Surely you procrastinate at one time or another – or maybe all the time. Even if you’re one of those unusual folks who only procrastinate occasionally, you’ll find some helpful hints here for managing this habit.
How Procrastination Affects You
We procrastinate for a number of reasons. Some of them include:
We’re afraid the task is going to be difficult, we’re going to fail at it, it’s going to be unpleasant, and so on.
it’s easy to procrastinate doing something you just don’t want to do. However if we all did that, the dishes would never get washed and the laundry would never get done. Unless of course you enjoy doing those things.
This parallels fear. When someone is expecting something from us and we’re anxious about their expectations from us, it can cause procrastination.
How Procrastination Affects Business Owners
Regardless of the reasons we procrastinate, the end result is the same. We end up forced into crunch time. Now instead of a week or a month to get something accomplished, we have a day or even an hour. It creates tremendous amounts of stress, and not the good kind either.
The stress procrastination creates is bad for our physical and mental health. We can become fatigued, we don’t take care of ourselves and insomnia, depression, and even overeating can result.
Procrastination also creates burnout. It can actually be a vicious circle. You procrastinate because you’re burned out and then when you’re under pressure it facilitates the burnout. The end result is you’re just not enjoying what you’re doing and you don’t want to do it. Nothing feels the same anymore and you’re no longer enthusiastic and positive.
Procrastination also inhibits productivity. When you procrastinate about doing something and then have to push through it, the end result is often a task that takes much longer to accomplish than it would have if you’d been able to focus on it with some energy and enthusiasm.
Procrastination, as we’ve already talked about, can cause a lack of productivity, burnout and stress. It can also lead to an inferior product, program, or service. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing or you’re worried about the outcome or you have to rush through it, the end result can be something you’re just not proud of.
Procrastination can also make you lose enthusiasm for a business you once loved.
The cure for Procrastination
Getting your tasks completed on time is a sign that you have control over yourself and your life. You’ll enjoy the feeling of having more control over your life! You’ll be free from that familiar chaos that ensues each time a deadline looms or you finish a task late.
Following these tips can help you put procrastination in its place – in your past:
1. It’s largely about the pain.
Now or later? Do you want to suffer now or suffer later? Those who get things done on time would rather just get it over with. Those who procrastinate would rather wait.
- As a procrastinator, you usually get active when the pain of doing it is less than the pain of not doing it. The ironic thing is that by waiting, the pain is far greater than if the task would’ve been managed earlier.
- Getting it done now just makes so much more sense. You’ll suffer less in the long run and you won’t have the mental challenge of the task hanging over your head for days or weeks.
2. Change your mindset.
Instead of thinking about how much you don’t want to do it, try focusing on how good you’ll feel when you’re done!
- Try to associate as much positive feeling as you can about getting it done and out of the way. When you can think about the task and feel positive about it, it’s as good as finished.
- By the same token, try to associate pain to getting it done late or at the last minute. Imagine how it will feel if you’re late. What would the consequences be?
3. Just get started.
It can be very difficult to even get started on a large task. Do whatever you need to do to make yourself just start on the task. Once you get going, you can establish some momentum and then it’s not usually so bad.
- Try setting up a schedule where you do 10% each day or reward yourself for getting a certain amount accomplished.
- Frequently you’ll find that if you can just get started, it’s not nearly as challenging as you anticipated. The first step always seems to be the toughest.
4. Get some help.
Sometimes involving other people can be motivational. Maybe a friend, a client, or an outsourcer can assist you in getting your task done. Feeling like you’re not all alone in the situation can ease the challenge of completing the task in question.
5. Make a list of the ways you waste time.
Being aware of the things you tend do instead of the things you should be doing will make it easier to catch yourself when you stray.
- Some common ways of wasting time would include television, surfing the internet, email, shopping trips with no real purpose, and more. If you know your tendencies, you’ll be able to spot them more easily.
6. Track your progress at the end of each day.
You wouldn’t try to lose weight without getting on the scale once in a while. Every day, measure your progress so you can really see where you are.
Procrastination doesn’t have to be a constant part of your life. Focus on how good you’ll feel to have it done and out of the way. The tips above are a good starting point. If you can stop relying on stress-induced adrenaline as motivation to take action, you’ll feel a much greater sense of control over your life. Get started with these tips right away!
Today’s Take Action Affirmation:
Today, I choose to prioritize my duties, organize myself with a plan of action, and get right to work so that I can enjoy a relaxing break when my work is complete.
What areas of my business could use some prioritizing?
Why is it better to take action now instead of waiting for later?
How do I feel when I procrastinate?
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From Deanna Maio – Business Growth & Marketing Strategist at http://www.DeannaMaio.com