Procrastination is probably one of the biggest time thieves in today’s life. Whether it’s relating to your personal life or even your work, procrastination can cost you a lot of time but it can also teach you some valuable lessons.
There are various reasons to procrastinate, a few of which I will discuss hereunder:
Lack of Clarity
Wrecking your brain about something that you do not have enough information on is an unnecessary waste of your energy and time. Rather ask yourself the following questions:
- What can I do to get more clarity on this matter?
- Who can I ask for more information?
Start communicating with people who know more about the subject, therefore enriching your own mind and putting your “thinking gears” into motion.
Lack of Knowledge
A lack of knowledge often goes hand-in-hand with a lack of clarity. Once again, you can ask the same questions as above. You can also do a bit of research by searching the Internet or reading a book. You can never stop learning!
Lack of Purpose
Everything in life has a purpose – a reason for being as it is. If you do not understand the purpose of what you’re doing, it’s very likely that you will lose interest and push it aside.
To keep yourself motivated, you have to ask yourself questions like:
- What will the overall outcome be?
- Who will benefit therefrom?
- What roll do I play in the outcome?
If you can answer these questions positively, you will definitely get a new surge of motivation toward achieving your end goal.
Lack of Confidence / Fear of Failure
A lack of confidence can cost you dearly in any situation. Therefore you need to remember that YOU should be your biggest cheerleader. If you are procrastinating due to a lack of confidence and believing that your efforts will not be good enough or you do not have the right skills to complete the task, ask yourself this:
- Am I really giving it all I’v got?
- What can I do to improve my skills?
If you truly believe that you are giving your best then everything will probably turn out okay, so relax a little and breathe.
If you believe that you can do better and push harder, then DO IT.
Just be honest with yourself and you will soon find that self-motivation to keep you going. You need to constantly challenge yourself to move forward. Like the inspirational Stella Juarez once said: “Only the weak attempts to accomplish what he knows he can already achieve.”
Lack of Interest
As mentioned in paragraph 3 above, a lack of interest in a certain subject will most probably cause you to push it aside. In order to overcome this reason for procrastination, you need to force yourself to just take the first step and continue moving forward. Don’t overthink, just do.
Setting goals that are too big
Don’t overwork yourself. Know your limits. Don’t set yourself a goal that is too hard to achieve. Rather break it up into smaller goals that are easier and quicker to accomplish.
You may be able to fit the whole burger in your mouth, but it’s so much easier to take one bite at a time 😉
Not creating habits
Getting into a routine is essential if you want to be productive. Get a diary, whether it’s an old-school book or simply a note on your smartphone/tablet. Plan ahead and stick to your set agenda as far as possible. Soon you will create a pattern of habits that will keep you from procrastinating. Decide which time of day would be best to do a certain task. For example, don’t leave important things that require a lot of thinking for the evening when you are tired and worn out. Rather schedule your day in such a way that the most important things get done first so that you can relax in the evening and recharge your batteries for the next day’s challenges.
Wrong Work Environment
You need to set yourself up for success by making sure that you have all the correct tools to complete your task, including the correct work environment. If you need to do a lot of thinking, then a loud office is probably not the best place to do it. You need to take this into consideration when planning your day – where you are and what you’re doing need to correspond with each other.
I believe that there are good forms of procrastination as well, for example, if you just don’t have enough knowledge or the right skills to do something and you are not able to improve this in time to achieve the goal, it might be a good decision to hire someone else to do it this time.
It’s also necessary to prioritize and decide which things need more urgent attention and which things can wait or be passed on to someone else. You need to take time to decide whether something is worth doing and whether it’s contribution to your life is worthwhile. For example, the owner of a big company cannot be bothered to clean the bathrooms in his building. The cleanliness of the bathrooms do however influence the overall appearance of the building, but it doesn’t directly contribute to the business owner’s success. Therefore it would be senseless for the business owner to be bothered with cleaning toilets instead of doing something more useful with his/her time, like seeing prospective clients, and therefore he/she would rather hire someone else to clean the bathrooms.
To sum things up, I would like to share my own personal experience with procrastination.
I’ve been wanting to write a blog post for quite some time, but I just couldn’t get the right topic. I kept procrastinating because I wanted it to be so perfect. I was overthinking the whole situation instead of just simplifying it and taking the first step. I also didn’t break my goal up into short, tight deadlines. Instead I tried to put the whole burger in my mouth and so I had trouble swallowing it 🙂
So I sat down and I just started to write this wonderful, insightful piece that you are reading right now 🙂
I truly hope that this article inspires you to fight against procrastination. You’ll be amazed at all the great things you can accomplish if you just stop overthinking and start doing. Take the first bite, you’ll be pleased at how great the rest of the hamburger tastes!