We want you to think about the last thing you procrastinated about. Once you have it in your mind, ask yourself these nine questions:
- When faced with a task, I always think of all the ways it could go wrong?
- I can picture how important people in my life might react if I failed?
- I believe it’s better to not try at all than to try your best and fail?
- I am overwhelmed by the possibility of new responsibilities if I become successful?
- I think that if I do well, then others will expect more of me?
- I feel my success will lead to other people finding out the “real me”?
- I believe that if you’re going to do something, you should try to do it perfectly?
- I find it difficult to persist when things aren’t going just right?
- I would rather avoid doing something than do it imperfectly?
Did any of these statements resonate with you? If so, then according to Psychology Today it will help you to identify the reason for your procrastination.
If you answered ‘yes’ to questions 1 to 3, then perhaps you have a fear of failure. Alternatively, if you answered ‘yes’ to questions 4 to 6, then maybe you have a fear of success. Finally, if you answered ‘yes’ to questions 7 to 9, then possibly perfectionism is holding you back from achieving tasks.
No matter how you answered, it is important to understand that procrastination can take a huge toll on your health both emotionally and physically. Procrastination can cause you to suffer from anxiety, shame and it can encourage you to unnecessarily disconnect from people or circumstances. Quite often you will not be able to enjoy anything while that ‘guilt’ is hanging over your head. So, the sooner we can put off the procrastination, the better!
When you feel like you are about to pop a task in the ‘too hard basket’, then here are a few simple techniques that you could adopt to put off procrastination:
- Count backwards from 5 to 1. This is known as the 5 Second Rule and according to Mel Robbins, the founder of the 5 Second Rule, if you have an impulse to act on a task, then you must physically move towards your goal within 5 seconds or your brain will kill the idea. Counting backwards from 5 to 1 focuses your brain and allows you to drown out those pesky, unhelpful procrastination thoughts.
- Ask your Business Coach to keep you accountable. Utilising your Business Coach is smart way to psychologically motivate yourself because you are shifting the accountability to someone else who will be checking up on your progress. Your Achieve Business Dynamics Business Coach will be looking for explanations if you are regularly procrastinating on tasks and will work with you on solutions that will allow you to overcome these situations.
- Make a date with yourself. When we are catching up with family and friends, we set a fixed time to do so and we show up. Most of us would never set a time with them and then simply avoid showing up for no reason or because we are ‘tired’. When it comes to your next task, set a fixed time to start it and ‘show up’. Work for as long as you can on the task and then stop if necessary. However if you stop, set another fixed time to start working on the project again and ‘show up’ again. Once you have made a start, you will generally find your momentum to complete the task.
The longer you can put off procrastinating, the greater your chances of breaking the procrastination cycle and reversing any adverse tolls on your health and relationships.
So all there is to do now is to count backwards from 5 to 1 … pick up the phone to your Achieve Business Dynamics Business Coach to discuss your accountability … and set a fixed time to get started on your project and show up!