Procrastination Smothers Motivation

Procrastination is the intentional and habitual postponement of a task that should be completed now. It is actually the greatest time saver to tasks because they never got stared in the first place. You’ll never know you’re capable of until you at least attempt it.

When you procrastinate, you successfully postpone the anxiety incurred from starting an unknown or difficult task, or avoidance of ‘failure’. But the resultant feelings of helplessness, guilt, disapproval and loss of productivity and control are detrimental to the positive development of your self confidence and desire to seek new and exciting challenges; which is most likely the exact opposite of your initial desires when you started.

You are completely aware that you aren’t doing what you should be and your self confidence diminishes as a result of your disappointment. It’s unavoidable.

‘The truth can be denied but cannot be avoided.’

A bad habit takes time to break and even longer to create a good one as its replacement. Nothing in life that is really worth having is effortless. Take a moment and decide whether you are ready to make the commitment to stop the negative cycle of procrastination.

Why do you procrastinate?

Some of the most common excuses include indecision, fear of failure or lack of self confidence, the job is really complex and overwhelming, the task is simply unpleasant or uninteresting, lack of focus, distractions, need for perfection and the environment to work in is not supportive of sustaining the focus and interest required to complete the task.

It’s important to recognize the difference between an appropriate decision to delay and an irrational postponement without justification.

Set deadlines and goals, review them regularly, create realistic to-do lists, start with small tasks and reward yourself for your accomplishments. Create a supportive environment (as much as you can) that you know will improve focus and concentration, such as lighting, remove distractions like TV, internet and phone calls, comfortable seating, adequate heating & cooling, etc.

Effective strategies that have worked to remedy persistent personal delaying habits include:

Preparation & Breakdown:
When starting a complex project, take the time to prepare. Break these jobs into smaller, more manageable tasks. Plan and complete a start-up task, no matter how small. By taking the time to break down your complex job beforehand you save time completing the task because you are prepared with the big picture and all its pieces in mind first off. You minimize confusion that overwhelms you when facing a big job.

Consider the 80/20 rule. Use 20% of the time for preparation and planning and 80% of your time could be saved from frustration and waste.

Schedule an unpleasant task first or early in the day:
It is rare that the unpleasant task turns out as bad as you think. Therefore, look and think ahead and note in advance your unpleasant tasks and prepare to complete them first. You’ll actually get a boost of energy, not only from completing them but knowing they are not on the to-do list anymore.

One of the best ways to start your day is to tackle your hardest, least appealing job for the day, one that will have the greatest reward in terms of personal satisfaction and sense of accomplishment when complete. The motivation you acquire as a ‘side-effect’ for performing what’s important to you will fuel the momentum that rolls easily over the hump present to start a new task. Instead of the suffocation that exists from constant procrastination.

You will be moved by the natural high of personal satisfaction and accomplishment and seek to complete more important tasks!

Go ahead and jump in, no matter how small or insignificant you think it is. You have to start somewhere.

Try it. You may like it!

The only thing you have to lose is… ‘Oh, I’ll tell you later!’

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