Sometimes if I have a project to do that isn’t exciting to me, or doesn’t use my creative skillsets, I procrastinate. We all do. It’s just life.
We learned this skill without even realizing it. When we were kids we would put off cleaning our room as long as possible by finding something else that we needed to do first.
As adults, we often put off something we know we have to get done because it isn’t going to be a fun task, or we are afraid of the outcome when we do that “thing” and what the future could look like.
It could be something small or something big, but procrastination can always creep in if we aren’t prepared to battle it back out.
You can kick procrastination to the curb. Not through luck, but rather through your own determination.
The solution to beating procrastination is both cognitive and behavioral. You need to keep your eye on the priority, force yourself to do what you need to and resist the urge to procrastinate.
When you procrastinate, you substitute something less important than what you are putting off. This is an action diversion. You will likely have an excuse for this as well which is a mental diversion.
For example, when you need to make a phone call and deal with a credit card issue, you may think it is going to be a hassle so you will put it off and work on your budget instead. This is an action diversion of not making the call you need to make and instead working on a task that you could do after the call.
Then if you follow that by saying to yourself “well, I need to make sure I have my budget in place so I know what money I can spend and what bills I need to pay so I don’t have to worry about credit card debt in the future” this is a mental diversion of making an excuse for the action you decided to do instead of the task you needed to do.
By recognizing action and mental diversions you give yourself opportunities to substitute constructive follow through instead of procrastination diversions.
A big problem with procrastination is it leads to self-doubt and self-downing. So when you can identify that you are procrastinating and you have the determination to not do that and to get the task done instead, you will feel better about yourself as well.
When you practice beating procrastination, you will also find that you have more time to get things done. You aren’t wasting time on things you don’t need to do just to get out of something that must be done anyway. You also free up your mind from worrying about the thing you are putting off and instead opening it up to new ideas and opportunities that couldn’t previously get past the stress from the procrastination.
Remember, we all procrastinate. Even when we know better. So don’t beat yourself up if you do procrastinate from time to time, just try to practice determination to get past it and not procrastinate on the next project.