Procrastination is a behavior when a person continually puts off doing something to the point that it affects their lives negatively. It is reported that as many of 20% of people self identify as chronic procrastinators
How can you cope with procrastination?
- Recognize that you are procrastinating. This may be the easiest piece of the puzzle. Most procrastinators I know are pretty clear that they are procrastinating.
- Figure out the why behind the procrastination. This is something that could vary from task to task. Some common reasons for procrastination are
- Lack of confidence. People that are afraid of failure may avoid doing the task rather than risk failure.
- Difficulty making decisions. If you can’t decide what to do then you can’t move forward.
- Don’t want to do the task. Here you could find that you are taking on tasks you should be saying no to which is really an issue of boundaries rather than procrastination.
- Being unorganized. If you are unorganized than you may have a hard time prioritizing tasks and dealing with projects.
- Once you understand the why you can set up a procrastination accountability plan that works for your specific avoidance reasons. If you are unorganized or having difficulty with decisions you may want to find a person who can check in with you during the steps of the project. If you don’t want to do the project you can set up a reward system giving yourself a reward each time you work on the project. If your issue is being disorganized then getting help setting up an organizational plan for the project, that includes concrete deadlines. Breaking the project into smaller chunks can also help with this. Smaller pieces can be less overwhelming. If you have a lack of confidence you can use visualizations of success to help you complete your project.
Once you begin trying new things be gentle on yourself and give yourself time to make changes. It is rare to make such changes overnight so give yourself credit for each step you take. If you have a misstep take it as a learning experience and move forward.