It is likely you are reading this article because you are trying to combat your own procrastination in general, or currently stuck with a project that is getting more and more urgent, yet you can’t seem to take the important steps to get the work done.
Have a look at the 10 top causes of procrastination below and see which ones you connect with.
The job is too big! I can’t see the finish line!
One of the most common things that people experience is having too much work to do, and each task being too generalised. When the tasks you’ve got to do are too general or vague, it can be extremely hard to motivate to do them as there is no specific point you can quickly achieve.
I don’t care about doing it. Why would I want to?
You’ve got tasks to do and logically each tasks contributes towards the end goal, however it can often be important to see the relevance of doing it, or create the drive because the reward is so far disconnected from the task.
Alternatively, it could also be that there is a task you need to do but genuinely don’t want to do because it may be boring, scary, you’re unsure about how… ultimately, you’ll find that you procrastinate instead of doing it because you’ll generally not want to.
Flip it on it’s head, if somebody was to give you the reward now if you could do this one task, the chances are you will no longer have issues doing this task.
Struggling to prioritise the important
Ideally, we would only focus on the important tasks… but what do you do when everything is important (or so you believe)?
Even though you may struggle to determine what is the right task to do, there will always be one that is more important than another… coming to the decision as to which task you do now is, of course, a different matter.
What are you going to “sacrifice” to help move another area forward?
“I don’t know how, so I won’t bother”
Sometimes you will come to a roadblock in productivity because you come across a task which you don’t know how to handle. Immediately you see this as a brick wall and come to a stop.
Everything is achievable as long as you keep moving… standing still won’t move you any further forward or help you to learn what it is you don’t understand.
Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.
Your emails need replying to RIGHT NOW!
You’re trying to get some work done, and then a little notification pops up in the right-hand corner of your screen… new email, new message, new XYZ. If you get this sorted now you’ll be getting so much done and be quick to get things back out the door!
Realistically, you’re just avoiding doing the task you are meant to be doing and wanting to feel good about doing something productive. This is an understandable need, but you’re ultimately setting yourself further and further behind.
Each time your attention goes elsewhere, you’re taken away from the chain of focus and state that you should be in to work continuously. When you come back to doing the right task, you will have lost all momentum and need to start again.
“It doesn’t matter that I don’t do this now, I can do it later”
Read that statement again. Chances are if you are a procrastinator, you will have said something similar.
What do we know about this statement? You are avoiding the task that needs to be doing for a more instant short-term reward of doing something else. Great! This also means you have now postponed it which will then delay something else.
What happens when you constantly create a chain of disruptions and delays? Your end goal is delayed and becomes further and further away, progress drops in relation to time spent on the project creating issues of frustration, you develop habits that it is acceptable to not do the right thing, and you never achieve what you are truly able to.
Your end goal is delayed and becomes further and further away, progress drops in relation to time spent on the project creating issues of frustration, you develop habits that it is acceptable to not do the right thing, and you never achieve what you are truly able to.
You’re afraid to actually achieve your goal
This may seem like a very strange one to some of you, but there are many people who are afraid of succeeding, for a number of reasons. It is quite a simple area, although confusing area… people have goals, they have vision, they set out a plan to move forward, and can easily achieve their goals but then delay everything through fear.
If the title of this point started cogs moving in your mind, then it is time to think more about this area some more.
You are comfortable with the pain of where you are. You’re numb.
This is another strange area to think about but extremely common. As time moves on, you settle and get used to a certain way, lifestyle, etc. Even though you know what you want to achieve, you are not doing what needs to be done because you’re so used to your current situation that it no longer hurts enough to make you move forward.
You know you want to do more but don’t know where you’re going.
How specific are your goals? You want to earn more money? How much? How long will it take to earn it?
If you aren’t specific with your goals, you will never be able to connect with them and work in alignment with them. Literally every task you do will have no specific purpose that you can see. Sure, you know it will help somehow, sometime… but there is no urgency or specificity to everything you do.
You can’t be bothered now, you’re too tired
It’s a well-known fact now that your body and mind work together more closely than we realise. A healthy body helps towards a healthy mind and vice-versa. If your body is not energised, then your mind will likely follow suit very closely. How can you achieve what you need to do if you cannot function properly?