You still got that monthly report sitting on your desk untouched and you were supposed to have it finished 2 days ago. You tell yourself (and your boss if she asks) that you’re too busy with other more important stuff. But you were also supposed to finish those “important stuff” days ago, right? Well, yes but some things came up and..
The excuses go on, the vicious cycle continues.
I bet this habit of putting off tasks drives you to a point where the mere mention of the word deadline sends cold chills down your spine. Can you imagine how much easier and less stressful life would be if you do things on time, when you’re supposed to do them?
Good news is, you can beat procrastination by first figuring out what causes you to procrastinate. Check out the 3 most common reasons we have listed below:
1. You are not confident you can do the job so you put it off as long as you can hoping someone will do it for you. One of the main reasons why people procrastinate is because they are afraid that they will screw something up.
When at some point you start feeling doubtful, focus on the end result. Counter your doubts with the thoughts of dire consequences that might happen if you do nothing at all:
If I don’t do this my business will become stagnant, so I’d rather tackle this one. At least I did my best and I can ask for help from colleagues or hire help if ever I do mess something up.
2. You can’t finish the report because you just don’t “feel” like doing it. When you say things like “I just can’t get myself to finish the report” what you actually mean is that you can’t really get yourself to feel like you want to write the report. It’s not like the report is encrypted and there’s no way for you to decode it. Physically, nothing is stopping you from writing it – you just don’t feel like writing it.
Well, you really don’t have to wait to ‘feel like’ doing something to actually start doing it. As Chuck Close puts it: “Just show up and get to work. Inspiration is for amateurs.” Even if you don’t feel like doing something or how "uninspired" you are about doing it, just do it. The more you do it, the more it becomes a part of your work routine. Next time you know, you’re writing reports like a breeze.
3. You don’t want to do it because it’s hard, boring or unpleasant. Sometimes when faced with hard, boring and downright unpleasant tasks, even the most disciplined people tend to put them off. When you find yourself assigned to these types of tasks the best thing you can do is to use the ‘if-then’ planning.
If it is 4pm, then I will have to start analyzing the data for the report.
By setting a plan in advance you know exactly what you have to do and when to do it.
Over to you..
Do you have your own strategies that help keep you from procrastinating? If you think they’re effective for you then we would like to hear them. We’d love for you to share them to the MACsWomen community, too!