Hands up! Who’s got a ‘to do’ list that they never ever get round to completing?
Or, did you set yourself a load of resolutions to do before the end of the year, didn’t start them in January but are telling yourself you definitely will action them now?
There’s name for this and it’s procrastination.
Next Tuesday, the 6th September, is Procrastination Day. And if there’s one thing that I have to constantly work on it’s my tendency to procrastinate.
I used to think of myself as a perfectionist. But, when I started being honest with myself, I realized that in actual fact I was doing nothing other than procrastinating.
And I was so good at it!
My new favourite mantra is from the amazing Marie Forleo. I repeat it to myself on a regular basis and it’s: #progressnotperfection
So, spend a minute thinking about this:
If there’s one thing that you’re procrastinating on – where might you be if you stopped procrastinating over it and took some action.
Why do we procrastinate?
This common behaviour often stems from fear of the unknown. Or we may fear what we perceive as the embarrassment of failure, other people’s opinions and have doubt as to our own abilities.
We shall overcome!
So if most of us procrastinate how do we overcome it?
I read an article recently, which suggested something rather interesting. As a general rule men will submit a piece of work when it’s 85% complete whereas women will only submit when it’s 100% finished.
The upshot being that women tend to be less productive.
While a woman is perfecting a piece of work a man will have moved on to the next thing on his list while waiting for feedback on what he’s done so far.
And the chances are that the ‘not-quite-perfect’ piece of work gets accepted as it is. Praise is given and the submitter moves on to the next task in hand.
Here’s a few suggestions to help you tackle the procrastination pest!
1. Brain Dump
Take 10 minutes to write down everything that you want to achieve at work and at home in the next one to two months. Then break these down into 3 to 5 steps depending on is the size of the task and diarise when you’e going to take action on each point.
2. Eat That Frog
If you haven’t read this book then I recommend it! In simple terms the book talks about doing the thing that you don’t want to do first every day. That way you aren’t spending energy thinking or worrying about it.
Having got the unpleasant task/tasks out of the way you’ll then be free to do the things you enjoy doing.
Get an accountability partner in what ever format works best for you but just get one!
This may be a coach, being part of a mastermind group or getting your best friend to come running with you.
You’re more likely to take action and achieve your goals if you know someone is going to ask you how you’re getting on.
I’m part of a mastermind group – we meet via Zoom every Tuesday evening.
Without doubt I’m at my most productive on Tuesday afternoon. This is because I don’t want to be the person on the call that says they haven’t achieved what they said they would.
Earlier I asked you to take a minute to think about if there’s one thing that you’re procrastinating on – where might you be if you stopped procrastinating over it and took some action.
What ever it was that you came up with just take action NOW!