Let’s Talk About...Procrastination!
Today we are kicking off a three-week series where we’re going to talk about a few of my favorite “P” words (and no…it’s not a discussion on Pinot Grigio, pedicures, and Pilates – although, if you want to talk about those things – we can arrange that!)
This week I’m talking about…P-R-O-C-R-A-S-T-I-N-A-T-I-O-N.
Yes, I know this is a topic that people often want to avoid…no pun intended.
But we need to talk about it.
Because we all do it.
Yes, ALL of us.
So, let’s look at WHY we do it – and what we can do to stop ourselves from doing it.
Why You Procrastinate
If you ask someone why they procrastinate, you could hear a hundred different reasons. But I would bet that you never hear the REAL reason.
Procrastination is not a matter of you being lazy.
Procrastination is not due to a lack of self-control.
Procrastination is not a matter of motivation.
Procrastination is not because you lack self-discipline.
You are not lazy. You have self-control. You are motivated. You have self-discipline. I know that about you – because you wouldn’t be doing all the great things you’re doing without those things.
But…and it’s a big BUT…
Procrastination happens because you are scared, fearful, or anxious about the task in front of you.
How’s that for a giant, ol’ truth bomb?
Have you ever found yourself putting off a project at work because you’re anxious about the results? Or not tackling a difficult conversation because you’re nervous or scared about the reaction you might get? Even when it comes to scheduling a doctor’s appointment or cleaning the garage – it’s because you’re most likely anxious about something!
So all that time you spend completing the small tasks at work (instead of that big project that NEEDS to get done) or scrolling social media or doodling on your notepad in the meeting (even though you have something to say) are ways of procrastinating.
And it’s just a way of avoiding those feelings or emotions that might make us a bit uncomfortable – even if they never, ever happen. (Because isn’t it true that 99% of the time, our worst-case scenarios never actually occur?)
So not that this truth bomb has been put out there…it’s essential that we know what to do to overcome procrastination.
How Do You Overcome Procrastination?
Now, once again, total honesty here – overcoming procrastination is easier said than done. Why? Because those feelings that come up that make you want to avoid the task at hand are powerful!
Being scared, fearful, or anxious can be paralyzing.
But if you want to take your life or your career to that next level and kick ass on all of those goals you’ve set – you can’t let procrastination become the standard.
So here’s what you do:
***Go easy on yourself
Yes, even after you’ve read this blog and made a vow to yourself to never procrastinate again – it’s going to happen. Don’t beat yourself up over it.
***Ignore the feelings and focus on the actions needed to accomplish the task
All right, this is HUGE! You are going to ignore those feelings that are making you uncomfortable – and put 100% of your efforts into the actions that need to happen. For instance, if I need to have a difficult conversation with a coworker, I take a few moments to gather my thoughts, go over what I’m going to say, prepare myself for any pushback, and then I have the conversation. And guess what? When it’s done – it’s never as bad as I imagined, and I feel like a million bucks because the task is done.
***Small steps will help build your confidence
For most of us, the big tasks and goals we want to tackle at home or at work are made up of small tasks. And when we accomplish those small tasks – take those small steps – we build our confidence. So take the small steps!!! When you’re successful in the small things it’s going to make you feel like you can take on those big tasks like a boss!
***Understand that time is something you can’t get back
And finally, understand that time is something you are never going to get back. You just can’t. And procrastination is just a big timesuck!
Right now, I want you to think about one thing you’ve been procrastinating about. It doesn’t matter if it’s something at work or at home – but I want you to get it done this week! Yes, that’s my challenge for you!
Go forth and conquer that task! No more procrastinating!