Procrastination is the thief of time. ~ Edward Young
We all deal with a little procrastination from time to time. We have our moments when we struggle with getting things done because we are not motivated to complete the task at hand. We have good intentions, but sometimes procrastination overpowers our good intentions, and we find ourselves racing against a clock to meet a deadline with unnecessary stress. You know the “I should have taken care of this sooner rather than later” feeling that makes you look like a crazy person on edge.
So, why do people procrastinate? Why do people put off something they know they need to do until later? Why do people waste time, especially when time is one of your most valuable commodities? Why do people spend time doing things that do not yield a return? Why do you throw time away? Why? Why? Why? Let’s face it - time is precious, and you can’t afford to waste one second of it. You can’t put a price tag on time, and time doesn’t care about deadlines. When you realize you’ve wasted time, you cannot seek a refund, and you cannot make up for lost time. Once time is gone – it’s gone.
"Time = Life, Therefore, waste your time and waste of your life, or, master your time and master your life." ~ Alan Lakein
The reality is procrastination is a dream and vision snatcher. Procrastination is a thief of time (Edward Young). If you give into procrastination, you are putting off accomplishing goals you set for yourself in your personal life as well as in your business. Procrastination steals away at your success very slowly. You start off getting away with a little procrastination and the next thing you know – you had an avalanche of stuff you needed to do but didn’t, and your procrastination has set you up on a path of ruin. Yes, your life SUCKS and it is because you let procrastination take control of your life. As a business owner, procrastination is your number one enemy. If you struggle with procrastination, you must address your areas of weakness so that you can remain on the path to growth and success.
So, how do you know whether you are a full-blown procrastinator? Here are ten signs you can look for to determine whether you are a Chronic Procrastinator:
You Stay Up Late and Sleep in Late
Have you stayed up late doing everything but working on projects with deadlines and
the next morning you sleep in late as if you have nothing to do – my friend this is a real sign of procrastination. If you’re on Netflix more than you need to be and all-nighters of nothingness have become your routine – you are on a dangerous road. You are avoiding, and this can hurt your business and hurt your pocket.
You Are Displaying Addictive Behavior
Have you noticed during high-stress times or when you’re nervous, you may display some addictive behaviors? Maybe you’ve gained some extra weight, or you are drinking more than usual, or you have even picked up nail-biting to calm your nerves. This behavior is a sign of procrastination. If you didn’t wait until the last minute to complete tasks, you would not have the added stress.
You Give Up on the Hard Tasks
Do you find yourself giving up on hard tasks? Have you started learning a new skill that will ultimately help your business and you suddenly feel stressed, so you give up. You know you need a new skill, but you feel overwhelmed, and you put off learning because it is easier to say – I will pick it back up tomorrow, but you never return to learn the new task until the when you are forced to learn the skill. If this sounds familiar, you are procrastinating.
Everything Else Is Getting Your Attention Except the Work that Needs to Get Done
If you are placing your high-priority projects on the back burner and wasting time in trivial work or you are always on your social media accounts, you are procrastinating. Now, you may say, but I’m getting work done! Yes, you may be getting work done, but the work your completing isn’t the vital work that needs to get done. Don’t fool yourself.
You Resent People Who Have Good Work Ethics
You look at others who seem to have it all together and resent their commitment to “getting things done.” Or, you secretly wish you could work more like them.
You Are Constantly Late
If punctuality is far from your vocabulary and you find yourself chronically late to meetings or making deadlines – this is a sign of procrastination. People who are serial procrastinators have a hard time managing their time.
You Have A to Do List That Never Gets Completely Done
If you find yourself creating a “To-Do List” with tasks that seem to get recycled, you may have a procrastination issue on deck. Now, I’ll give you some credit because you are creating a list; however, your list continues to grow or you recycle tasks that you just never attempted to complete.
You Always Feel Guilty About Your Inability to Get Things Done
You know you need to do better, and you know you need to stop putting work off until
the last minute. You know your inability to get things done is affecting your business, relationships and more and it is making you sick. You feel so much guilt behind your behavior, but it has become a vicious cycle of procrastination.
You Are No Longer A Promise Keeper
Your heart is in the right place, and you have good intentions, but you keep missing the mark. You promise to complete an assignment or project within a specific time frame, but you miss the deadline. You keep making excuses and your excuses are getting in the way of you taking your life and business to the next level.
Your Perfectionism Keeps You from Getting Things Done
If you believe whatever you are working on must be perfect, and your perfectionism is keeping you from completing your goals - you have an issue with procrastination. You think, “It has to be perfect,” and this overly demanding standard prevents you from getting started. Look, the last time I checked only Jesus, and God had the job of being perfect, and they are good at being perfect, so you can just be you, and that's OK.
If you read this list and you found yourself connecting to more than half the list, you may be suffering from chronic procrastination. The good news is you now know you have a problem, so you can address your issue head on. There is hope, and there is a solution. This timewasting behavior is treatable and curable. The treatment to get your procrastination under control will require you to make a conscious decision to do the opposite of what a chronic procrastinator would do. You will need to learn some good habits to break the cycle of procrastination.
THE SOLUTION TO YOUR PROCRASTINATION PROBLEM
Here are 7 Steps to help you overcome your procrastination and start creating healthy habits to get things done.
Admit You Have A Procrastination Problem
Hello, my name is__________, and I have practiced procrastination, and I am overcoming
the behaviors of procrastination. It is imperative for you to admit you have an issue with procrastination. Own the behavior and address the behavior. It is also important to affirm your ability to overcome the behavior through positive affirmations. I appreciate the serenity prayer because it can be used to address any struggle in your life. Your words are powerful, and when you speak encouraging words that are opposite of your weakness, you will soon find that your flaws will disappear.
Take Time to Figure Out Why You Are Procrastinating
Once you admit you have a procrastination issue, you have to figure out why this behavior exists. Do you lack organization, so you feel overwhelmed, which causes you to procrastinate? Are you a perfectionist, which prevents you from completing tasks because you want things perfect, so you give up it tasks seems impossible to get perfect? Are you bored, and you delay getting things done because you are not feeling inspired by the work you are doing? You must figure out what is triggering your behavior to overcome procrastination.
Write Down Your Tasks and Commit to Getting Things Done
Writing down your tasks and placing deadlines on yourself will help you stay organized. In addition to writing down your tasks, prioritize what needs to get completed first, and create action steps for each task to ensure your success.
Watch this video from MindTools for tips on how to create To-Do Lists to organize and prioritize your tasks more effectively and Download their To-Do List Template to help you organize your tasks.
Eliminate Your Distractions
If you get easily distracted, and you find it hard to stay focused, you need may need to find a place where you can complete your work without interruption. If your phone is a distraction, turn it off. If your kids are a distraction, work when they are away from the house. If social media is a distraction, remove the apps or do not get on your accounts until after you have completed your work. You get the idea – remove what is causing you to procrastinate.
Let Go of Perfectionism
Again, unless you’re Jesus or God, you’re not perfect. The minute you realize you are not perfect and nothing in this BIG world is perfect; you will start overcoming procrastination. The reality is the time you spend trying to get your project perfect; you could have completed your tasks and made money. If you never leap, you never reach your full potential. Let go and let the chips fall where they may.
Surround Yourself with People Who Hold You Accountable and Challenge You to Improve
If you want to improve your life, you must surround yourself with people who challenge you to live better, perform better, and work better. Find people who will make you accountable. Identify people who will inspire you to become the best version of yourself.
Stop Making Excuses
"Excuses are monuments of nothingness, they build bridges to nowhere, those that dare specialize in the use of these tools of incompetence, seldom become anything, but nothing at all." ~Unknown
If you want to stop procrastination in its track, you have to stop making excuses. You have to get things done and push through, regardless of how you feel. You cannot allow procrastination to dictate your future success. You have to stop wasting time and take your time back. You have the POWER to overcome procrastination, so put your cape on and put your goals, your vision, your dream before procrastination.
You can overcome any obstacle; you have to make different choices. Removing procrastination will not happen overnight, but if you approach every day with the intent to improve, you will win. So, don't put off making a change, start right now. There is no time like the present.