Procrastinating is so common in society that you have likely heard people joking about it. I often (jokingly) tell my clients who have a problem with procrastinating that they would benefit from attending a support group meeting for procrastinators, but the only ones I know about are always postponed to the following week.

There‚Äôs a good chance you can remember the last time you procrastinated on something you needed to do. The last time I procrastinated was two days ago… when I planned on writing this article on procrastination.

Even the most productive people I work with procrastinate from time to time. Doing it on occasion is perfectly normal and human. It is only a problem once it becomes your personal mode of operation.

Some of the most common reasons for procrastinating are feeling overwhelmed by the size of the task, not finding the task interesting/fun, and fear of failing or lack of progress.

Each of those reasons requires different approaches. If you feel overwhelmed by the task’s enormity, you may benefit from breaking it down into small pieces. Many are surprised to find that they want to continue on after finishing a small piece and often end up finishing the task much quicker than they imagined.

In the case of a task you find boring, but are required to do, I use two separate approaches. 1) I remind myself that all the time I waste/suffer dreading it, will return to me if I do it now. 2) I know from experience that there are things to be learned when completing onerous tasks, so I focus on how this may be a chance to get better. At the very least I will get some extra practice using self-discipline.

As for the fear of failing or the lack of progress, I take the first step, and if I am not getting anywhere, I stop and do something fun that gives me a sense of making progress for a short time. This not only re-energizes me, but that sense of progress usually carries over to the task at hand.

If you want to overcome procrastination, I suggest you take the first step and give a few of these strategies a go this week. Every time you take steps to resist procrastination, you make it more likely that they will become your default mode in the future.


You can follow Sam on Twitter: @SuperTaoInc


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