You Snooze You Lose: Your Guide for Overcoming Procrastination
When we delay the important few tasks to focus on trivial things, we are sabotaging our own success and time management.
Do you keep putting off important tasks until the last minute? Well, don’t worry, you are not the only one. According to author Piers Steel, about 95% of the people procrastinate to some degree. This article is designed to help you to understand that procrastination is not indolence and is a conscious behavior, and will provide you with the tools to overcome it.
When we delay the important few tasks to focus on trivial things, we are sabotaging our own success and time management. Procrastination is a failure of self-regulation, in which we keep ignoring the important tasks and rather divert our attention to less important or insignificant tasks. We delay our responsibilities or actions until the very last minute when we know the delays can cause us negative consequences including missing out on some valuable opportunities in our lives. This can happen because for a few reasons such as:
Procrastination : Fear of Failure
Many studies have shown a correlation between the fear of failure and the tendency to postpone actionable tasks. This implies that the more anxious we feel about failing at our goals, the less likely we are going to feel motivated to pursue them. But come to think of it, if you are never going to try, you are never going to succeed anyways. So, face your fears and do it anyway!
If this is something that resonates with you, I recommend putting together a list of all the positive outcomes that will happen if you are going to accomplish your goals, even for small tasks such as completing your presentation and your meetings. And focus on those positive outcomes.
Don’t allow your fear of failure and self-doubt to stop you from taking your chances in life. Cultivate more of a “go-getter” and positive attitude in life. There is a chance that you might fail at first but understand that not every win comes at the first strike. And this should not stop you from trying.
Exaggerating The Time
We tend to magnify or exaggerate the perception of time, making it appear longer than it is. This distortion of time can contribute to our avoidance behavior and further enable our procrastination tendencies.
Usually, this type of behavior is developed from our academy days. Furthermore, a lack of structure and external accountability, such as deadlines or commitments can lead to delayed action. However, understanding that some days can bring unforeseen circumstances can help us to prioritize the completion of our tasks.
Prioritize the completion of your tasks in the first available time slot rather than waiting until the end of the date to have your schedule more organized and meet your deadlines with ease.
Overestimating Our Abilities
At times, procrastination can occur as a result of our tendency to overestimate our capabilities or underestimate the complexities of the task at hand. We feel overly optimistic about our skills and underestimate the potential challenges. We completely ignore our realistic self-assessment. Though it’s not bad to have such high confidence in yourself. But at times when recognizing and addressing this ability to overestimate ourselves is crucial. So that we can take appropriate actions at the appropriate time.
Have a rational assessment of your skills and abilities and plan so that you can gather the resources and help you need to complete the task in time.
Lack of Motivation
Lack of motivation and procrastination goes hand in hand but are not the same things. Lack of motivation is a factor that leads you to procrastination. If you are not feeling motivated enough towards the completion of a task, just check in with yourself if it’s the lack of interest or lack of inspiration causing you to procrastinate.
Even while working on our dream project, we all have to do things that don’t excite us much such as filling out all that paperwork to get government approvals or waiting in queues to get our plans approved by the municipality. If you are lacking motivation, gently remind yourself of the big picture and how these little steps will add up to a fulfilling project.
Here are some additional tips to help you to stay on track with your project:
Make a planner
(List down all your action items, with target completion dates)
Remember one step at a time
(Break down your goals into bite-size actionable steps)
Beware of red flags
(Pay attention to your thoughts and negative self-talk, and stick to your plan with a positive mindset)
Get a life coach
(This will help you to stay accountable and will help you to plan the actionable steps without getting overwhelmed)
Avoid excessive social media usage
(Prioritize your work during office hours, even if you are working from home. Set your working hours if you haven’t already and avoid all other distractions, especially social media during your working hours)
If you are struggling with staying on track with your deadlines, reach out to us in one-on-one wellness coaching sessions where we can provide you with the necessary tools to be more efficient in your occupational life. You can book your coaching sessions via the HerMeNow Wellness page or can directly email me at email@example.com to book a slot.