I procrastinated writing this article. For nearly a year!
Why did I procrastinate in the first place?
- I had no one to whom I was accountable to get it done (except myself).
- I thought no one cared. So why should I?
- I didn’t know where to start.
Does this happen to you?
- “I would go more regularly if I had a buddy to hold me accountable.”
- “No one cares. My fitness level doesn’t really effect my happiness.”
- “When I get to the gym, I feel like a dork. I don’t even know how to use the equipment or what exercises to do.”
Hmm. Did you catch the similarities between the two lists? You could probably play this game all day as you recount things you want to accomplish. Cleaning out your closet. Organizing the garage. Writing a thoughtful card to old Aunt Petunia.
Are you waiting to
prove to me that you
are not a procrastinator?
I changed my thinking. Then I got results.
In my case, this blog was born out of the time management and leadership classes I lead. My reasons for procrastinating were listed at the beginning of the article. It is obvious that I found a way to overcome these reasons since you are reading this completed article. Here is how I adjusted my thinking to overcome these self-imposed obstacles:
- I had to become more accountable to myself. I wanted to immortalize the content of my instructor-led classes by putting them on the world wide web. This would benefit me as a tool and resource. Maybe one day I can compile these articles into a book. So, I set a time on my calendar each week to do research and write on behalf of my blog.
- I stopped focusing on people who are not reading these articles. I switched gears and thought about the people that ARE reading. I cherish the comments, likes, or shares I receive. I dwell on the positive results I have achieved. And it excites me when someone tells me this information has helped them.
- I had to make a task list. This included research, finding free stock art, writing the article, editing, and posting.
In summary, here are the three principles to overcoming procrastination:
- Hold yourself accountable
- Find people who care
- Have a written plan
Alright. It’s you turn now. Apply these three principles to something that has suffered from procrastination on your part.
Give yourself a deadline. Or find a friend to hold you to a personal promise. They can check in periodically to see if you are keeping your commitment. If you are procrastinating with a work project, ask yourself, “Is my boss holding me accountable for this? If not, why am I doing it?”
Take 15 minutes to make a written plan. List the tasks needed to complete the project. Put it on your calendar. Plan a private party for yourself to celebrate, like binge-watching that TV show or having your friend buy you a congratulatory drink if you finish on time.
Thrive on positive energy. Surround yourself with “can-do” people, not excuse-makers. It is important to have people cheering us on. Motivation kills procrastination.
Lastly, send me a quick note on how this works out for you. It will keep me from procrastinating in the future! Thanks for reading!