If you’ve found yourself putting off important tasks over and over again, you’re not alone. Most people procrastinate to some degree. Is procrastination stopping you fulfilling your potential and unsettling your life?
You procrastinate when you put off things that you could be, or know you should be, focusing on right now, usually in favour of doing something that is more enjoyable or that you’re more comfortable doing.
Putting off an unimportant task isn’t necessarily procrastination; it may just be good prioritization! If you have a good reason for rescheduling something important, then you’re not necessarily procrastinating. However, if you’re just “making an excuse” because you really just don’t want to do it, then you are.
The key to taking back control is to recognize when you start procrastinating, understand why it happens and take active steps to manage your time and outcomes better. To have a good chance of conquering procrastination, you need to be aware straight away that you’re doing it. Then you can identify why you’re procrastinating and take appropriate steps to overcome the block.
Here are my 6 P’s for creating a new habit of action rather than non-action or avoidance:-
- PAY OFF – Establish and brainstorm what are the great things that you will get once this is done. WHY is it important to you?
- PEOPLE TO TELL AND PROMISE – Name your task and put a deadline on it, then tell someone or a group of people and promise to have it finished and ask for their support. This creates an atmosphere of accountability and is a psychological incentive for you to complete what you have been putting off.
- PREPARE AND HAVE A PROCESS – Prepare all that you need to get this task done and have a list, diary and a process. Are you going to do it all, in what order, or are you going to break it down into smaller tasks?
- PAY ATTENTION – Be completely present with this task, no breaks, no interruptions, and no distractions.
- PRACTISE – just keep following this guide on all tasks you feel overwhelmed by or struggle to complete. You don’t have to get it perfect, practise will allow you to just do it and create a new habit of work/task completion.
- PRAISE & CELEBRATE – Give yourself a big pat on the back and reward each time you achieve your goal. This will encourage you to keep going forward.
One of my most favourite action steps is to aim to “eat an elephant beetle” first thing, every day; which means conquering your hardest, least desirable task first thing in the morning so you don’t have to carry the load in your mind around with you all day.
Get started today and kick procrastination to the kerb! Kirsty 🙂