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Why do I procrastinate?

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I think we’ve all had moments where concentrating to get even the simplest of things done can prove to feel like such a hard task. You set out to get something done and end up spending 30mins allowing other things to distract you. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say to myself ‘I’ll just scroll on Instagram for 5mins’ then I look at the time and 30mins has already passed. Times like these are often followed by feeling bad and guilty that you didn’t get as much done as you could have.

Procrastination could be down to a few things, one of the first steps in overcoming procrastination would be identifying why you’re even procrastinating in the first place. It could be a number of reasons, this blog post outlines a few and ways you can overcome them.

Fear

The fear of failure, the fear of the unknown or even the subconscious fear of success. These are all very real feelings. When we do things out of our comfort zone fear can creep up on us and it often feels like:

‘What if people see me try to do something and I fail?’

or ‘what if this goes in a direction I didn’t consider, how will I deal with that?’

or ‘what if I do this and I succeed, will I be able to handle it?’

These are all reasonable thought processes when trying something new and could be a reason why you’re putting it off. The key is to remember that if you’re not scared you probably haven’t set your goals big enough. People probably aren’t going to notice if you fail at something as much as you think they will. Everyone has their own things going on and are mostly too concerned with themselves to notice. Lastly, whatever direction things end up going you will be able to handle the outcome, remember progress happens gradually and there will be steps before the end goal which will prepare you.

Boredom and lack of motivation

Do you find the tasks you’re trying to complete just boring? If this is the case this is probably why you keep putting it off. Try to think about why you need to complete that task what is the end goal? if that’s not motivation enough you could try breaking the task down into smaller tasks and do that small task daily, you will be more inclined to complete each smaller task until the full task is complete. If none of these tactics work you could think about outsourcing the task, maybe you run a business but you hate doing the admin, you could search for freelancers on websites like Fiverr who can do your admin a few days a week. This will give you more time to focus on doing the things you enjoy and will allow your business to run more efficiently and smoothly.

Lack of direction

It’s important to know exactly why you need to do certain things, how they will help in the long run and what is your end goal. If you don’t know what your motivation is in doing a task and what you want to get out of it motivation can quickly and easily dwindle.

Overworked

Sometimes we procrastinate because we’re tired and I don’t mean physically tired I mean mentally. Give yourself time to rest and scheduled in time to do things you enjoy doing. Doing things you enjoy can mean you’re more productive when it comes to getting work done, it also gives you something to look forward to when doing work which can boost motivation.

Difficulty

Have you ever put something off cause you just don’t know how to do it or where to start? With information so readily available these days it’s easy to find a tutorial for most things. Spend some time researching and give yourself time to learn how something can be done. Don’t be put off by the time it could take to learn as the time will pass anyway.

Imposter Syndrome

‘I really can’t do this thing, this thing is out of my reach.’ These limiting beliefs hold us back from doing things that we most likely can do and are on the other side of comfortability. I sometimes express this to friends, and maybe you do too, and they never seem to understand why I’d freak out. They think that I can do these things but I seem to think, in a fear-ridden space of “can not”. You can change the negative thought process of thinking ‘I can’t’ by journaling and thinking of all the times you thought you couldn’t do something and you were able to do it. Plus, at this stage in life, we could do with a rush of energy and just feel the fear and do it anyway. Right?

Figuring out why you procrastinate is the first step to changing this bad habit. We all do it at times but if you find out what is causing it you can look into the issue and become more productive in the long run.

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