Do you have piles of “To Do” lists and Reminders on your hands? Do you keep writing the same tasks over and over again in every new To Do list? Do you keep saying I will do it and you never do? Do you keep jumping from one task to the next and you always find an excuse why not to get it done and finally you feel exhausted but when you check you can’t signal any task as done?
Procrastination is a serious problem that can ruin your career and even an entire company if you are on the top of the hierarchy.
How to heal this?
1- Acknowledge that you have this problem and take the decision to heal it.
2- Understand why it happens? Why do you procrastinate?
a- Waiting for the right time or the right mood to get it done?
b- A fear of failure?
c- Underdeveloped decision making skills?
d- Poor Time Management Skills?
e- The task is unpleasant or overwhelming?
f- Perfectionism? “wait until I can make it 100% perfect”
3- Take active steps to BEAT it.
Many things can be done to heal procrastination, for example:
- If the task is overwhelming, divide it into smaller task and take one at a time until done
- Always have an Urgent/important matrix to decide which task should you start with first. Answer questions like is it urgent or not? there is also the rule of shorter job first that can help you get 10 small tasks out of the way before getting into something that will take a longer time span.
- Create an action plan and STICK TO IT
- Remind yourself of the consequences of not getting a task done on time. Like for example by calculating the cost of your time on the job everyday you will realize how much you cost your company and hence your conscious will force you to get it done. You could also weigh how this will affect the company image with the customer, its effect on other colleagues who are waiting on you to do something else and so on….
- Create your own reward and punishment plan to encourage yourself.
- If you know you are too weak to be able to do all the above, ask a colleague or friend you trust to check on you. This way you’ll be ashamed to keep saying not yet.
There are many ways to heal this problem if you really want to, but you have to admit that you have it first.