If you’re a serial procrastinator, you should know that you’re not alone. There’s no shortage of people who are tempted, from time to time, to put off until tomorrow what they can accomplish today.
Some chronic procrastinators view their habit as a disease. Fortunately, many maladies have a cure. Procrastination is no exception.
Here are 4 reasons why you procrastinate, provided with prescriptions that will help you break the habit.
1. You’re Looking at the Mountain to Climb and Not the First Step
It’s possible that you put off an important task because you view it as a huge project that will take too long to complete, consume time that could be spent on other tasks, or interfere with your work-life balance.
The solution to this is straightforward. Restructure those large projects into a series of smaller, goal-oriented tasks. Focus on accomplishing only the first task in the project as a start to overcoming your penchant for procrastination. Then, over time, work your way up to tackling the first two to three tasks in the project. Eventually, you’ll overcome your habit of putting things off.
2. You Just Don’t Feel Like Doing It
“Just Do It” is the Nike slogan, but perhaps it doesn’t always describe your approach to day-to-day work. You might be one of those people who puts off an important task because you simply don’t feel like doing it.
You’re certainly not the first one to succumb to that temptation. However, to put off your work because you’re just not “in the mood” is an example of reversing your priorities. According to The Feeling Good Handbook, the “doing” precedes the motivation. It’s often the case that just taking that first step towards accomplishing a task will give you the motivation you need to see it through to completion.
3. You Learned Procrastination From The Example Of Others
More is caught than taught. Perhaps you were raised in an environment in which the people who influenced you were chronic procrastinators. You learned from their example.
Sadly, that wasn’t a good lesson that you learned.
However, you can turn that around. Remember, you should not only take life lessons from what those people did, you should also learn from the consequences of their actions. Do you remember how frustrated they were after putting off an important project only to find out that they couldn’t complete it at the last minute because something else came up? Do you recall the “all-nighters” they had to pull to complete an assignment that they waited on?
Is that what you want for your life? If not, then keep learning from their example. The consequences of their actions should motivate you to avoid procrastination.
4. Short-Term Focus
Instead of focusing on the gains of the future, you focus on the gains of the present. Tackling a task on your to-do list won’t give you any immediate gratification, even though it might give you longer-term fulfillment. As a result, you procrastinate in favor of near-term enjoyment.
The solution to this is to adjust your way of thinking. Look at the big picture and determine which course of action (procrastination or immediate activity) is in your best interest. You’ll most likely find that attention to your tasks will lead to long-term satisfaction.
See Also: 15 Ways to Beat Procrastination
Procrastination is a temptation that affects everybody. Once you understand why you have a history of putting things off, you’re in a better position to develop more productive habits.
Are you a serial procrastinator? Do you think any of the tips above will help you?