Do you recognise it?
I hate it.. procrastination, but it still happens to me. Do you recognise it?
One of my friends told me she is going to be a coach. She has her licence, a nice space in a beautiful area, now she’s busy with her design and leaflets.. Sure, they are necessary, they are all conditions. I love being busy with conditions. And so does she.. but when do you think she gets her first customer?
I’d like to build a beautiful site. A site that helps people to realise their dreams. Oh, I am so busy.. I am reading e-books, following seminars, look at webinars, talk to people, share ideas… but my last blog was.. when??
What is procrastination?
Procrastination means that you replace high-priority actions and tasks with low-priority ones. You put off important tasks to a later time. That is exactly the way you are not going to realize your dreams! The most horrible thing is that you feel guilty because you know you are not doing the things you should do. But you can’t change. You tell yourself you are busy, you have to take care of the children, your job, shopping, study.. But somewhere deep inside, you know you could find time if you only wanted it.
What is the cause of procrestination?
There are several causes:
There are different root causes and you will see they vary per person. I hope you don’t share them all! I will give you some causes.
This morning I started the day and I thought I had plenty of time to do at least forty things… But the day was too short again. This is an example of overestimating the amount of time you have or maybe you underestimate the time it takes.
Then I think ‘but I will do it tomorrow…’ But that was exactly the same thought I had yesterday.. This is underestimating your future !
Ah, no.. now I understand. I have a writer’s block. See, I have to be inspired to do this task… I believe I have to be in the right mood to complete a task (in one of my courses they proved me wrong. We had to think of three words and then got five minutes to write a short story with those words, without taking your pen of the paper. We all had amazing stories!! And no one was ‘in the mood’…!
You certainly understand this one, because a lot of people are perfectionists! We are so fearful we won’t make it perfect that we rather do not start..
The underlying cause is the fear of failure or of making mistakes, a fear of disapproval. Why should anyone read my blogs?? I can’t imagine it is important or helpful..
The problem is that we set an unreachable goal first. Because it must be brilliant. But then we realize how hard it is to fulfill this assignment…. This constant pressure paralyzes us. Then we tell ourselves we are worthless and then.. the circle is round again.
It is such a shame we learn so little about organizing ourselves and our tasks at school. It would be such a great help! Time management is a great example to to do more in less time. Sometimes we just lack these skills. Especially creative people are having a hard time to organize their life. We start with the easy tasks and at the end of the day the difficult ones are piling up again.. stress!
The simple solution is to divide difficult and complex tasks into smaller ones. Ans prioritize them. What needs to be done first? Today I started reading about Google website Tools but how important is that when I have no content or visitors to my site? So, first I have to write content. That is exactly what I am doing right now…
How many times a day are you distracted? You read unimportant email, watch television (and don’t even like it), hang around with people you don’t find inspiring.. how much time could you save on that? Also, multi-tasking is not efficient at all. First things first..
I would like to give you some solutions to these problems.
First of all make a list of all your ‘to-do’s. This will make it easier to get some idea of the amount of topics and amount of time needed.
Find out where your responsibility really lies. Maybe some of the tasks should not be done by you!
Then prioritize the tasks. What is really important to set your goals? What can you skip? Be honest, not every topic is important. What will give the most relief when it is finished? Start with that one!
If you find a task complicated, talk to somebody. Try to divide it into small parts and try to get it clear what it is that gives you the anxiety.
Stop being indecisive. Make a decision whatever it is. You will feel so much better! If your think it will help, tell somebody what you are going to do. You will save yourself the feeling of shame not to realize it this time!
Be severe when the distractions are concerned. You read your mail only once a day, you do not watch TV when it is not worth looking, you will not stay in bed if you do not need too.. This is the hardest part, it is a habit. You change habits by doing it differently during 30 days .. then your mind has accepted the new habit.
Do you have a nice workspace. It must be neat (no distractions) and inspiring. It makes it easier to focus on one task.
Simplify your life. Look at the stuff in your house, is it really stuffed? Do you need all these clothes, books, magazines, games… Get it out of your way! Get organized in a way that you can find the things you need.
Reward yourself when you have finished a (difficult and postponed) task. Make it a habit. I will do you good.
Be certain you are in good shape, you eat healthy, you move on a regular base and sleep well. This will give you the energy to do the things you have to do.
Ah, I finished my page! Oh, I really hope I helped you. But you know, this time I want to believe I helped you. I do not want to be a perfectionist this time..if I can make a few people a little bit happier, it’s OK!
Thanks for reading and please.. a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step. Take that first one!