How to overcome procrastination as a constant delay to push tasks to be done tomorrow. The issue here is that tomorrow is always one day away.
Change can only happen today, not tomorrow. If you are procrastinating, you are pushing a change to happen tomorrow.
Does Procrastination Equal Laziness?
Often when people continuously don’t get things done, we tend to label them as lazy. People who are genuinely lazy are not stressed because things are not getting done. Procrastination is not the same as laziness. People who procrastinate are disturbed because they didn’t complete something today but find comfort that it will be done tomorrow.
Procrastination is a Choice
Procrastination can seem like just a delaying tactic but in reality, it’s a choice of inaction over action. We are choosing to complete something tomorrow instead of today, next week, or next year over now. Procrastination has one powerful reward which is relief from anxiety.
Fear of Failure
When you complete one task there is a risk of failure. We are used to being evaluated and we are afraid that we might not complete the task successfully. Fear of failure is rooted in insecurity and procrastination is protecting us from disappointment. Fear must be overcome, and we must choose a reward of succeeding over a fear of failure.
People often protect themselves by saying that they are just disorganized. Completing big and demanding tasks takes time and organization. Often people who are disorganized complete tasks that are irrelevant to their final goal instead of doing the most important thing the first thing in the morning. Often, we leave the most important thing to be done late at night when we are tired and ready to procrastinate. Once we do the most important thing of the day first thing in the morning, we will see that we are not disorganized, we just avoid doing what matters.
Perfectionism is Procrastinating
Those who tend to procrastinate will often call themselves perfectionists. If you are a perfectionist who never gets anything done then you are far away from perfection.
Perfection doesn’t exist in reality and no one can achieve it. We have to settle for “good enough.” We can’t be perfect partners, parents, and employees. We can only be good enough. There’s nothing wrong with striving to be better but on the way of your growth, you should know that there is no such thing as perfection.
How to Overcome Procrastination?
Establish a Routine!
Don’t wait for the perfect moment or inspiration. We often get stuck in waiting for stars to align before we start working on our new project. Breakdown one big task into a few small tasks and set up a plan on how and when those tasks will be completed in a day or a week. Focus on a current goal, not on the next thing you need to do. The trick here is to focus on those small goals at the beginning.
Focus on Today!
Don’t think about yesterday or tomorrow. One day at a time gets things done without thinking about the next thing that needs to be done or what wasn’t done yesterday. Give yourself some credit for the things you are completing today and don’t beat yourself for things that you haven’t completed yesterday.
Breakdown Tasks and Give Yourself Breaks
Breakdown small tasks into 15 to 30 minutes tasks that can be completed. If you have one big subtask break it down to even smaller tasks. In this way, you will thoroughly complete one big task. It’s also important to give yourself breaks regularly. If your mind drifts during the break don’t get discouraged. Just bring your attention back to the task you were doing previously.
Track your Progress
At the end of the day track what you have completed and what you plan to complete. Here, you will make sure that you are completing important things. If you answered a few emails and looked into a few reports without any action that will be a sign that you are still procrastinating.
Good Enough Approach
Don’t chase perfection and apply a good enough approach. You don’t and can’t be perfect. Avoid setting unrealistic goals which can’t be met and which will lead to disappointment.