Are you a procrastinator? Most people are it seems!
I recently did a survey into what people who like my work want to hear about.
61% of respondents identified procrastination as a problem they have at work.
The truth is, we all procrastinate sometimes. We all put things off but most of us get round to them eventually, or they turn out not to be that important.
However, procrastination really holds some people back. They just can’t decide on a course of action, or direction for their business, or how they want their career to progress. Sometimes they know what they want to do, but for some reason can’t take action.
What’s going on? As always, the reasons why we procrastinate are as individual as we are, but they tend to fall into some broad categories.
Sometimes we’re just too busy. We’ve taken too much on, or we’re juggling responsibilities with not enough downtime or space to think.
It can be something simple, like not knowing where to start, or not being sure what the priorities are, or just not being that interested in doing whatever it is. These are the easiest to deal with, I think.
If you don’t know where to start, just do something, anything, to get you moving. If you don’t know what the priorities are, get over yourself and ask. If you’re just not that interested, delegate or suck it up.
More complex are those clients whose procrastination is based on fear.
As always in these cases, it’s vital to get to the root of the fear, to find out what that fear really is. Only then you can deal with it.
There are several fear based reasons for procrastination.
Quite often I see clients who dread failure, making a mistake or messing things up. They worry about being judged harshly, humiliated or laughed at.
Sometimes people have a fear of success. They worry that others won’t like them if they do well, or that things will change in some way and life will become more difficult or challenging.
20% of respondents to my survey linked their procrastination to people pleasing – what other people think really matters to them and they fear disapproval or rejection.
Procrastination is also often linked to imposter syndrome and perfectionism – 15% of survey respondents thought so. Who am I to [do whatever]? Why will anyone be interested in what I have to say? Better leave it until I’m sure it/the time/the market/whatever is absolutely right. The fear is humiliation, making a mistake or being found out.
I’ve experienced all of those in one form or another, and I think that’s true of many of us. I have dealt successfully with my own procrastination and helped many people manage their fears, improve motivation and get more done. Given the interest I have decided to run a workshop – 5 ways to beat procrastination on 13 January 2022 at 12.30. As always, it will be packed with useful tips and insights that will help you think differently about why you keep putting things off and get more done.
It’s definitely not a time management workshop, we’ll be starting to identify and work on those fears.
If you would like to join us you can book your place here.