Procrastination is a big problem for lots of smart, talented people. Are you one of them?
If so, you know that procrastination steals your time and energy.
- It eats away at your confidence and self-trust.
- It adds to your stress.
- It’s nothing but frustrating and discouraging; and
- It’s something that we all do from time to time – often unconsciously.
So, the first step in dealing with this time thief is to make it visible to yourself. You may need to overcome some resistance at first. After all, nobody enjoys looking at areas of difficulty. But the bottom line is that it’s impossible to address a problem that you can’t see.
Do this to get started…
So, the first step is to track your tasks. Notice any items that you keep moving past and transferring from one day’s list to the next. Don’t fall into the trap of self-criticism; just observe. There’s rich information here and when you welcome it, you can work with it.
Don’t fall into the trap of self-criticism; just observe. There’s rich information here and when you welcome it, you can work with it.
Circle the task or tasks that you notice you’re transferring for the third time. Choose one of these tasks to start. Here’s where you’ll address your procrastination head-on.
Give this time trap the heave ho.
Transfer that task to a blank piece of paper. Then, underneath it I want you to list questions to help you uncover the why’s and wherefore’s of your procrastination.
You’ll eventually develop your own set of questions – and they may vary from task-to-task – but here are 3 to get you started. Be sure to answer them in writing. This makes it all that much more concrete and visible for you.
Procrastination Question #1:
Your first question is “What am I waiting for?”
Take some time to think about this question. Then, being as honest with yourself as possible, write your answer. Read it over. Write down anything else that comes to mind.
Procrastination Question #2:
Move to your second question: “When will be the right time for me to do this task?”
“Never!” is not an option on this one – unless you realize that this is truly an unnecessary task. Again, think carefully and then write your answer.
Procrastination Question #3:
Your third question is “How will I know when it’s the right time?”
This is the most important question. Before answering it, go back to read your answers to questions one and two. Once you have answered this question you should know how to get past your procrastination.
Sometimes a task on your list is daunting because it is very large and you may not know where to begin. If you suspect that your procrastination may be stemming from this, ask yourself if you can “chunk” your task into smaller pieces. This can often free up logjams and get you moving again! You’ll see we’ve listed a post below that goes into more depth about “chunking tasks” and how it helps with procrastination.
Once you’ve uncovered the cause of your procrastination using these questions, make a commitment to yourself to complete the task. Set a do-able date for completion … and enjoy the results.© Copyright 2017 Paula Eder, Ph.D.