Have you ever, even once in your life, procrastinated? I am sure that virtually all of us will respond to this question by saying, “Duh!! Of course I have!” It really isn’t a matter of “if” we procrastinate – it’s just a matter of “to what degree” we do it.
So what causes one to procrastinate? I think that’s a fair question, because we have no chance of minimizing or eliminating procrastination from our lives until we understand what drives us – uniquely – individually – to procrastinate – to not do the things we need to do.
Here’s my list of top procrastination drivers (and I’ll bet you can add to it).
- Fear. Fear of all kinds can stop us in our tracks. Fear of failure; fear of success; fear of not fitting in; fear of being ridiculed, criticized, or made fun of – you can add your own flavor here, too.
- Being overwhelmed. Sometimes we have so many things on our plates that we literally can’t decide what to do next. At that point, it’s sometimes easier to just do nothing than it is to pick something and get started.
- Lack of focus. If you haven’t established your goals and highest priorities, the lack of focus it creates can foster kind of a lackadaisical attitude that allows us to justify not taking action.
- Laziness. Some of us are just plain lazy. We procrastinate because there is no internal motivation that is driving us. We don’t achieve because we don’t want to.
I read a quote the other day that says, “Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin”.
Procrastination is a success killer! It will rob you of your dreams.
So how do we go about overcoming procrastination? Here are some suggestions:
- Eliminate fear. The only way to destroy fear is to look it squarely in the eye and take action in spite of it. As you do, several powerful things happen:
— Fear melts away
— You realize that the fear you had imagined was nowhere near as bad as you made it out to be
— You begin building confidence to blow through other fears in your life
- Start small and get big. If you’re overwhelmed, get to work. Start with something small and watch the momentum build. As you do, your list of to-do’s will shrink and, almost before you know it, you’ll be working on the really important stuff.
- Define your life and goals. All truly successful people got where they are by knowing what they want from life. When you have goals, they provide focus that literally propels you forward. Most people spend an enormous amount of time and energy planning their summer vacations. How much more important is it for you to spend at least that much time (if not more) planning your life?
- Move from laziness to productivity. This takes discipline and practice. Being productive is a habit one develops over time. It starts with a commitment to take small actions, and then to build on those actions to do more and more – and more. Once you discover your true capacity for accomplishment, you’ll never go back!
- Give it time. Anything worth having and doing in life is worth working for – and taking the time to develop. Don’t expect instant results, but do commit to giving it your all for at least 60 days. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much progress you can make in that short period of time.
©2014 by Gary L. Smith and Optimum Performance Technologies, LLC (optechs.com). All rights reserved.