Procrastination is something that all of us have done at one time or another. Even if you do not want to admit it out loud, we all have put things off for one reason or another. I can speak for myself and admit that I procrastinate all the time. In fact, if you all knew how long it took me to write this blog, you would all feel better about your own lives. We basically delay projects or items on our “To Do” list that we do not want to deal with or address at that moment in time. Some of us procrastinate because we honestly just do not feel like handling it at that time. There are some of us that love that adrenaline rush you get when you are “under the gun” to get something accomplished or completed on time. Then there are some of us that just have too many things piled up on our priority plate. Procrastination to some of you could be something as easy as getting your floors mopped a few minutes before your guests come over for dinner or completing that report or project for school the night before it is due.
Putting these things off can lead you to feelings of depression, or being overburdened and anxious just to name a few. By being able to determine why you are procrastinating can help in finding ways to deal with it right away and face it head on. Procrastinating does not necessarily mean that you are lazy, but you need to be able to determine what kind of consequences usually follow with “your” kind of procrastination. Procrastination could have a detrimental effect on your job, your relationships and ultimately your life. Don’t put off resolving these issues before they could get worse. There is help.
Figuring out why you are putting things aside or not dealing with them right away is paramount to fixing the problem. One of the major reasons for procrastination is fear. Whether it is fear of failure, success, or even the unknown, it can put us in a paralyzed state so we will put it off so as not to deal with our feelings. Procrastination can speak volumes as to who you are and what you want from your life.
At the beginning of 2011, I decided that I needed to work on some areas in my personal life, including procrastination. I started to do some research and reading on the topic, and the advice I found has really helped me. Here is a quick list of tips that I have been using over the past six months to help me with my procrastination issues.
1. Stop thinking about it and just do it – It is important to not think and just do! The more you accomplish, the better you will feel. This, in turn, will bring you the confidence you need to keep going.
2. Break up the project into small steps – Sometimes when you visualize all you need to accomplish with a project or a goal, it starts to become intimidating or overpowering. Taking one step at a time will give you the focus you need and put you in a positive mind set. This is very important when challenged by projects at work or at school.
3. Change your environment – Different environments that you interact in during your day can have either a positive or negative effect on your attitude and productivity. Look at your desk at work, your home, and even your bedroom. Do these environments put you at ease or into a state of panic? By making some simple changes to these surroundings, either by adding a new set of curtains, or getting a desk organizer, or even some pictures or plants, you can create the most positive changes.
4. Spend time with people who motivate and challenge you – You remember your parents uttering the words, “You are who you hang around with”. Truth be told, if you hang around with certain people, you begin to adopt their attitudes whether positive or negative. Spend more of your time with people who motivate you, and begin to identify those “go-getter” and hardworking people in your life. The more time you spend with these kinds of personalities, the more you are likely to adopt their behavior and attitude towards life.
5. FACE YOUR FEAR! – Enough said on that.
6. Keep your eye on the prize – Accomplishing the goal you set for yourself, getting that school project in on time, or meeting that deadline for your boss at work is all part of our daily lives whether we like it or not. Closing your eyes and pretending it is not there or waiting until a day when you MIGHT feel better will not help you. It may make you relax for 24 more hours but, trust me, it will be STILL be there when you wake up the next day to wish you a good morning. Once you realize that you can achieve success and keep checking off those items on your “To Do” list, it will be the most rewarding thing you can do for yourself. You can change your lifestyle and you can adopt new attitudes.
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step”. – Martin Luther King.