Many times we have dreams about what we want to do, how to go about it, all the necessary things to put in place and even a bulk of the resources we need to start the process off. But taking that seemingly huge first step becomes the problem, we may sometimes think that it will be quite demanding or even convince ourselves that we are just waiting for the right time to do it, but truth is that right time never comes. This scenario just painted, which we all go through at some point or the other is what is referred to as procrastination.
Without realizing it, most of us subconsciously retreat to our comfort zone and never leave it. We just feel safe doing what we are used to. I read somewhere that we avoid taking on new tasks for this simple reason “Taking action will cause us more perceived pain than perceived pleasure” I completely agree with this, even though this is not the case all the time, it mostly is.
There are different reasons why people procrastinate; some are lack of understanding, inadequacy, perfectionism and laziness. Some people have lost out on career opportunities and even job opportunities from procrastination. For example, you ought to have gone for a training or write an exam but you keep putting it off as a result of the fear of failure, it may even be as little as updating your linkedIn page and hence, we may not even get to know or hear of opportunities as they pass us by.
Tips to curb procrastination
- Communicate your tasks clearly and effectively and always set a deadline. Setting no time at all is the trap people fall into, so schedule everything and stick to your commitments.
- The perfect time is now: People who feel everything has to be perfect and at a perfect time often keep postponing doing things for fear of not reaching perfection. It’s just that many times you never get to even start the task at all. Besides, the perfect time is now.
- Laziness: Many times I put a lot of jobs off not because I don’t want to work hard. Many times it’s usually a task that I know how to do and know I need to do but just starting out to do it is the problem. I just keep making excuses. This is an aspect of my life that I actually need to work on, if I want to be successful.
- Be brave: A lot of people procrastinate out of fear, fear of “What will people say?” “How will it turn out?”“Can I really do this?”“Am I that good?”“Will I pass these exams?”“Can I compete with others on this?” and so on. I tell you, be brave and take that bold step. After all, if you don’t win, you’ll learn; it’s a win win.
- Take Action: When you recognize that you are procrastinating, i.e. the point where you start making excuses, recognize it as a wake up call to action. Don’t put it off for another second. Get up and get it done.