Procrastination is the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time, sometimes to the "last minute" before the deadline.
The secret of getting ahead is getting started. Mark Twain
There’s no single type of procrastinator and no single explanation for why procrastinators do their thing, or, rather, don’t do the things they should be doing.
What I see in my coaching practice are three types of procrastinators:
Regardless of type, procrastinators usually feel bad, stressed and guilty about their habit of not getting things done in a timely manner or not getting things done at all.
If I could stand the guilt or stress I probably would be a procrastinator. But, I don’t do well when I’m stressed, falling behind, missing deadlines, or late. I hate being late with library books! For me, the benefits of doing things on time far outweighs the high costs of procrastination.
Yet who doesn’t have difficulties choosing between more pleasurable tasks that give you a quick fix and the tougher less pleasurable tasks that require discipline, commitment and getting your hands dirty or at least sweaty?
What do you find if you do a Google search on procrastination or consult procrastinators?
Are you are one of those people who gets down on yourself about not getting stuff done? Are you easily distracted? Impulsive? Or prone to avoiding stressful tasks in favour of more pleasurable pursuits?
If you are saying “yes” then here are some ideas that will help you kick the procrastination habit. Or at least minimize the negative impact of putting off tasks till later.
The first three ideas are foundations for the others. As with any change, it’s best to start with small steps.
Often I feel that projects overwhelm us when we look at how many hours are involved until completion. But just getting started is usually not that difficult.
My family, relationships, movement, nature, flexibility of mind, exploration of alternative perspectives & openness are central to my life.