Have you ever had one of those days where you look at your to-do list and felt as if each item was intended to painfully kill off one piece your brain at a time? I think we’ve all been there at one time or another. Well, when that day comes, you really only have two choices. You either white knuckle your way through it or you decide to put it off. The question is; what, in those moments, causes the initiation of proactivity over procrastination? Let’s take a look at why people often choose procrastination and how to overcome the urge.
Why do People Choose Procrastination?
Frankly, there are a lot of reasons why an individual might choose to procrastinate and quite a few theories that surround it as well, but here are a few of the top reasons that might be plaguing you:
- You’re a Perfectionist
- It’s common for a perfectionist to lack initiative if they feel that a certain project or task won’t allow them to deliver on their desire for perfect results.
- You’re Disorganized
- If you’re to-do list looks like a three page run on sentence, you’re going to be in trouble. More simply put, you can’t tackle a to-do list if you don’t have one.
- You Have a Fear of Failing
- Feeling insecure about your ability to preform, whatever the reason may be, has the ability to put you into a paralyzed state in terms of getting things done.
- You Carry an “I Work Better Under Pressure” Mentality
- Truthfully, this is nothing more than laziness and an excuse to goof off. You might be smart enough to get away with this cycle in your life but it’s a completely false notion. You will always deliver better results when you put the proper time in.
Whatever your poison, it’s important to gain an understanding into why you push things off. If you can learn to understand your particular procrastination weakness, you can begin to move away from detrimental habits on the job. Remember, employees with unproductive habits don’t tend to keep their jobs long-term.
How to Overcome Procrastination
Analyze the Tasks You Despise
As I mentioned above, if you can understand why you feel the urge to push something off, you’re more likely to have success in getting it done. Once you’ve determined what it is that turns you away from the task, you know what kind of help is needed to get it done. Maybe the task is something that can be delegated to another member on the team who has a particular strength in that area. At the very least you can ask for help and that’s ok to do.
Unplug from Social Media
Social media is PERFECT for getting you off task. It honestly adds no value to your day, at least not during work hours. Make the choice to wait until you’re off the clock to check in on social media outlets. You know as well as I that if you decide to go ahead and open up Facebook, you’re going to waste at least 20 minutes looking at pointless memes about ironic things or comparing celebrity doppelgängers. In the end you’ve only added more stress to your day by decreasing the amount of time you have to meet your deadlines.
Be Intentional about Keeping an Organized To-do List
Your to-do list is something that should be reviewed and updated on a daily basis, or even multiple times a day. If you have a huge long-term project, break the thing up into daily action items to avoid missing important steps. In the end you’ll feel much more accomplished and you’ll have far less to make up when you come face to face with that due date.
Change Your Environment
Sometimes when we follow the same routine over and over again we can begin to lack energy and creativity. When you change your environment and get away from the usual routine, people or distractions it can help you to refocus on what needs to get done. Giving yourself a new atmosphere has also been shown to boost creativity. If you’re able, try it out! It may be a healthy anti-procrastination tactic for you to utilize on those hum drum days.