I’ll do it later, how often do you hear yourself repeat this phrase?
You know the name for it, ‘Procrastination’ but why do you put off the things you want to do or know you should do, that’s the burning question we all want to know.
And like most things we encounter in life, unless you know the cause it’s pretty damn hard to prescribe a cure, and untreated the symptoms may become worse.
Ask yourself this question:
“Do you find the more you start to put things off, the more you start to put things off?”
Unless you deal with the cause of the procrastination, it will begin to grow and form a new habit.
So let’s look at some of the possible causes of procrastination:
Important Tasks
Some tasks are pretty important, so you avoid starting on them just in case you mess things up, you procrastinate to avoid failing or doing something that may not work out as planned.
This often leads to demotivation to get started, and you know you should, but can’t seem to find the focus required to get your head down and see the task through.
To combat this issue try scheduling protected time to complete the task, if you find that you’re more motivated to do uncomfortable or tedious tasks first thing in the morning, protect this time and use something like the Pomodoro technique (Read about the Pomodoro technique in my previous blog post) to gain maximum productivity.
Alternatively, if a task can be completed in under 2 minutes, do it immediately!
2. Increasing Workload
Maybe your workload is a little overwhelming, and new tasks keep getting added to your To Do list and you don’t know where to start, so it’s easier not to get started at all.
I’m sure most can relate to this, we are swimming in data collection points, new emails, new calls, text messages, social media notifications, etc. The list continues to grow, and we start to cherry pick the things we prefer to do, although we know we should be doing something else.
A great hack to master the ever growing and overwhelming To Do list is to use the Eisenhower Matrix (See image). Much of the time we find ourselves carrying out tasks that can be deleted, or delegated, but the easier solution is to just do it ourselves,
yet we complain that we don’t have the time to get everything done.
Delegation can be difficult at first, but the art of delegation will assist you massively going forward, so choose to challenge it now.
Try applying these two techniques to your working day and see how fast you begin to illuminate the habit of procrastination.