We know it needs doing. Yet, we sit and stare at our screens. Unable to get started. As the deadline looms, the pressure builds. Finally, when we realise we mightn’t get it done in time, we suddenly get going. Panic and impatience begin to kick in. We start to rush. Feelings of stress aren’t far behind. By now we’re in a time management spiral
Procrastinating our Way to Failure
Some argue they need the pressure of a deadline to find their motivation. In some cases that may be true. However, most of the time our ‘motivation’ comes from the knowledge we’re already falling behind time. The impact of procrastination goes beyond the stress we place on ourselves. Delays that hinder our coworkers. Result in poor quality delivery, unhappy clients. And ultimately, lost business. Do we really want this kind of ‘motivation’?
Why do We Procrastinate?
Our overall motivation levels will often drive how much we procrastinate. The less motivated we are, the more likely we’re to procrastinate. If we’re not sure what we want from work, business, career, life, we can end up drifting. A feeling ‘of what’s the point’ can manifest itself as procrastination. Not feeling that something is important. A lack of interest in the subject. Or not knowing how to accomplish the task are also common reasons to put things off
Procrastination is a Symptom, Find the Cause
Procrastination can often be a symptom of something deeper. What’s the underlying cause?
- The impact of not being content goes far beyond time management. It encroaches on every aspect of our lives. If this is you, seek support (whatever that may mean). We all deserve to be happy
- Do you know what you want from life, your business, your work? Motivation comes easily when we know where we’re heading. What we’re aiming at. We’ll also know what’s important. And this means we can prioritise. (I will discuss ‘Goal Setting’ in a future post, so watch this space!)
- Is what you’re doing interesting? Are you good at it? If either the answer to either is ‘no’, then motivation is going to be harder to come by. Of course, we can’t only do the things we enjoy, and we’re good at. However, we can tackle the less enjoyable, more difficult tasks easier if we’re in the right frame of mind. Set yourself a block of time to complete the task. And concentrate on it. If you complete it on time, reward yourself. That reward could be time spent on a more enjoyable piece of work
Whatever’s causing you to procrastinate. Unhappy clients, disappointed colleagues, overworking and stress aren’t cures. Take the time to look at you. To work out what’s causing you to procrastinate. Once we’ve identified what’s causing us to procrastinate, fixing the underlying cause can often be straightforward
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