How to beat procrastination
There are three types of procrastinators.
Can’t make a decision
Spending ages weighing up the pros and cons and being unable to decide about anything is very common. It's not the decision itself that’s the issue, its being responsible for the outcome of the events that follow.
Leaving everything until the last minute produces a boost of adrenaline as they rush to the deadline in a flurry of activity.
There’s a deadline looming and there’s suddenly lots of other, more important stuff to do (like laundry or watering the plants). They are worried about failing, or sometimes of how successful they will really be.
Why is Procrastination harmful?
Procrastination can reinforce our own negative self beliefs. If someone believes they’re a failure, then procrastinates and doesn’t get things done, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.
If the people around you see you as unreliable, procrastination will reinforce this and you will find yourself living up to other peoples expectations.
If you are a perfectionist who consistently sets impossible goals for yourself, you will be unable to complete anything due to your own high standards.
All these create negative thought patterns and lower self esteem, which will prevent you from implementing the changes you want to make and living the life that you want.
What can you do about it?
Knowing why you procrastinate is a start. So is understanding that you alone, are in control of your actions.
Do you have unrealistic expectations of yourself? Are these your expectations or someone else? Instead of perfect, what would ‘good enough’ look like? If you could aim for ‘good enough’ and get the job done, how would that feel?
Bringing too much emotion to the task can slow you down. Look at what needs to be done and the amount of time it will take you. Be honest with yourself about how much effort you really want to put in.
What will the consequences be if you reduced the time or effort spent on the task, or if you didn’t do it at all?
If it’s a large task, make it easier to manage by breaking it down into smaller steps and setting a realistic time frame for each one. How much time and effort will each step take?
Monitor your progress, don’t beat yourself up if things go wrong. Understanding why you procrastinate can help you to adjust your course and keep going.
Don’t lose sight of the big picture.
Having a larger goal in mind can help you to stay motivated and keep procrastination at bay.