Updated: Jun 27, 2020
I feel very comfortable and confident saying that procrastination is something we all have experience at one point in our lives. I don't know anyone who has not procrastinated at one point. We all struggle with delaying, avoiding and procrastinating on issues, tasks, activities and topics that matter to us. I also feel conformable and confident to say that there are other times, when we temporarily figure out how to break through procrastination when we have felt the most productive and fulfilled.
So, what is exactly procrastination? I went an ask my Google search bar for an official definition and this is what I found: Procrastination is the act of delaying a task or set of tasks. Procrastination is one of the main barriers blocking us from getting up, making the right decision and taking action. You can also say is one of the main barriers preventing us from living our best lives, since this year this is the big theme.
Recent studies have shown that people regret more the things they didn't do than the things they did. And that feeling of regret and guilt resulting from missing an opportunity tends to stay with us much longer.
The truth is that when we procrastinate, we are wasting time that we could have invest in something meaningful, so it has kind of a double negative impact on us, if you think about it that way. But why do we procrastinate? I have been reflecting about this since I am personally struggling with procrastination lately. I decided that I want to write a personal development book this year. This book in one of the things is my 10-year goals. Writing and publishing this book is very important to me, and I know that the only way I will get to publish it is if I write it first. I also know that writing a book can’t be done overnight. It's going to take me writing consistently every week or even every day until I get it done. The truth is that I have been struggling with procrastination to the point that I made very little progress so far. According to my master plan by now I should be done with chapter 2 and I am not even half way chapter 1 as I write this article.
So, I decided to take a step back and reflect on why is that I am procrastinating. I also meet with some people in my circle and ask them why do they procrastinate when they procrastinate and I have been doing some research on the topic as well, trying to find the root cause so I can find a way to break through it.
Here are some of the most common reasons why we all procrastinate. To learn more about each of these reasons, listen to episode 15 of the Leading Yourself podcast where I explain each of them.
Lack of will power
Fear of failure, failure of criticism and sometimes even fear of success
Ignoring the value of time
Lack of self-discipline and self-control
Time inconsistency (very interesting theory you can't miss listing to)
Not knowing where to start
I also did a lot of self-reflection around how is that I have been able to overcome procrastination in different situations in the past, and also asked some people in my inner circle for advice and did some research on the topic. Here are my 10 best tips to avoid and kill procrastination. Once again, to learn more about each of this strategies, don't miss episode 15 of the Leading Yourself podcast.
Start before you are ready
Make yourself accountable
Squash any unproductive thoughts
Make the future consequences and rewards more immediate
Make your tasks more achievable
Build activities into routines
Give yourself a pep talk
Once again I want to invite you to listen to episode 15 of the Leading Yourself podcast: Killing Procrastination to get all the insights behind the reasons we all procrastinate and the 10 strategies to kill procrastination.