We all procrastinate but did you know beating yourself up over procrastinating is the antithesis of productivity and will slow you down even more?
When we beat ourselves up for procrastinating we dive into negative self talk. Instead of giving ourselves a clean slate to start the day over we go “Oh, I’m already screwing this up so why even bother trying now?”
That kind of negative self talk only leads to more. But there are other reasons behind procrastinating.
We all know lack of motivation is a huge reason behind procrastinating. It can be that what we are about to start feels overwhelming. It can be because we don’t know how to do something. It can be because it’s something we hate doing but know we must do. It can also be that you’re trying to do something you really shouldn’t be doing.
Overwhelm can have many reasons such as we waited too long and now the task itself is huge and all we can see is this mountain we have to tackle. The way to get around that is to break it down to small bite sizes. Instead of thinking “this will take me days to do” set aside 15 minutes a day to work on it. The way you eat an elephant is one bit at a time.
Often once we start we usually find more motivation because we realize it wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be. We tend to anticipate something being much more worse than it is. In our mind the task is awful and we focus on how boring it is, which only makes it more awful and boring. But when we know we only have to “suffer” for 15 minutes then it’s mentally easier as there is a way out! No more having to work on something until it’s done, it’s only 15 minutes!
More Reasons For Procrastinating
1. Perfectionism – you want everything to be perfect before you start. Since nothing will ever fit your “perfect criteria” you procrastinate because then you have an excuse as to why you haven’t done it yet.
Action: Know that nothing is ever going to be perfect. We are our own worst critics. Be brave and take that first step.
“90% finished is better than 100% stuck in your head” ~Jon Acuff
2. Analysis paralysis – avoiding making a decision causes procrastination because you are now in a land of not knowing what to move forward.
Action: Set a deadline for when you will make a decision. Research what you need to research and then make a decision and stick to it. Have someone keep you accountable. If it’s something simple, toss a coin.
3. You don’t make a plan, put things on your calendar or use to-do lists.
Action: Unless you love running around like a chicken then what one thing can you start doing to reduce the chaos in your life? Preparing things the night before is a great way to reduce stress in the morning. Even such a thing as picking what you will wear can reduce overwhelm.
4. You are afraid of either succeeding or failing and if you don’t do anything about something you don’t risk either one.
Action: The number one regret of dying people is that they didn’t live a life authentic to them and did what they wanted to do, but lived a “safe” life. Do you really want to have that kind of regret because of fear? We all fail and succeed…that’s part of life.
5. You are trying to do too many things and in constant ‘mini-exhaustion’ mode.
Action: Quit something every week or month. For every yes you say you automatically say no to something else. Exhaustion leads to procrastination because you feel overwhelmed because you’re now behind. Stop doing too many things. You are super person but even super people need to rest!
There are many reasons behind procrastination but it’s not always a bad thing. Sometimes it’s good to procrastinate. Ignore that huge pile of dishes and go get your beauty sleep instead. But also listen to why you avoid something. Are you trying to force yourself doing something just because someone said you should? Or society said you should? Tune into what cause your procrastination and then work on fixing that.
What cause you to procrastinate? Leave a comment below and let’s start a conversation.