Estimated reading time: 6 min
In part 1 of the article , you read about the top 5 reasons why you procrastinate and what you can do about them. Here are the next 5.
6. You do not want to really do it: What if you really don’t want to do it? What if you are procrastinating because of that?What do you do then?
Two things. One. If it is delegateable, delegate it. You might find someone out there who is more interested in doing it. You could even delegate it to virtual assistants.
Two. Visualize the task as a gate. If you manage to open the gate, you will get to do things that you really love to do. For eg: I run a Spanish training institute. I love training. When I started the company, all I wanted to do was to train, and I hated the normal business chores like printing pamphlets, updating the website, and making cold calls. I did these chores nevertheless because I realized that I would only get enough clients if I kept doing these and that thought made it easier for me to do them.
Also, when the business grew, I had money and I hired assistants to do these tasks.
7. You can’t decide: Indecisiveness costs a lot of time, money and mental energy. A lot of times you are stuck in a rut because you can’t decide on which path to take. Should you choose the white background or the black for the PowerPoint slide, or should you present the data for this quarter or for the whole year? There will be compelling arguments for both the sides, but you can’t do both and ultimately you fall into what is called analysis paralysis.
There is a simple trick to free yourself from analysis paralysis. Set a deadline for the decision. “In the next ten minutes, I will decide on the color”, or the next 30 minutes, or 1 hour, or even a day. But stick to it. If needed, use a timer. This will save you precious time.
8. You are distracted: There is no limit to the number of distractions you have around. You love your distractions. Instead of doing that task you know you should be doing, you read endless articles (exactly what you are doing now 🙂 ), watch YouTube videos, play candy crush etc. This is because your brain prefers instant gratification. It wants that pleasure now. Not after one day when you finish the task you are supposed to.
There are two ways you can tackle this. One, set tiny goals. Those you can finish in 30 minutes or one hour. When you achieve them, you get a dopamine rush and fulfil the brain’s need for instant gratification.
Two, use the distractions as rewards. Finish 50 minutes of focussed work, and you get to watch 10 minutes of YouTube videos, or 10 minutes of candy crush. This also helps you relax.
9. You are planning too much: I used to be one of those guys who would start anything only once I planned it to the last detail. This is counterproductive. No plan is complete till you start implementing it. Plan the essentials of the project. Start implementing them, and the details will follow.
10. You are obsessed with perfection: One of the reasons why I delayed publishing this blog is that I kept thinking it should be perfect. I kept thinking I have to be an excellent writer before I start the blog. My articles had to be perfect.
The blog did not materialize until I realized one day that I won’t become that excellent writer I want to be if I don’t start somewhere. So, I started the blog, and decided that probably by the 100th article, I will be close to the excellence I am aspiring for. So, start off with what you have. Perfection is the continuous improvement of good.
There you have. The top 10.
So, the next time you realize that you are procrastinating, do not forget to ask why. Tackle the why. It will be far more effective.
So, what are you procrastinating on right now? At this moment. And why? Let me know in the comments. Also, if you have a friend who would find this useful, please share it. Hit one of the share buttons below.
NB: You can read a bit more about some of the things discussed here in article 1 (The art of the start). You might want to read it too.