up on you. Peer pressure works! This is the principle behind self-help groups. If you don’t have anyone to ask, search for tools online, that can help you to self-monitor.
- Act as you go. Tackle tasks as soon as they arise, rather than letting them build up over another day.
- Rephrase your internal dialog. The phrases “need to” and “have to,” for example, imply that you have no choice in what you do. This can make you feel disempowered and might even result in self-sabotage. However, saying, “I choose to,” implies that you own a project, and can make you feel more in control of your workload.
- Minimize distractions. Turn off your whatsapp and social media, and avoid sitting anywhere near a television while you work!
Thanks for reading, I hope this helps. drop a comment and kindly share the article with your loved ones.