“Procrastination is a disease slowly killing success” – Mareli Scott
The Oxford dictionary’s definition for procrastination is “the action of delaying or postponing something”.
Procrastination is one of the biggest hurdles entrepreneurs need to overcome in order to become successful and a striking correlation exists between the ability to manage procrastination and the level of success reached.
Reasons for procrastination:
- Comfort zone. Comfort can easily be mistaken for contentment and contentment with a false sense of achievement.
- Fear of change. Fear of the unknown can easily overshadow the benefits of change but change is necessary in order to move forward and towards your goals.
- Task seems too difficult or too big. Tasks that seem too complicated will leave you feeling frustrated and incompetent.
- Too many tasks at hand. Too many tasks can make you feel overwhelmed, out of control and leave you feeling paralyzed.
- Fear of failure. The fear of failing and ultimately, being rejected, can be so terrifying that it prevents you from even trying.
- Too lenient. We let ourselves off the hook way to easy. Best friends hold you accountable. Be your own best friend.
- Not big enough motivation to complete task. We tend to not want to be ‘inconvenienced’ without a big enough reason behind it.
- Lack of interest or uninteresting task. It is so much easier to get something done when it seems interesting whereas the opposite can seem mind- numbing and exhausting.
- Failure to manage time and lack of planning. Time management goes hand in hand with procrastination and once mastered, it can dramatically increase success rate.
How to overcome procrastination:
- Set clear goals and deadlines. Write it down, stick to it and hold yourself accountable.
- Realize that if you don’t attempt to complete the task, you fail 100%. You miss all of the shots that you didn’t take so put yourself in the game and take a shot.
- Break big tasks into smaller, more manageable parts. The less daunting it seems, the less intimidated you will feel to tackle it.
- Plan ahead and divide every day into 15-30 minute intervals. This will force you to be more productive, focused and manage your time optimally which is a key life skill to master.
- Ask yourself: “What is the best, worst and most likely to happen if this task is completed?” This will provide a more realistic perspective and help to reduce fear.
- Remember how it felt when you completed a previous task and how it will feel when the current one is too. Sense of accomplishment can be addictive and this is one addiction you may want to hold on to.
- Have rewards and consequences for deadlines met and not met. These must be valuable or important enough to motivate you.
- Remember why it is important to finish the task. This will allow you to see the bigger picture and give perspective to its importance.
- Delegate. Do what interests you and are good at. Delegate the rest.
Practice the above tips consistently and it will soon become a habit you will forever thank yourself for. Once you learn to overcome procrastination, you have mastered one of the biggest obstacles to success.