I used to think that tomorrow was a “Super” day that had about 100 hours in it. Anything that came my way could be done tomorrow. I would tell myself that I worked better under pressure, and it would somehow get done. It really didn’t matter what it was…exercise, work projects, personal errands.
Why do we procrastinate? I have read that it isn’t from laziness. I have also read books that say smart people tend to procrastinate more because they think too much, and get overwhelmed with the details of the project or task at hand. Most of my clients tell me that procrastination is a problem, but they are selective about it. They usually finish a task for someone else on time but procrastinate on their own tasks. They value someone else’s time more than they value their own!
Reasons we procrastinate can range from fear to control issues. The fear of being imperfect, fear of the unknown, fear of success — just to name a few. Sometimes we put things off because we have an issue with the person who asked us to complete them. In this case, procrastination can be used to feel like we are more in control. We know the person is depending on the task to be finished at a certain time, but we put it off — maybe even subconsciously.
My procrastination started making me feel like I wasn’t getting anything done, which made my confidence go down. I had a problem with trying to be perfect. My perfectionism issues made me start a lot of things but I would not finish them. I decided to make a list of all my unfinished projects and finish them. I even finished projects that no longer mattered. I started becoming more aware of “putting things off” in the present. Did I begin asking myself why? Whenever I started to put something off. If the answer wasn’t a valid reason, (which it rarely was) I would not put it off. I would take some action toward it even if it was something small — just some action to move the task or project forward.
Once I started asking why and taking a small step toward accomplishment, I began to let go of the perfectionism issue. I started to feel more confident again and had a much bigger sense of accomplishment.
Next time you feel yourself procrastinating on something, stop and ask yourself ‘why’. Then don’t put it off — either complete it, take a small action toward it, or schedule it for a later date.
Kim Fowler, Health and Life Coach — You can download her free eBook, Design the Life You Were Meant to Have, and sign up for her newsletter by visiting https://www.fowlercoaching.com.