Procrastination is a learned condition and it is a way we tend to self-sabotage our success.
A. Reasons We Procrastinate:
- Anxiety due to fear of failure or fear of success. This negative self talk prevents people from taking action.
- Anxiety due to the inability to make decisions. By procrastination, someone else might make the decision for them.
- By waiting until the last minute, we don’t have to think and analyze, we just make a last minute decision based on pressure.
- Fear of judgment.
- Controlling anxiety, waiting for a limited amount of time to be anxious rather than long-term anxiety.
- A need for a last minute rush or thrill.
- A need for whatever you are pushing off to be “perfect.”
B. Deep Rooted Cause for Procrastinating:
- Someone in your past made all your decisions for you so you never had the practice.
- Someone in your past and/or present had criticized each decision you made, making you feel insecure about the decisions you make, therefore, you procrastinate.
C. How to Beat Procrastination:
- Break tasks down into small doable ones.
- Create a time limit per step and insert it in your calendar.
- Be mindful of the thoughts that come up each time you are ready to take a step and fight it. Remember who told you those thoughts in the first place. Take charge of your negative thoughts and tell it to “shut up.”
- Be mindful of how your body reacts to anxiety. Take deep breaths to relax the body.
- Ask people for their opinions if you can’t make a decision. Create a pro and con list.
- There is no such thing as perfection. You know more than the next person. Don’t harp on it. Just do it. Just let it go. Once you do it, there is a sense of satisfaction and it’s done.
- Still procrastinating? Journal why you are avoiding doing something you have to do.
- Write a list…
- …of the repercussions of procrastinating. Is it worth it?
- …of the repercussions of not procrastinating. Better?
- Get an accountability partner or hire someone to help you get through the task you’ve been avoiding.
- Envision what it will look like and feel like once the task is done.
- There is no such thing as perfection…It’s better to get it accomplished then wait for it to be perfect.
- There is never a wrong decision…if it feels right then great! If it feels wrong, then lesson learned. Change it up next time.
- Listen to your gut feeling. When your inner critic shouts, it’s hard to hear your inner wisdom. Take a moment to breathe and meditate…you will know what to do.