Updated: Jul 28, 2020
I think we all suffer from procrastination, it's just some of us can break it a little quicker than others or we can break it on some tasks more than others.
If I am being honest there has been a little procrastination happening writing this blog!
The most important question to ask yourself, is why are you holding yourself back from taking on the task in hand or working towards the goal that you set?
Only you can tell yourself why. Only you can explain why you aren't making a start, why you aren't progressing, or why you aren't completing the task.
There may be a few reasons for this. I will suggest a couple to get you thinking but you may find that you already have the answer.
Is it in alignment with your values and needs?
In the Phoenix webinar, ‘Finding your values, needs and purpose’ we spend some time looking at what is important. Not the things that are important to other people but what is important to you. What are your core values? What are your needs? How are you meeting your psychological needs?
Often people feel out of sync or say they feel lost. They feel like they have no sense of direction in life and that is often because they are not living in alignment with their values and needs but in order for them to do this, they need to know specifically what these are.
It is important to take some time and space to reflect and think through these areas of your life and then how you can change behaviours and habits to change your direction.
If the task is not in line with your values or achieving the task doesn’t fulfil a need for you then you aren’t likely to want to jump in with both feet and get started.
Have you found a strategy that works for you?
On the 6th of September, it is ‘Fight procrastination day’. On this national day it is an opportunity for people to consider what it is they have the most procrastination for (or is it against?) and how they can tackle this.
There are lots of ways that people tackle their procrastination.
Take on the most difficult challenge first thing in the day.
Set yourself three tasks to do that day and set your priorities
Timebox what you need to do and allocate time against it
Allocate time in the calendar for the tasks that need doing so that you can make that time
What is important is that you find a way that works for you, but let's be honest here, you can find a way that works for you, but if you don't look at why you're not doing it in the first place or why you don't want to do it then the problem is going to keep coming.
Are you lacking accountability?
We all have things that we don't want to do, yet has to be done. Not even just as adults, as children we have things that we need to get done (our parents would have told us that we must do the chores before we can go out and play) and this doesn't change as adults.
However, as adults, we have more control over what we choose to do and so we make it easier to procrastinate, especially when the task doesn't have accountability elsewhere.
If the accountability is only ourselves then we have less reason to complete the task and more reason to procrastinate.
Can you find another way to increase accountability?
Do you need to review the task or goal?
What is the difference between the goals that you are racing towards and the goals that you procrastinating with?
Ask yourself if the goal is a goal you actually want to achieve?
It may sound silly or strange but how many goals have you set in your life because:
You think you should
Other people think you should
You said you would
Society thinks we should
What is it YOU want for YOU?
Do YOU really WANT this?
If you don’t, what is it you DO want?
You may need to change or adapt the goal so that it is something that you want to achieve.
What is your level of involvement or investment?
In the book, ‘Supercoach’ by Michael Neill he describes how lowering your emotional involvement and investment can actually help you be more productive
Do your goals energise you or drain you?
What is your mental and physical involvement?
To what extent are you putting your creative and physical energies in the outcome?
What is your emotional investment?
To what extent are you putting your happiness, self-worth and wellbeing on the line in pursuit of the outcome?
This grid may help. All sections have positive and negative/uncomfortable elements.
You may recognise why you feel certain ways about the tasks, which then may tell you why the procrastination kicks in!
If you would like support in any of the areas discussed in this blog then why not book a free, no-obligation clarity call to discuss how coaching or Phoenix services can support you.