8 Causes of Procrastination – and Ways to Manage It
You know, it’s funny. I was thinking about what to write this week, and every time I sat down to write something, I kept thinking, “Nah, I’ll just do it later.” And then it hit me what to write about.
Procrastination sucks. (Yes, this Christian counselor just said something sucks.) It sucks the life right out of you and keeps you from being productive.
The key to beating procrastination isn’t just to get up and do something (which you totally should), but it’s important to find the reasoning behind the procrastination to understand how to beat it. The key to dealing with procrastination is finding out what specific reasons are causing it, and then addressing them at the core. Check out these eight causes of procrastination, as well as ways to beat them.
Perfectionism limits the definition of success. Read that one more time. Perfectionism limits the definition of success. You know the saying, “If you want something done right you have to do it yourself,”?
What about the saying, “I can’t do it right so I’m just not going to do it at all,”? It’s not something we really say out loud, but it is something many of us have maybe thought in the back of our mind.
Stop trying to be perfect. Jesus was the only perfect person to ever walk the earth. Yes, we should strive to do well, but perfectionism will keep us from getting anything done.
2. Fear of the Unknown
Knowledge is power. But knowing is only half the battle – from there you have to take corrective action if necessary. Living in constant fear only keeps you chained down. Satan feeds on our fear, and he keeps us complacent when we’re afraid of taking a step.
3. I’ll do it later
People make different decisions for what will impact them in the immediate future, rather than what will impact them down the road. In other words, it’s easy to make snap decisions rather than thinking about what happens later.
Sure, taking a nap is great. But maybe it’s more important to get that mountain of paperwork finished so it’s not lingering over your head.
4. Working on Small Tasks Because They’re Easier
The immediate hassle of having to wait for a payoff doesn’t seem worth the unknown future benefits. Seriously, just get the hard crap out of the way first.
5. You Experience a Lack of Motivation
If you’re able to clearly see how your work connects to your interests or goals, you’re more likely to value your work and be motivated to invest your energy in it.
Find ways to energize yourself. I get it, doing the laundry isn’t a whole lot of fun. Find a small way to reward yourself after you finish.
6. You’re not sure how to get started
Use the “getting things done” approach. This helps you break down your complex task into a series of smaller tasks. Don’t let the end goal overwhelm you. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and so in most cases, you don’t have to answer all the questions immediately.
7. You get distracted
Remove any temptation and only think about the task at hand by avoiding looking at your email, put your phone on vibrate (and stop playing Candy Crush!), etc. Walk away from your computer and leave your phone in another room.
8. You know it’ll require hard work
Working on a long project takes a lot of effort. It often leads people to lose their motivation and choose to set aside their projects for a later time.
Taking a break and getting a snack is fine. Laying on the couch eating Cheetos and going on a Netflix binge is another issue. Taking breaks can be helpful, as long as the break doesn’t become an indefinite one.
Procrastination is a hard habit to break. However, implementing these eight tips can begin to change your focus, and change your motivation.