The business of procrastination.
It’s real. I do it. I think we all do it. But why?
What is procrastination?
The meaning of procrastination is simple. According to the Google dictionary, procrastination is the action of delaying or postponing something.
Finding the definition of procrastination was easy enough – why we procrastinate on the other hand… not so much.
Why do we procrastinate?
Being a bit of a ‘procrastinator’ myself, I’ve asked a few people for their thoughts on the matter.
Some people have said it’s scientific, others emotional, and others have said it’s simply lazy and means that the person procrastinating doesn’t really want to achieve their goal (yikes).
So, who is right? Or are they all right and do we simply all procrastinate for different reasons? Personally, I think the emotional reasons come into play for most.
The psychology of procrastination
New research on the psychology of procrastination suggests that it isn’t a time-management problem at all, but an emotion-management one.
So, I’ve given it some thought and this makes complete sense to me. Think about it… by definition, procrastination is an irrational behaviour because it runs counter to our own idea of what will make us happy and forces us to act against our better judgement. We know avoiding the task or pushing the deadline isn’t the right choice for us or our business and is likely one we’ll regret, but we do it anyway.
I don’t know about you, but whenever I procrastinate I end up beating myself up, and by the time I’ve completed said task I’ve enjoyed it, felt good and wondered why the hell I was avoiding said task in the first place!
This emotional avoidance technique that our brain — often subconsciously — employs is similar to that which underlies many types of anxiety. Many of us suffer from anxiety, including myself, so the fact that I often find myself procrastinating only makes sense, right?
How do we stop procrastinating?
Now, we’ve established what procrastinating is and why we think we do it, but I think what we really want to know is how the hell we can stop it.
I’ve done some research and as you can imagine, there are lots of procrastinators out there googling “how do I stop procrastinating?” so the information was abundant.
I’ve compiled bits of my favourite tips:
- We can’t avoid the feeling. We need to feel it, write about it, cry about it, do whatever we need to do to address it, then pick ourselves up and move on.
- Don’t punish yourself. That’s the last thing you need.
- Have a big task? Break it down into 15-minute increments.
- Always start with the hardest most horrible task first.
- Be a cheerleader and give yourself regular pep talks.
- Enlist the help of colleagues, a mentor, or friends and family to hold you accountable.
- Reward yourself with something special (once the task is completed of course).
The business of procrastination. It’s real. I do it. I think we all do it. Actually, I know we all do it and you’re kidding yourself if you say you don’t.
It doesn’t have to impact your business though. Try those bits of my favourite tips to help.
Is procrastination causing your business to be lacking in content creation or blogs of your own? As a Copywriter and Content Writer, I’m here to help, so you can focus on what you do best – running your business.
Contact me at Craven Content, in Perth to find out more today.