There are several reasons for procrastination. Here are some and how to overcome them:
- We avoid tasks where we have performed poorly in the past. Instead of rationalizing, defending, or justifying your areas of weakness, make a plan to get better in that area. Take steps to gain proficiency. Feelings of progress overcome procrastination, and when you become excellent at something, you will not avoid it.
- We procrastinate because of lack of confidence or self-esteem. Whatever we’ve failed to do in the past pulls us down, while what we have accomplished pulls us up. Take stock of your unique talents and abilities often. Identify what you do well, and do a lot of what you enjoy and are good at. Then you will feel strong enough to grow as needed in other areas.
- Often there are limiting factors that need to be overcome for us to get something done. Identify what those are and set up a plan to remove them, whether they are within you, or in your external environment.
- Sometimes we just don’t feel we have enough time to get something done, so we put it off, when we have plenty of time to do what matters far less. If you don’t have time to do everything, shift your procrastination instead to avoid what is less important. Defend chunks of time to focus on what matters most. Also, you can set a timer, and work on it for a small period of time, regularly. It can get done that way, as small parts swiftly accrue.
- Sometimes we are just too tired. Prioritize getting good sleep regularly, and getting in Sabbaths and vacations, to stay refreshed. When you are rested you can accomplish much more.
- Sometimes we procrastinate when tasks seem large, formidable, even insurmountable. The solution here is to chunk it down and do only one bit at a time.
- Sometimes we don’t do something because it really doesn’t hold enough value to us. Do some earnest introspection about this avoided item, and if you really don’t need to do it on any level, delegate it or simple eradicate it from your list.
Often procrastination is a mixture of these things, but to break past your delay requires a plan of action, like those above, and then a disciplined execution of the plan.
Very rarely is procrastination just the self-sabotage it looks like from the outside. Owning the reasons for it, will help you realize the next steps to take, and get you off your own case about it, which doesn’t help.