Why do we procrastinate and are there ways to break out…?
The Harvard review states that 95% of people procrastinate. How do people procrastinate? First of all, by overthinking which eliminates their potential and soon you hear ‘I am stuck, I do not know how to start…’
If you are working on a project and at some point, you find yourself procrastinating for about a month, then this could be useful as you might find that this time was creative for you. But if procrastinating continues for about 10 months let’s say, then something is wrong. That is where we would say we have an issue!
Is there anyone out there that does not actually procrastinate? Well, yes. That 5% of people who do not procrastinate manage to do so because they have found ways to train their brain which is the strongest muscle not to. They have developed habits that do not allow them to procrastinate.
But let’s see first, things that we procrastinate about:
- When something we need to start is new and ambiguous. When things are not clear and structured then we find it hard to begin with what has been assigned to us. It is like buying a piece of furniture from IKEA and the manual is missing. How will we be able to put it together without the manual?
- When something is boring or draining for us. Sometimes we are given tasks that might not interest us, or we find so hard to complete. We then find it so hard to ask for help or clarification in the case of being misunderstood by our superiors or the people who originally gave us the task. We do not want to show weakness or lack of knowledge.
- When we lack purpose and affinity to what we really want to do. Many times, in our work we have ideas that we want to see growing and when managers change them in the way they want them to be done, we lose interest as we feel that something ours was taken away from us.
- When the imposter syndrome kicks in. You start doubting yourself the minute you are given a task because you believe you are not worth it. You feel like an imposter who wanted to take the project promising great results but the ‘little’ voice in you reminds you that you do not have the skills for this which translates to the root of the problem.
The root of it all though lies in Self-Doubt which equals immediately in procrastination. ‘Am I good enough? Will I make it? I am an imposter. I know half of what my boss knows!’
There are ways though to break the chain of procrastination:
- The first thing is to stop self – doubting. To be chosen to do whatever you were assigned to do, it means that someone believes in you, your skills and talents. So start believing in yourself the same way other people believe in you. Become your biggest fan and biggest supporter. Take time to organise your task/project even if that means dedicating your weekend to this. You will prepare yourself so much better to start. Allow yourself to become obsessed with your project and that is when you will become creative.
- Find your ‘why’. Why is it so important for you to achieve this task or make this dream of yours come true? When you find your ‘why’ it becomes clearer the reason behind your desire to deal with the project or start the business or project you always wanted. Most of all, finding your ‘why’ will lead you to stop being afraid to start. You will know why you want this to start so bad!
- Learn from the best. Do you think you are the only person on the planet that procrastinates? No way! Even the A-lister in every section of business fall into procrastination. Find out more on how they beat it. How? Read and Learn! Download podcasts, google it and find all the relevant information that will help you examine the example of others. If they did it then you can also do it!
- Turn emotional into rational! It is the best thing to be creative and have your emotions guiding you into places of your mind and soul that you have never been before. That might result in a beautiful surprise. But when procrastinating is in the middle then it is time to call for the big guns and that is nothing else but cold logic and being rational. Make a list of the tasks. Number them. Write them down and put a box next to them to feel the excitement when completing them to actually ‘tick the box’ and be proud of yourself!
Yes, you can do it! And yes, you can beat procrastination big time! Just go for it! Start, now!
Go, go, go!
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