Until just now I have procrastinated writing this blog. I think I kept putting it off because I want to write this week’s posts a little different from previous posts. I think I am a little apprehensive about making a change. I haven’t completely thought out how it will work. So I am employing my favorite technique to stop procrastinating. . . . just start.
Procrastination is not what it really seems to be. Most people think of procrastination as laziness or lack of motivation. It is actually a form of control. By putting something off, you are actually subconsciously creating a feeling of control. You are making a decision to put something off which can help justify not taking action. You have probably heard the phrase, “Not making a decision is making a decision”.
Procrastination has also been described as a formula of letting your thoughts linger, and then add some fear and a little guilt, then you procrastinate. When you can recognize that you are justifying or defending your fear (ex. “I don’t have time”) and you feel bad about not starting by now, you are probably procrastinating.
To combat procrastination, think about the choices you make. I know I will justify a short-term reward at the sacrifice of my long-term goals. I tell myself; before I get started I will do this one short activity first to get it out-of-the-way. Some examples I do include; check email “real quick”, get a quick update on the national news, or watch just this one segment of this TV show. Once I get these quick things out-of-the-way, then I will get started. One short activity becomes two, then three, . . . then I see that I only have a few minutes left before I have to do something else. I just procrastinated and didn’t accomplish anything.
Just like I did today, one of the very best tools is to just get started. Don’t convince yourself that you need to create a plan, or you need to do some more research, or someone else needs to give you their work first. Just get started. As you work on your project, you may discover that you really didn’t need that plan, research, or someone else’s work. More times than not I end up not needing any of these things and I actually have a task completed.
“People who never take step 1 never take step 2.” – Zig Ziggler
As I mentioned before, this week’s post will be a little different. It will be a theme of procrastination. The next post will outline tools you can use to overcome procrastination.
How do you know when you are procrastinating?
When do you think putting something off becomes procrastination?