If procrastination is holding you back in life, these 4 simple steps are a sure way to help you overcome your endless struggle with procrastination. You'll soon be able to achieve those daunting tasks and in some cases, even look forward to doing them!
Step 1: Identify the REAL cause of your procrastination
The first step is finding out what causes procrastination. People often use the word as if procrastination itself is the problem. For example, "You know, I really have a problem with procrastination." But procrastination itself is NOT the problem-it is only the symptom.
Start by picking a task you know you should do, but have put off for a long time. Is this something you dread doing because it is not in line with who you are?
For example, I had a friend whose son always turned his homework in late. He constantly put it off until the very last minute-even after being penalized, still nothing changed. It took a caring teacher to really dig into the problem to find out what it was.
The boy, as it turned out, was afraid of getting a bad grade on his homework. Without even thinking about it, he would put it off until the pain of turning it in late became greater than his fear of getting a bad grade.
In his mind, he was actually protecting himself from a potentially painful situation. The apparent reason for his procrastination was: I'm too busy with my after-school projects. The REAL reason for his procrastination: I'm afraid I might fail. To find the source of your procrastination, ask yourself the following questions:
1) Am I putting it off because I'm just not good at it?
2) Am I putting it off because I'm afraid I might fail or because I'm afraid of what might happen?
Step 2: Create an action plan that's in line with your strengths
After you discover the real reason for your procrastination, the next step is finding a way to get the job done that is in line with something you LIKE to do.
Let's say you really like to be with people, but you have a term paper that you must get done. The truth is that you don't want to write the paper because you have to do it by yourself. The problem is that your strength is being with people but this paper forces you to work alone.
The solution? Try inviting a friend over to help you. (This friend must have your best interest in mind). They won't write your paper for you, but you can bounce ideas off of them. This solution would make writing a paper much more appealing to you when you know you won't have to "go it alone." You can do this with any task you need to get done, but have put off in the past because it was not in line with one of your strengths.
Step 3: How fear of failure can be the cause of procrastination
One big reason that many people struggle with procrastination is because they're afraid that they might fail. But what is REALLY driving this fear of failure? In most cases, it's because of that little voice inside your head that tells you you're just not good enough.
The voice goes like this: I know I need to look for a new job, but I'm so afraid of interviews. What if I say something stupid? I'll just wait til next week when there are more jobs in the paper and I can get someone to write a better resume.
Do you see how that little voice is creating the thoughts that cause procrastination? You start with good intentions, but they quickly get shot down by that little voice inside your head. So how can you stop this from happening?
Step 4: How to stop making excuses and start getting things done!
The next step is overcoming that "little voice" and getting rid of it the moment it begins to invent excuses that cause you to procrastinate. Keep reading to find out about a FREE 7-day email course that shows you exactly how to do this.
Be sure to take notes on these 4 simple steps and practice them so you can put those unproductive days behind you. Since you now know the real cause of procrastination, you can go right to the source and eliminate that little voice inside your head.