What are you thinking of putting off until tomorrow?
What projects have you started but can’t seem to finish?
What task on your to-do list keeps rolling over from week to week?
Procrastination may be one of the biggest energy drainers out there, yet we somehow think it serves a purpose to make life a little more pleasant by avoiding something we don’t want to do.
But instead, it adds stress, disorganization, failure and guilt, along with missed deadlines, lost opportunities, unnecessary expenses and maybe even health problems. And the motto of “just do it” may not be the best solution.
By first understanding and recognizing your own reasons for procrastinating, you can then develop strategies to overcome them.
Here are six common causes that stem from the habit of procrastination and suggestions for dealing with them:
You feel like a project is too massive and complex to complete.
Solution: Break the task into small pieces; “bite off what you can chew” for today.
You can’t make up your mind about what to do.
Solution: Identify what other information you need or what will help you make a decision.
The task seems boring and tiring, or perhaps it was assigned to you.
Solution: Take it on at your peak to maximize your energy.
You find yourself getting distracted, you’re disorganized or you can’t manage your time.
Solution: Clear your environment. Block out a specific amount of time. List the tasks by importance, due date or size.
Maybe you lack self-confidence or don’t think you’re up to handle the task.
Solution: Focus on your strengths and the end result. Remind yourself of how good it will feel when you complete the task.
Sometimes you can delay because you want things to be perfect.
Solution: Relax your expectations of how you feel things “should” be.
One of the many benefits of overcoming your avoidance habits includes a sense of energy and enthusiasm that completing the task will trigger. There is a release of endorphins in the brain, causing the experience of a natural high.
We all know how great checking an item off our to-do list feels. However, chronic procrastination may be a symptom of a serious underlying problem, such as depression, addiction or an attention disorder. If this is the case, individuals frequently do not understand why they cannot seem to “get it together” and can become resigned to a life of struggle, frustration and underachievement.
Seeking professional help and support can help people focus on the real problems in order to overcome procrastination.
If you are in crisis, please call our crisis line, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.
If you're still having trouble and would like to reach out to someone about counseling or other Centerstone services, contact us.
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