“I Don’t Feel Like It” and Other Reasons You Procrastinate
We’ve heard all of your excuses and we know what they really are: procrastination incarnate. Learn how to create deadlines, play music, and even conjure incentives to get the job done.
Procrastination has many causes. Maybe you procrastinate because you don’t enjoy a task or you find a job too challenging to organize. Or you may not know how to get things done. I have listed the most common causes for procrastinating and ways to get organized and finish what you start.
1. Procrastination Cause: “I dislike doing the task”
- Look for ways to increase the task’s appeal.
- Make it into a game and keep score, or compete with others doing similar tasks.
- Listen to upbeat music while working.
- Give yourself a reward after you complete the task.
2. Procrastination Cause: “I am overwhelmed”
Use a “divide and conquer” approach:
- Break a large task into separate, short-term, easy-to-achieve segments.
- Check off each segment as you accomplish it.
3. Procrastination Cause: “I have difficulty starting a task”
- Create something to react to. Reactive tasks are easier to begin than those that you must initiate yourself.
- Work on the task with others. Answering their questions or responding to e-mails is a good way to get – and keep – you moving forward.
- Establish a deadline with your supervisor.
4. Procrastination Cause: “I’m not organized enough to start the task”
If you don’t know where to start, try the following:
- Think through the task.
- Talk through the steps with your supervisor.
- Break the task into do-able segments.
- Create a list of resources and supplies needed to accomplish the task.
- Create a timeline for the task; do the first segment.
- Set e-mail or text reminders for each segment.
5. Procrastination Cause: “I find the job too difficult”
- Ask yourself why the task seems so hard – is more training, more practice, or more assistance from others needed? – then get the help to succeed.
Apply a Solution
Select a task that you keep putting off. Then look at the list of solutions above and choose one that you think is helpful. Your new solutions will soon become habits.