Delaying, prolonging and stretching out tasks. We all do it. We joke about it. We tease others about it. Procrastination, however, does get in the way of our productivity.
It seems that we are resigned to dealing with procrastination. It’s just a part of life. Right? It doesn’t have to be.
Let’s look at common reasons why we procrastinate and three strategies to deal with three types of procrastination.
Which one of these is you?
The reasons we put off task are many but generally fall into three categories. Check to see which one matches your current procrastination slump and discover a strategy for dealing with it.
1. The task makes you feel uncomfortable.
In this situation, it is the job in front of you that feeds your resistance.
If the task in front of you makes you uncomfortable, “Name it to tame it.” By pausing and identifying what’s going on under the surface, you’ll be able to get a handle on your emotions that are triggering your procrastination.
It is your emotions that stop your actions.
Naming the emotion you feel, allows you deal with your resistance to the task in front of you.
2) The NEXT task makes you uncomfortable.
Try finishing these sentence
What emotion did the next task bring up for you?
It’s the subsequent feeling, about what happens next, that has you procrastinating on the current project.
Take time to recognize the links. Notice what is coming up after the task you are procrastinating on.
Make notes of your fears and what anxiety right arises in you about the next step. Then, go back to the first strategy. Name it to tame it. Naming the emotions allows you to get a handle on it. Being in control of your emotions puts you back into motion.
3) You are depleted
The most often overlooked reason we procrastinate is that we are truly depleted. We are like cell phones. We run out of charge. The problem is most of us only plug back in for a short time. Bumping back up to 10% charge doesn’t allow us to function adequately. Before long we are feeling drained again. When you’re running on empty, it’s extremely difficult to focus and use brainpower.
Employing these strategies to move through resistance will put you back in control. Noticing the emotional connection to what is going on helps you to regain momentum. Remember, name it to tame it. And, please don’t forget to recharge fully.
Distractions and disruptions can mean disaster for big projects!
Don’t let that happen to you. If you focus on the following three tips, you’ll find you can ditch distractions, diminish the disruptions and delight in what you can accomplish.
I was afraid I wouldn't get it done
I am working on finishing up my first book. I wrote it in between traveling, speaking, coaching, and teaching as well as my day-to-day tasks of running my business. The fear that I was going to be able to pull it off with such a full schedule prompted me to develop a completion strategy.
To finish the book amidst potential derailment from everything else going on, I needed to be focused. That meant I had to hone in on the productivity strategies I teach. The book I am writing means too much to me, I could not let it linger on forever. I knew it was time to practice what I preach.
To Do Lists Don't Work
I wish I had known more about this kind of productivity when I was in management. Back then trying to get through proposal writing, preparing for accredited reviews, completing a performance appraisal, or trying in vain to get through an overhaul of our orientation manual meant putting it on my to-do list. The problem was, just because it was on the top of my list didn't mean it was first to get done. My list didn’t help me stay focused. When someone else thought his or her demand of my time was more important, I tended to react to their petition. (read more about ditching ginormous to-do lists)
3 Tips to help complete BIG projects
If you have experienced similar challenges, here are some productivity hacks that will help you out immensely.
Blocking off large chunks of time and communicating to your team what you are doing is the first component to completing big projects. Don't stop there, though. Stay focused on the project by eliminating the distractions. Remember, you are your worst enemy. Keep the phone and the guilt as far away from you as possible. Eat healthy, move your body and get a good nights sleep. Mastering the basics gives you the edge you need to dig deep and get er' done.
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