Picking up right where we left off with last week’s article….
Another reason or trigger for procrastination could be the anger felt at having a task forced upon you, when you are either unwilling or uninterested in it, and have expressed so and been ignored. This certainly could cause feelings of resentment and result in avoidance, yes?
- Overload & Inability to Prioritize
- Poor Time Management
- Poor Self-Esteem
So we’ve hit on seven causes or triggers of procrastination and there are plenty more, but all for next time.
It’s obvious that there are many different reasons why people procrastinate, and this is a crummy habit that many people are consorting with daily.
Worthy of note, there is a difference between being momentarily lazy, and procrastination as habit. By identifying the reason/trigger for your procrastination, you will be able to challenge it and finally get your work done and in short order.
Effects of Procrastination
People who procrastinate develop feelings of guilt and stress, as the work piles up and becomes urgent. Procrastination on its own is something I’ve called, Practicing for Death. Very little describes it better….
Others have said the procrastination is the grave of opportunity. Indeed, procrastinate today and you lose countless opportunities that could have blossomed had you not procrastinated.
Procrastination really is a mess, with a slew of negative effects on your job, relationships and mental health.
People who procrastinate tend to be disorganized, as they neglect the important or the urgent work in favor of simple and EZ tasks. This leads to a pile up of tasks that soon turn urgent even if they are not important.
This leads to the individual finding it difficult to cope and rushing to deliver the urgent tasks, with little time to properly consider or evaluate their jobs. He will soon find himself perpetually stressed and overwhelmed. All that stuff that runs parallel with feelings of guilt and self-blame trigger even more bad feelings when he realizes that he could have gotten these tasks done long before they became urgent.
Due to the fear of being unable to deliver their tasks by the deadlines, or the fear of the results of doing so, procrastinators tend to start avoiding the people they have to report to, or the location itself. For example, they may call in sick to avoid having to explain why they cannot submit their work. Oft times, people procrastinate because they feel that they cannot adequately handle or complete the task, and hence choose to avoid it altogether.
3) Lost Opportunities
Whether at work or in school for your kids…pushing off the work that should have been done today causes you to lose out on opportunities that could get you ahead…way ahead… in life. A piece of work consistently well done, and a reputation for being stable and dependable could well get you the promotion that you have been eyeing.
A few ounces of procrastination can make all that disappear. Likewise, an individual who always hands in work late or incomplete and below the expected standards will not make it far in life, assuming he can keep his job in the first place.
4) Your Relationships
A chronic procrastinator soon finds himself procrastinating even the simplest things that he has promised, simply because he did not mean to or sincerely want to finish the task.
You can find yourself promising your wife to fix up the shelves that she needs in the pantry, or to do your share of household chores. And yet you procrastinate till she has to call someone in to fix it, or do it herself. She gets upset, and so do you.
….all because of this stupid thing people are so good at….
Procrastination can wreck havoc on your relationships. Not just your wife, but your children and your friends.
Promised your kids you will teach them to play baseball? …or your friends that contact for a job interview, and never got round to doing it?
You will soon find yourself earning the irritation of the people around you.
All because of perpetual delay….
A Few Ideas to Reduce Procrastination
Procrastination is a bad habit that can turn into a rapidly downward spiraling journey. It starts off innocently as an avoidance of tasks and responsibilities that need to be fulfilled, but if allowed to develop, can turn into a nasty habit.
There are a lot of negative and harmful effects of procrastination. It is so important that you learn to recognize the signs and take action to stop procrastinating…now.
My best encouragement is to not think in terms of just doing little things to feel “success”, but to attack BIG PROJECTS and do them to completion TODAY.
If you have acknowledged that you have a problem, it’s time you sat up and did something about it. DON’T go to Procrastinators Anonymous! That’s doing the same thing.
Don’t let procrastination ruin your life, relationships and job.
Try one or more of these….
#1: Get It Done Thinking
Your responsibilities can be done; no matter how daunting and challenging they may seem initially. Tell yourself that you WILL do it, and that you choose to do so. Recognize the fact that procrastinating is deadly, and that you choose to overcome it, either by speaking to someone you trust to guide you, or by buckling down and making stuff happen.
The key here is that you want to overcome your habit of procrastinating, and that you choose to MOVE on what has to be done.
#2: Be Well Equipped
Part of getting any task done is having the right tools to do it. Make sure that you are well equipped mentally as well as physically. If it is an assignment that is due, make sure that you have done your research, or spoken to the clients, supervisors, tutors or superiors that you should have spoken to. Draw up a schedule to help you plan out what needs to be done, and what you have to do to accomplish your task.
#3: Be Realistic
It is impossible to suddenly stop procrastinating. Understand that it is as much a bad habit similar to smoking or drugs, and you need consistent protracted effort to overcome this problem. Set yourself realistic goals, and draw up a chart to show yourself improving.
Give yourself rewards for finishing IMPORTANT tasks on time and before deadlines. With regards to your responsibilities, make realistic plans on how to go about doing them. Do not expect yourself to finish a 10,000 word project in a day. Space out your preparation and actual work over a reasonable amount of time.
You have a dozen tasks to complete, but you need to pick one.
I’ve learned that when 20 things need to be done and you feel overwhelmed, the answer is to GRAB ONE and DO IT NOW.
Just don’t pick some wimpy and EZ-to-do project. GET SOMETHING DONE THAT MATTERS.
Draw up a GET DONE TODAY list, and mark each item as A/B/C/D Do the A/B tasks that are most important first. Plan your time wisely and allow for short coffee breaks, which are just as important for you to unwind and relax your mind so that you don’t get too stressed.
I like 15-minute pillow stops every few hours.
I can pound out a lot of words or stuff in a half day but my brain can become mush easily. When it does, I get up and find my pillow and bury my face in it for 15 minutes, then get back to what’s at hand.
There is everything good about taking 10 when you need it.
#5 Take Action and Set Big BUT DOABLE Targets
It is one thing to acknowledge a problem, and quite another to be willing to stand up and take control of your life.
There’s no point in saying, “Yes I have a problem”, and not taking any action to curb it or cure the problem.
It is simply a matter of having a positive and a “DO IT UNTIL IT IS DONE” attitude.
Don’t think in terms of procrastinating, think in terms of getting STUFF DONE NOW.
I’ve identified 12 of the life patterns which cause us to trip up – and make the same mistakes again and again. To discover which of the 12 patterns you have been the victim of and how to eliminate self-sabotage in your life (or those of your clients) you can pick up the CD program and workbook, LIFESTORMS: The Paradox of Overcoming Self Sabotage to Achieve Love, Power, Money and Happiness.
Lifestorms: 12 Obstacles to Achievement: The Paradox of Overcoming Self Sabotage to Achieve Love, Power, Money and Happiness.
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- Do you ever know you should start on a project but don’t?
- Do you have projects that you have started but never finished?
- Do you ever say the one wrong thing at the wrong time?
- Have you ever had things going well in life only to have everything blow up in a day?
- Have you tried to be so careful not to make a mistake that you were shocked when you made a truly costly one?
- Have you ever promised yourself to stay out of trouble in some way only to find yourself in the same trouble or worse again?
Now you can discover your own life patterns so you can eliminate unconscious self sabotage immediately. This program will break the heavy chains that hold you from your dreams and your goals.
This program is the first program ever made public that shows you how to identify specific self sabotaging behaviors and negative life patterns. Better? You can ultimately erase those life patterns and rewrite new “schemas” into your brain that will allow you to meet your goals and experience fulfilling relationships.
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- How to identify which of the 12 negative life patterns you live.
- How to find the triggers of the lifestorms that you just can’t believe you experience.
- How to change the self sabotage into success, happiness or something productive.
- How to remove almost all obstacles between you and your goals.
- How to understand those around you so you don’t push their buttons.
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See Part III of this article series:
Overcoming Procrastination The New Way