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Driving Procrastination out of your Life

I believe most us of feel like even greater winners whenever we are able to finish our tasks for the day and overcome one of life’s biggest roadblocks to greatness: Procrastination.

However, there are times when we feel like procrastination has gotten the best of us. We know that we have a boatload of tasks to do and have deadlines to beat yet, we choose to set aside those tasks and do other things that we feel like doing. Then, hours before the deadline, we suddenly get into an adrenaline rush; trying to get those tasks done and silently cursing ourselves for not starting it sooner.

In our desire to beat this nasty habit, we subscribe to different methods and so-called solutions. We read books and download apps on time management, on overcoming laziness and on becoming more productive. However, to our dismay, none of them seem to work. Even when we find some of the new methods working for us, after sometime, we find ourselves slipping back to our old procrastinating ways.

So, how can we beat procrastination?

As with most habits, it is possible to overcome procrastination. In this article I will share to you why your procrastination solutions are somehow not working and the steps you could take instead to overcome procrastination and get more done.

Step 1. Recognise what Procrastination is.

To know how to deal with your procrastination, you first need to understand what procrastination really is. Oftentimes, procrastination is confused with laziness, but they are very different!

Procrastination is derived from the Latin verb procrastinare which means to put off until tomorrow. It is defined as an active process where you choose to do something else instead of the task that you know you should be doing. In contrast, laziness is defined as the quality of being unwilling to work or use energy.

A study conducted by The Procrastination Research Group at Carleton University in Ottawa, reveals that ‘procrastination isn’t a unique character flaw or a mysterious curse on your ability to manage time, but a way of coping with challenging emotions and negative moods induced by certain tasks — boredom, anxiety, insecurity, frustration, resentment, self-doubt and beyond’.

A person who gives in to this impulse can suffer serious consequences such as becoming demotivated and disengaged which leads to depression, lack of productivity and even job loss.

Step 2. Be Aware of your emotions and Learn How to Manage Them.

Since procrastination is an emotion regulation problem and not a ‘time management’ problem, downloading time management apps or reading books of the sort, won’t offer much help unless you learn to be aware of your emotions in the moment and know how to manage them.

So you need to understand the reasons why you are procrastinating. What emotions are making you procrastinate in the first place? Is it fear? Is it the lack of drive? Once you’ve identified why you are procrastinating and the emotions that are causing you to procrastinate, you can then learn how to manage them and bring yourself back into focus.

Step 3. Develop your Drive.

Once you have identified the emotions that are causing you to procrastinate, developing your drive is of utmost importance as it helps you manage your emotions better. Drive is defined as having the strength and perseverance to pursue the actions required in order to attain a certain goal. It is being proactive and persistent and having the readiness to act on every opportunity presented.

People who have enough drive, do not easily give in to procrastination. They are results oriented and are highly motivated to meet their objectives and standards. They set challenging yet reachable goals and do their very best to achieve them. They pursue information to reduce uncertainty and find ways to do improve their performance.

In my previous article, “Driving Your Way to Success”, I gave you some valuable tips on how to develop this competency.

The late and famous author, Charles Dickens could not have said it better:

“My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.”

Never let procrastination rob you of your time and of the joy you can get when you finish your tasks on time. So what what are you waiting for? Start doing steps 1 -3 to unleash the winner in you!

If this short article has spoken to you in any way, contact me today so we can discuss what support you need in this area of your life and leadership journey.

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