People often blame procrastination for not starting, or finishing something. The truth is, procrastination isn’t the root of the problem; it’s the end result… or a lack of results really. What’s more, there isn’t a single reason for procrastination. The roots of procrastination can run deep and come from a multitude of sources.
When you get to the bottom of why you are procrastinating, it’s easier to counter it with productivity. If procrastination is ruining your life, you’ll need to be sincere and honest in your approach for a remedy. Don’t beat yourself up, lift yourself up! Let’s look at the most common reasons procrastination will set up camp.
Lack of Direction
A lack of direction in your life, and business approach, is a breeding ground for procrastination to jump in and take a tight hold. This happens a lot when the entrepreneur in you shows up and you dream of this lovely life, being your own boss and making money doing something you love. But without direction, your dreams are just that… dreams. You’ve got to have direction. You need a plan.
If you’ve always wanted to be a photographer, what is the first step? Obviously, you need a camera, but you’ve got to have paying clients. So how do you get them? Start devising your plan and find your direction.
Plagued with Perfectionism
Perfectionism is real, and it’s paralyzing. We cripple ourselves with perfectionistic thinking, which then leads to a horrible case of procrastination and unfulfilled promises and goals. We know we can go a good job, even a great job at something, but a perfectionist will spend an immense amount of time doing and redoing something until it’s flawless.
The idea of perfectionism is unrealistic and unhealthy. If being perfect is what’s stopping you, it’s time to practice knowing when something is good enough, even if it’s not actually perfect. Utilize firm deadlines and stand by them. When the time is up, it’s up. Stop working on the current task and move on to the next. Because guess what! We are all only human. It’s impossible to be perfect.
Fear of Failure
Particularly for entrepreneurs, the fear of failure can be intense and crippling. We ignore gut instincts and hold off on progress because failure simply isn’t an option. It’s that way of thinking that stops you from moving forward, not the failure itself. Being knocked down isn’t the end of the world. It only ends if you don’t get back up, dust yourself off, and go back to the drawing board.
Think of setbacks and failures as stepping stones. Learn from your experiences and adjust your plan accordingly.
Fear of failure doesn’t have to be controlling. Weigh your options and choose the best course of action. As a business owner, sometimes inaction is the worst possible move. When you procrastinate, you could be passing up an opportunity that might not present itself again.
Finally, there are the “no energy” procrastinators. These people truly have zero energy. Their life-fuel has been zapped and there just isn’t any more to give.
Here’s the tell tale sign: when energy is lacking in every aspect of your life, not just one area. If you don’t feel much like going to the grocery store, you also won’t feel like going to the movies with friends. Lethargy doesn’t choose sides. It’s either there or it isn’t.
If you are dealing with a lack of energy, the causes could be any number of things. You might have a metabolic issue or need to work on a healthier lifestyle. Exercise and a healthy diet can go a long way in treating depleted energy levels. If it’s not medical and doesn’t have anything to do with what you’re eating, it might be a mental health issue. Depression is real, it doesn’t discriminate and what’s more, you don’t even have to have a “reason” to be depressed. And in case you weren’t aware, anxiety can be just as much of an energy thief as depression. Anxiety causes you to overthink and be hypersensitive, which take a lot out of a person mentally and physically.
If your brand of procrastination is more rooted in this area, please see your primary care professional sooner rather than later.
Procrastinators aren’t bad people. There is always an underlying component that needs some attention, but procrastinators sometimes get a bad rap. The majority of procrastinators aren’t just a bunch of lazy folks who don’t want to work.
Get to the root cause of your procrastination so it doesn’t have the power to steal another minute from you living your best life!