A funny thing happened when I talked to my husband on Saturday. He asked me what my plans for the day are and my answer was: “I’m going to write a blog post about procrastination today, or maybe tomorrow”.
He burst out laughing and said, “Do you want to procrastinate on this?”
And yes, he was right, the plan wasn’t fixed and I left the option open for procrastination.
So why do we even procrastinate and what can we do about it?
TABLE OF CONTENT
- What is procrastination
- Why do we procrastinate
- How to stop procrastinating
WHAT IS PROCRASTINATION
According to the Cambridge dictionary, procrastination is defined as:
“to keep delaying something that must be done, often because it is unpleasant or boring”
The Oxford dictionary defines procrastination as:
“the act of delaying something that you should do, usually because you do not want to do it”
So is it really because we find it boring that we don’t want to do it?
Or why is it that we tend to procrastinate especially on things that are needed to achieve our goals?
WHY DO WE PROCRASTINATE
Tim Urban the author of the book Wait But Why has his own definition of why we procrastinate.
He says that there are 2 types of people.
The procrastinators and the non-procrastinators.
1. INSTANT GRATIFICATION
While the non-procrastinators are rational decision-makers, the procrastinators tend to enjoy instant gratifications.
The procrastinator type likes to be in the present moment living an easy life and have fun.
The procrastinator only starts doing what he/she is supposed to do when there is a deadline nearby.
Without a deadline, for example, as a blogger or small business owner, the procrastinator usually struggles to get things done.
2. NO FUTURE FOCUS
An article from Business Insider claims something similar. Two Harvard Professors named Todd Rogers and Max Bazerman conducted a study in 2006 to find out why we procrastinate.
They came to the conclusion that procrastinators aren’t focusing enough on their future self when it comes to decision making.
They rather indulge in the present moment. This is what leads them to procrastinate in the now moment.
3. FEAR OF FAILURE
Dominic Voge, author of the book Life Beyond Grades has another interesting view on why procrastinators do procrastinate. He says it has to do with their self-worth.
The combination of the fear of failure with the assumption that failure means something about their own ability and self-worth is what leads procrastinators to not do the things that they want to do.
In his TED Talk at Princeton University, he states that people not only procrastinate on the things that they don’t like but also often procrastinate on the things that they want to do.
He also says that in the latter it is not a motivational issue but rather a feeling of stuckness that is caused by two opposing forces.
The drive to achieve a goal combined with the fear of failure is the reason why we sometimes feel stuck and why we procrastinate on the things that we’d love to do.
Fearing of not being able to do it wins every time when we procrastinate on the things that we would love to do.
We sabotage ourselves to protect ourselves from failure because we link our failure to our ability to achieve things and to our self-worth.
HOW TO STOP PROCRASTINATING
We can become aware of our thoughts every time we find ourselves procrastinating and ask ourselves the following questions:
What is the underlying reason why I don’t want to do it now?
What do I failure make mean about myself?
How do I feel when I think of this thought?
Which thought can I think instead?
As the next step, you can visualize your future and plan ahead to see the bigger picture of where you are heading in life.
Once you have your future vision in front of you start making long term plans for yourself and break it down into little action steps that you can do right now.
If you need guidance on how to do it right get the Go For Your Dreams Planner the templates will guide you step by step through the procedure.
It shows you the process of how to turn your dreams into achievable little action steps.
I know that you are able to achieve your dreams.
You just have to start going for it!
Why do you procrastinate is it because you love instant gratifications, have no clear future focus, fear to fail or is it something else? Leave your comment below.
Download the free Go For Your Dreams Guide and learn about the steps you have to take to achieve your goals.
Use the templates from the printable Go For Your Dreams Planner and turn your dream into an actionable plan.