Eat that frog! The unsavory taste of procrastination.
Updated: Oct 4, 2020
A few weeks ago, I decided to really commit to my business again. And my god, I did not know I was capable of having that many ideas and so much inspiration.
As the motivated person I am ;-), I made a to-do list, prioritized, and set myself up for success. Do you recognize that feeling when you are motivated and eager to get up and do it?
But when do you really do it? Our ideas and intentions do not always correspond to our actions, that bloody phenomenon of procrastination.
The reasons why we procrastinate,
We expect too much of ourselves. A funny fact about humans is that we overestimate what we can achieve in a day, and we underestimate what we can achieve in a year. We make endless to-do lists (guilty of this!) that are not motivating us at all. You will think you never get it all done, and you're probably right about that because we make our lists too long. To solve this issue, pick three things off your to-do list, and that will be your list for that day. It makes you prioritize your to-do’s, and you will have more success getting three things done in a day then the 20 things that are on your list.
Most of the time, we remember the negative part of the task that we need to do. I can relate to this when it's time to clean the house. I think about the effort it took me last time, and when I start cleaning, I see even more jobs that I could be doing. Having this mindset is going to make it difficult to start and pretty easy to procrastinate. We think it will be worse than it actually is going to be.
Lack of motivation. The lack of motivation is one that we have to think about a little bit more. Sometimes you will not feel motivated to, for example, work out. You know you will feel better after your workout, but you still are not motivated enough to work out or start any other new habit. Whenever either the importance or the pain (of not doing it) is not significant enough, you probably will procrastinate. "I'll start working out after the holidays." A piece of advice here is to have a closer look at your "why." Why do you want to work out? Why is this important to you? Why aren't you motivated enough to do it? Discovering the answers to these questions will give you more understanding of your behavior. Which will lead to either changing your behavior and do what you need to do (because you are aware of why you wanted to do it in the first place), or you change your goal because you know it isn't what you want anymore.
You are a perfectionist. It is hard for a perfectionist to start whatever they need to start. They require the conditions, circumstances, and timing to be perfect. If you set the bar that high, it's challenging to even try and jump it.
Lack of energy. When the job isn't your favorite thing to do, and it takes up all your energy, it's pretty hard to start it anyways. Don't be too hard on yourself and set yourself up for success. And with being too tired, that will not have a big chance of succeeding. You are better of checking in with yourself why your energy is low.
Distractions. When you are close to your deadline, or we have to do something that we really dislike, we are very...very good at finding all kinds of other things that we think we really need to do. But also, the phone, social media, and thoughts about what we should be doing can be very distracting.
Now we know! We can stop making excuses for why we procrastinate, now we have the facts. But what do we do about it?
First of all, it helps to be aware of the following. With procrastination, you do make a choice. You choose either, short-term happiness and long-term pain (stress/worries) or you choose short-term pain and longterm happiness.
My last blog was about the difficulty of making choices. (If you haven't read that blog, don't procrastinate and read it after this one.)
When you decide not to go to your fitness class, but you decide to stay home, watch a movie and eat snacks, do you really enjoy it? Or do you think, in the back of your mind, "I should've gone to fitness?". Then the "not going" will cost you energy.
Your unfinished business will stay in your mind, and chances are, you will not enjoy other things as much as you would if you finished the unfinished.
If you're going to do something, finish it. If you're not going to do it entirely, don't do it at all.
I know it is easier said than done. Do you struggle with procrastination, and you want more tips and tricks? Feel free to contact me!
And now... the frog story!