Are you noticing you keep putting off some tasks that you know need to be done, but you still manage to put them off day after day? You seem to have the best intentions and yet still find yourself creatively delaying and avoiding those nagging items on your list. Welcome to procrastination, again. First, let’s be honest about the price of procrastination. When we put off doing what we said we are going to do, we loose the confidence and trust of others (if you are a leader at work, there is little worse!!) and more importantly we loose confidence in ourselves. Our cup of self-esteem starts to trickle out the bottom through the procrastination hole and over time, we commit to less and less as our own belief that we will follow through diminishes. Second, let’s dispel the big myth about procrastination – it is not about being lazy!! People who procrastinate make great intentions just like the rest of us. There is no point in beating yourself or anyone else up until we clearly understand what is behind the behaviour.
Procrastination is a lack of motivation, broken down into three parts.
1. The Power of Expectancy – My own belief in myself to complete a task, including my relative skills. The Fear of Failure plays a large part of hijacking this one.
2. Value – My desire to complete a task. How badly do I really want it?
3. The Power of Immediacy – Managing your stimulus so you don’t get hijacked by the emotional side of your brain by creating conscious triggers and installing planning and structure The next time you find yourself procrastinating or in the presence of it, ask questions that find out the true root before going to shame yourself or anyone else into getting the task done while taking a truck load of confidence away. Consider these questions to help you bust out:
- Do you have the skills and belief in yourself to complete the task?
- How badly do you want it?
- How can you find an internal motivator/reason that matters to increase the value?
- What conscious and positive triggers do you need to set in place to ensure the task gets completed?
- What pre-planning is needed to support the task?
Procrastination is NOT an inherent flaw to be ashamed or embarrassed about. It is a complex process in the brain that requires understanding. When you address it in three, simple parts, you increase your chances of completion by 8 times!! That is worth the higher confidence levels in yourself and those around you. What is your experience with procrastination? Do you have a system for busting out? Leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you. If you are tired of procrastinating and looking for someone to help you crack the code in your life, call me. Want to get these blogs sent to you every week so you don’t miss one? Click that ‘INSIGHTS IN YOUR INBOX’ tab just to the left and fill our your information. The science behind procrastination is from Dr. Piers Steel, author of “The Procrastination Equation”.