I don’t understand myself sometimes. For example, I’m currently feeling enthused and motivated to throw myself into my new job. At the same time, I’m also feeling overwhelmed to the point of paralysis. I have work in front of me that makes me feel excited, but I’m not doing it. Why?
The reasons why people procrastinate
- Poor time management: you’re just not aware of how much time you have in relation to what you’re wanting to accomplish
- Boredom or disinterest: avoiding doing the unpleasant
- Overwhelm: you don’t know which task is the most important, or you don’t know how to break it down into manageable pieces
- Negative brain images: perfectionism, fear of success/failure, negative and “all-or-nothing” thinking
- Experience: Lack of experience in the subject, or lack of experience in managing oneself!
There are techniques of combating procrastination, but I even delay treating my procrastination because it has such a good side effect. I get so much other stuff done!
During the time in which I should have been reading a policy document and creating a flowchart to match, I finished two blog posts, I sent out quote requests for some trade work we need doing, I read the news headlines, took a brisk walk in the sunshine and booked myself in for a lunch date with a friend. I did all those tasks quickly and vigourously. However, now I feel like a nap, it’s been an hour and I still haven’t read the flipping policy!
So how do you overcome this and just get the thing done?
Ideas for procrastination obliteration
- Practical ideas from the University of Cambridge
Practical insights on understanding and overcoming procrastination, featuring strategies, academic perspectives, and productivity app recommendations.
- Slightly more philosophical ideas from Inc.com
Five scientifically-backed strategies to conquer procrastination, including ways to trick your brain into changing your perspective.
- Productivity apps such as Productivity Challenge, or my current favourite, Flora.
- Use your learning style to keep your brain focused
Ever been to a training session and found squishy things to play with to support different learning styles? Find out what yours is here (FYI, the kinesthetic/physical learners like to keep their hands busy!).
Any other recommendations? Add yours to the comments.