Podcast Episode 99 — Reasons for Procrastination
Today I want to talk to you about procrastination.
We all procrastinate. Yes, even me. I know why I do it and have come to understand that when I’m procrastinating, I’m avoiding doing something else. Avoidance is one of the classic reasons for procrastination. It makes sense. If you don’t want to do something or dread it, of course you will find an infinite number of things to do instead.
Here are some other reasons why people procrastinate:
Indecision. Do you have difficulty making decisions? If so, that may be what’s causing your procrastination. Instead of deciding, you keep coming up with more ideas to consider. Try to pare down your realistic options into 2 or 3 choices and make the best one.
Perfectionism. Does everything have to be perfect before you take action? This could be the cause of your procrastination. Realize that nothing is perfect, and do your best. There is a common saying — “Done is better than perfect.” I’m not saying don’t put your best work out there, but don’t let your perfectionism keep you from acting.
The “last-minute rush.” Sometimes, if we’ve gotten used to working under pressure, we don’t feel motivated to get our work done unless we have the challenge of a deadline. Essentially, we don’t do our work until we face a deadline. If this is you, perhaps it’s time to find alternative ways to motivate yourself and get out of the last-minute rush cycle.
How you think about your tasks also affects your motivation and productivity — and ultimately whether or not you will procrastinate. Here’s what I mean:
Dreading the task. Funnily enough, worrying about or dreading a job can often be worse than actually doing the task. If you dread a specific task, try writing down why you are procrastinating. Once you do that, it may help you to move forward. You can also set a deadline for yourself — and a reward for when you finish.
For example, if you dread gathering the paperwork you need to file your taxes, give yourself a deadline — next Tuesday by 5 pm or tomorrow by 3 pm. If you get it done, take yourself to a movie, buy yourself a new book, get a pedicure — whatever it will take…