Whether at work, at home or with relatives, some people have a reputation of always postponing everything they have to do now. If this tells you something, here are some strategies to ease your life and that of those around you, by avoiding procrastination.
Wait until tomorrow and do nothing…
The word “procrastination” is composed of the Latin words ‘pro’ and ‘cratinus’, which means “morning after”. It refers to the general tendency to postpone what needs to be done. Some consequences of this unfortunate habit are shoddy work, appointments that are not honored, lack of motivation, loss of job satisfaction and life goals.
Instead of locking ourselves into this prison where we invent reasons to do nothing, it is better to understand the reasons why we do not act, and adopt attitudes that motivate us.
What keeps us from taking action?
The basis of procrastination is usually found to be a motivation problem. What drives us to do one thing rather than another? Procrastination is a heavy artillery that prevents us from acting. Here are some examples.
1. Thoughts and imagination. We focus on the drawbacks of what we have to do. It’s boring, it’s difficult, it is long and so on. In addition, if we keep on making excuses for everything that we have to do, things seem to accumulate and exceed in height higher than the highest Himalayan peaks!
2. The lack of autonomy. To act is to take initiatives. However, it is often more comfortable to indulge in a group and leave it to others to lead, decide and act. One is never better served than by the other.
3. The fear of failure. Fear of failure is sometimes so great that we delay action until it is too late to succeed. This is the perfect excuse to do nothing.
4. Fear of success. Although this seems contradictory, we may also be afraid of success. We may believe that success will lead to jealousy, or that we will have to undertake new responsibilities because of the raise expectations that we may not be able to deal with later. Thus, no success, no problem!
Take Action: a door that leads to many advantages
- You learn everything you can do (this multiplies passions and possibilities).
- You know what mistakes to avoid because you have performed the task (to learn from failure).
- You get results (which is a source of growth and self-knowledge).
Different ways to counter procrastination
Enrich the reasons why you should take action
Making an effort always seems like a suffering. We prefer the comfort and the immediate results. Not many of use have developed the satisfaction associated with the effort and taste the results arising from these efforts. Once we sit comfortably in a chair and turn on the TV, it is very difficult to take action. The inertia grips us.
We often procrastinate because we believe that the action will bring us more suffering than inaction. However, it is possible to associate more pleasure in what you are doing. Think about the results and the satisfaction you will get. Do you also feel uncomfortable if you do nothing and get no results? This is the best way to become aware of everything that makes you fight your procrastination.
Get into action without thinking
The author and speaker Rita Emmett said: “We spend more time and energy by living in fear of a task than simply accomplishing it”. The best way to reduce anxiety related to action is to take action without thinking. Go against the adverse effects of your imagination. The more you advance, the more you are able to cope with an impressive stride. In other words, do everything what you dislike. You will quickly realize that the activities were much less unpleasant than you thought.
Divide large projects into subprojects
We tend to put off work because we perceive the task at hand as a mountain. Splitting the task allows us to achieve small goals every day. These results are very motivating and make us want to continue!
Make your commitment public
This strategy is based on the fact that we will be more inclined to do things if we know we will be judged or evaluated by others. Therefore announce your commitment loud and clear for some extra motivation.