I recently saw this quote. “Procrastination is a totally good thing. You always have something to do tomorrow, plus you have nothing to do today.” Funny, right?
I suspect that most of us don’t consider procrastination to be a good thing. I also suspect that when we view someone else procrastinating, our judgment may lean toward laziness, whereas we don’t think of ourselves as lazy when we procrastinate.
I decided to engage my favorite research assistant, Google, to find out more about procrastination. The research I viewed suggests that it’s not laziness that leads to procrastination but a feeling of discomfort about the task we need to complete. Often, this discomfort is driven by one of three emotions: fear of failure, feeling overwhelmed, or feeling that the task is unappealing.
So how can we overcome the urge to procrastinate? The first step is to take a breath and reflect on why procrastination is occurring. If it’s one of the three reasons shown above, there are some ways to try to overcome that urge.
If you fear failing at the task or have insecurity about performing at a level to meet someone else’s expectations, try to focus on the task itself and what you need to do to get it done rather than the final product and whether it will be good enough.
If you’re delaying because you don’t know where to start and are overwhelmed, consider outlining the task into smaller subtasks. Hopefully, having a set of smaller tasks will help you make progress.
Finally, if the reason is that the task just doesn’t appeal to you, consider creating a reward system for yourself as you complete subtasks to make the task a little more appealing.
Identifying why you are procrastinating and then creating a process to make progress should help you get the things you need done more quickly and reduce the stress and anxiety you feel as your tasks and to-dos start to build.
Take care and stay safe.
Anatomy of a Fall
In this award-winning psychological thriller, a celebrated writer is put on trial when her husband falls to his death from their secluded chalet. What starts as a murder investigation soon becomes a gripping journey into the depths of a destructive marriage.