Hi, there, you shimmering sunflower! (an interesting thought! 🙂 )
The time has (finally!) come to talk about one major productivity killer.
The all so dreaded force which keeps us from accomplishing the tasks we should do.
It whispers so gently to us, and we start to believe those thoughts are our own.
There’s no denial, I’ve been there, you’ve been there, we’ve all experienced it from time to time.
And it ain’t fun (at least not in the long run)!
Therefore, to help you understand if procrastination is sneaking up on you (and to keep myself reminded not to fall for those stories, either), I’ve compiled a list of procrastination thoughts we all should be aware of.
So, if you ever catch yourself thinking this way, be assured procrastination is whispering to you at that very moment, and you should deal with it before it sabotages you to be your very best.
And here they are.
Some thoughts procrastination plants in our minds, hoping they will be enough to stop us from using our potentials to the maximum.
And because I’m not letting it be that way, I’m giving you the weapons to fight it – in form of quick action tips to blast each statement right away. 😉
Ready? Here it goes!
“You’ll do it later, you have the time…”
Yes, you have… Until you don’t!
And did you notice that the time usually runs out faster when you think like this?
Before you know it, you’ll be reaching a deadline (and maybe even start to panic), wondering how the hell did this happened.
There is no need to pile the tasks for the future.
Who knows what else might also come up along the way? Why should you overwhelm and pressure your future self? I’m sure you wouldn’t do the same to anybody else, and you’re no exception to it, ya’ know?
Quick action tip: Even though you might have enough time at your side, don’t postpone the task if you can do it straight away. Just start. You’ll either do the whole thing or at least get some part of it done, leaving you less to worry about tomorrow.
“You don’t have enough time for this right now!”
Ok. Maybe you really don’t.
But I’m sure you can find a way to do even the littlest part of a task at that very moment.
Unless you are in a true urgency on some other matter (which is highly unlikely by the way. You can read my opinion about it in Is Urgent REALLY Urgent? Points To Consider When Someone Bombs You With An “Urgent” Request“).
But then again, you wouldn’t even think about something else at that moment, right?
So, other “urgencies” are no excuse, either.
Quick action tip: Any task can be broken down into smaller steps. Think of the one thing you can do right now regarding the task in mind, and do it. Now. Even though it might not be as much, it still moved you from ground zero, and you’ve made a progress.
“This is soooo hard…”
Familiar with this one?
Anything is hard until it’s done.
Ok, maybe not everything is hard, but if you think your specific task is, you’re probably right.
But, guess what?
It will still be hard later this day, or tomorrow, or in a week, or even a month. (yeah, it doesn’t wear off with time…)
The truth is it becomes less hard only after you start doing it. By chopping it down little by little, this boogeyman task becomes a no-bugging task.
Quick action tip: Don’t let the hurdles stop you. You have what it takes to do it. Repeat it again with me: you have what it takes! Believe in yourself, take a deep breath, and start. You’ll see how the task will get easier with each obstacle you overcome.
“This is boring.”
Yeah… Really not a thing to motivate you to jump straight at it and do it.
But before you mentally label the task as the most boring thing to do in the entire Universe, think about it for one more time.
Is it really so? Maybe there is a tiny, tiny, tiny thing about it which makes the task more interesting for you to do it.
Nope? Not even a microscopic particle?
Well, sometimes you just have to go with the flow…
Quick action tip: Try to view the task from a different perspective, and try to find a more interesting aspect of it which might appeal to you. Or (for a super-boring task) just acknowledge it and accept it as it is and then do it (what else did you expect?). In the process, think about the way you will feel at the end – once you get it done (the I’m-liberated-from-this-utterly-boring-task-for-good kind of way). It’s a great thing to look forward to – at least I think so, don’t you?
“Yes, you’ll do it, but just this one thing first.”
And the experience tells us that “the one thing” usually translates as “one MORE thing” which eventually drags us in a completely different direction.
It often happens we even forget about the task which was initially on our mind (you know, that one… the one thought about ages ago… the one we should do before we did a 100 of other stuff first).
However, this is a legitimate excuse only if the other task has a greater priority and urgency than the former.
But be true to yourself about your urgent and important tasks!
No need to wiggle out and cheat on this one, you’ll be only undermining yourself along the way.
Quick action tip: Assess your productivity matrix and evaluate how the tasks rank according to their importance are urgency. After defining it, you should have a clear (or at least clearer) picture of what you should focus on at that very moment.
Pssst… Take your productivity matrix and write your tasks down!
(Need some freshening up to do when it comes to productivity matrix? Read Your Key To Productivity – The Three Things You Need To Know“)
“But, what if you fail?”
Is the fear of failure stopping you from starting the work?
Remember, you only fail when you stop trying.
Everything else is called learning.
Trial and error.
Hit or miss.
And you can never tell the outcome unless you give it a shot.
Quick action tip: Swallow your fear and get going! Make a step forward despite the feeling. Remember that growth happens only when you get out of your comfort zone. I assume you do want to expand your horizons? Yes? Excellent! Now you know what to do next. 🙂
“You don’t know what to do first!”
Too many tasks piling up or one task with 1000 mini steps?
The effect is the same.
The feeling of overwhelm floods you, and it usually ends up by simply leaving the tasks altogether, and walking away from them.
But you know the saying, “You can run, but you can’t hide”?
The only thing which might happen is you could end up with even more tasks to deal with in the future.
And you don’t want that, do you?
Quick action tip: Determine what are the priorities you should be working on right now. But even if you don’t know your priorities, you still can (and should!) do the work (although it would be better and more productive otherwise). Just start off. Maybe the things will get clearer along the way, and maybe they won’t, but nevertheless, you’ve made a progress in the meantime.
“You’re not quite prepared for it yet.”
There’s no doubt you could read some more about the subject.
Or check a video on it, or attend a webinar, or prepare some more materials you might need for the project…
But let’s be honest, will you ever be completely prepared?
My best guess is – not.
As with anything in life, you can never be prepared for everything which might come up along the way.
Which again means you shouldn’t wait for the perfect timing when you will have everything set in place.
Because that moment will never come.
Think about this – would anyone be a parent if they would wait to be absolutely prepared (both with the knowledge AND the skills) for everything that follows after having a baby?
This gives a little perspective, huh?
Quick action tip: Having the knowledge and/or the expertise on a subject of your task/work is a good thing. However, there is a fine line between what you need to know and what you THINK you need to know to start the work. And I’m sure you gained enough information by now. So start from where you are at this very moment and learn along WHILE doing the work at the same time. You’ll have more confidence and motivation to push forward once you see the achievements you’ve made along the way.
And that’s it for now.
Hope I’ve demystified that sneaky procrastination voice even a little bit.
Now get out there and observe how your to-do list gets ticked off! 🙂
Pssst... Here are more related posts just for you, dear! 😉