Procrastination is the act of unnecessarily and voluntarily delaying or postponing something despite knowing that there will be negative consequences for doing so..
Do you feel like you are a victim of procrastination?
Did you know that procrastination is a decision made by you?
Yes my fellow entrepreneurs, procrastination is a decision so if you want to stop procrastinating, you must find the way to decide not to.. But relax, we all procrastinate to some degree, simply because it is simpler to do nothing or do something that is easy.
So stop feeling like a victim of procrastination and master the ability to overcome it.
PROCRASTINATION IS NOT THE PROBLEM.
Procrastination is the symptom of something else..
Task: Make a presentation
Problem: Fear of public speaking
Result: Last minute work, frustration, fail to accomplish the task.
So the best way to overcome it is by getting to the root or the cause, and address it directly.
Quick tips for you:
#1 Recognize it. Just admit that procrastination is something you do.
#2 Understand your triggers (like the fear of failure for example) and elaborate a plan of action for whenever you catch yourself triggered. Beware of instant gratification activities!!
#3 Break your tasks down. Avoid overwhelming yourself with many ideas at the same time so you can advance step by step.
#4 Get better at time management. Write down everything you have to do daily and find a system that suits your needs. I can assure you that
#5 Set specific and achievable goals. Knowing the results you want to get will make it easier to
#6 Reward yourself!! Yes, you must also celebrate your achievements for the sake of dopamine.
10 Common Causes of Procrastination:
1. Lack of Motivation or Interest. When a task doesn't align with your personal goals, or interests, you might find it difficult to get started or maintain focus.
2. Fear of Failure. Avoiding the task altogether can serve as a way to avoid facing potential failure.
3. Perfectionism. Striving for perfection can be paralyzing, as the fear of not achieving flawless results can prevent you from even starting a task.
4. Task Difficulty. Tasks that are perceived as complex, overwhelming, or ambiguous can lead to procrastination because they seem daunting to tackle.
5. Lack of Self-Discipline. Difficulty in managing impulses and staying committed to tasks can result in procrastination.
6. Poor Time Management. Inaccurate estimation of how much time a task will take and failure to prioritize effectively can contribute to putting off tasks until the last minute.
7. Instant Gratification. Opting for short-term pleasure (like browsing social media or watching videos) over long-term goals can lead to procrastination, as the immediate rewards are more appealing.
8. Low Energy Levels. Feeling tired or fatigued can make it hard to gather the energy required to start and complete tasks.
9. Lack of Clear Goals. Without clear objectives, it's easier to put off tasks since you may not have a clear sense of purpose or direction.
10. Overwhelm. Having too many tasks on your plate can lead to feeling overwhelmed, causing you to delay tasks as you try to manage the sense of being swamped.
All of us procrastinate. Heck, I even procrastinated writing this article.
By Dean Bokhari. Speaker, writer, and entrepreneur.
1. Reduce the Number of Decisions You Need to Make Throughout the Day.
Every decision we make has an energy consequence. If you wake up in the morning, and you need to ask yourself, “What do I need to do today?” — well, you’re about to procrastinate the shit of today. If you approach each new day without having given thought to what you want it to look like ahead of time, then you’ll waste a large portion of your energy thinking about what to do and what not to do.
Should I hit the gym today, or go tomorrow?
Should I say Yes to lunch with Barry Boombatz from Accounting, or should I do a quick lunch solo so I can get back to the office and finish up this presentation?
Should I wear this or wear that? Eat this or eat that? Reply now or later?
We’re asking ourselves questions like this all day long.
Problem is, questions compel us to respond with answers, which compel us to make decisions… This drains you of your self-control and makes you tired—which leads to you procrastinating on whatever matters most in your life.
decide in advance exactly which days of the week you’ll exercise, instead of deciding the day of;
pick out your clothes the night before rather than the morning of;
choose the most important thing that needs to get done tomorrow, and schedule time to do it;
These are just a few simple examples, but it’s usually the simple things that matter most. What are some examples you can think of to reduce the number of decisions you make in your own life? Doing this will free up the energy you’ll need in order to stay focused on doing the big + meaningful stuff, rather than procrastinating on it by doing the little + meaningless stuff.
2. Finish Your Day Before It Starts.
This tip picks up where tip #1 leaves off. The best decision you can make towards avoiding procrastination is to plan your days in advance.
Rather than frantically figuring out what you’ll do on any given day, a better way to approach your day would be to take a few minutes at the end of each day to quickly map out the following day.
For example, every night, before bed, I write down/review my plans for the next day, which include:
My One BIG Thing (OBT) that needs to get done that day. This could be a big task, a goal, or a project I need to make progress on.
My No Matter Whats (NMWs) — these are my non-negotiable daily habits: exercise, my nature walk/daily meditation, reading (30 minutes minimum), mastery-related work, and time spent with the people I love.
Whatever else needs to be done the following day. This way, my most important goals, and projects are given ample time to be crushed—and to not be procrastinated on.
3. The Nothing Alternative.
“The Nothing Alternative” is a tip for avoiding procrastination that was coined by an influential crime-fiction novelist named Raymond Chandler. He used it as a way to avoid procrastinating on his daily writing. Chandler had difficulty sitting down at the keyboard and cranking out a predetermined word count every day like some successful writers. So, he developed another method for overcoming procrastination and getting himself to do the work—he would set aside 4 hours every morning and give himself an ultimatum: “WRITE, OR DO NOTHING AT ALL.”
And Chandler advises writers—and presumably people of all professions—who suffer from procrastination to do the same: “He [the writer] doesn’t have to write,“ says Chandler, ”and if he doesn’t feel like it, he shouldn’t try. He can look out of the window or stand on his head or writhe on the floor, but he is not to do any other positive thing, not read, write letters, glance at a magazine, or write checks… Write or nothing.” That was Chandler’s philosophy, and for him, it worked. The rules are pretty straightforward:
A) You don’t have to write or work on whatever you need to work on.
B) But you can’t do anything else.
With these two options in mind, at some point, you’re gonna start working—even if nothing else but to keep yourself from getting bored! And although your own work might not be as simple and clearly defined as Chandler’s, you can certainly benefit from the clarity that comes from setting aside the time to either: Do nothing, or focus on your ONE most important thing.
To try this out for yourself, figure out your most important goal for tomorrow morning and set aside 90 minutes of totally uninterrupted time to focus on that goal.
No email. No smartphone. No Facebook. No non-sense. Shut down your wifi if you need to. This is your time to turn it up to high gear and fucking focus.
4. The Next Action Habit—focus on something doable.
In his book, Getting Things Done, David Allen discusses the power of intelligently “dumbing down your brain” by figuring out your very NEXT ACTION for any given thing you’re working on. It’s one of the most powerful ideas in the book — just figure out the next specific action you need to take in order to move closer to completion, then DO IT…
Now, it’s no secret that procrastination causes lots of stress and pressure… but the way in which we relieve this pressure is where the secret comes in.
The key to this tip for avoiding procrastination is to figure out the very next physical action—no matter how small—you need to take to move something forward, be it a task, a project, a phone call, or whatever else.
Want to learn how to stop procrastinating? Learn how to shift your focus. Shifting your focus to something your mind perceives as doable makes the difference that makes a difference. Let me explain:
Think about something you’ve been procrastinating on, like, finishing a presentation for work. Now FOCUS on how it makes you FEEL whenever you think about how you have to do that presentation. Think about all the work involved. Sucks right? How’s it make you feel? Overwhelmed?
Now shift your FOCUS to ONE SIMPLE thing you can do right now to move this presentation even the tiniest bit closer to ‘done.’ Maybe you need to google some images to include in the presentation. That’s doable, right?
Make that you’re NEXT ACTION. Do it.
The rationale behind this Next Action method is simple: when you do something your mind perceives as doable, your energy will go up, your sense of direction and drive will increase dramatically, and you’ll be able to motivate yourself to get whatever you need to get done—DONE!
Actionable insight: Anytime you feel the procrastination creeping back up again, you should take it as a trigger to CHUNK down whatever you feel like procrastinating on into something simple and do-able… Even if it’s something as small as opening KeyNote and naming your presentation…
One small step leads to another… and another… and another… and before you know it, you’ve got momentum.
5. Adjust Your Environment.
If you’re an alcoholic, you don’t keep booze in the house, and you stay away from bars and people who can’t respect your decision to lay off the whiskey.
In a similar vein, my final tip to avoid procrastinating all over yourself is to remove the cues that trigger your procrastination habits in the first place.
If you can’t work in public places because of the constant movement and noise, then find a quiet place to sit down and focus.
For me to be able to avoid procrastinating and focus on what I’ve decided to focus on, I need to remove every possible distraction from my work environment—both physical and digital…
I used to switch my iPhone to ‘Do Not Disturb’ and put it on my desk while I worked, but the temptation to glance over and check it led me towards the path of procrastination more often than the path of productivity. Now, I take my iPhone, put it on ‘Do Not Disturb, and then put it in a drawer that requires me to physically get up in order to check it…
This keeps me focused.
My notifications and alerts are also disabled on all my computers, too. I’ve also stopped wearing my Apple Watch any time other than when I workout.
Basically, I need to unplug before I can plug in and focus.
Follow your intuition:
Sometimes procrastination can be a good thing—allowing an idea or important piece of work to percolate for a certain length of time can spark new, creative insights. Try it—start something, walk away, and come back to it later… While you’re away, you may notice an idea pop up for whatever you were working on before. There’s a term for this; it’s called the Zeigarnik Effect.
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