posted by on Articles, Know yourself, Procrastionation

“How soon “not now” become “never”.” – Martin Luther King Jr. 

What is Procrastination?

Procrastination is the action of putting off something or delaying an action. Procrastination can lead to problems such as stress, problems in relationships and for some it is a serious problem.

Why do we procrastinate?

For some of us there may have been no need to make decisions as others have done it for us or we may not have wanted to make the decisions for whatever reason.  We may be rebelling by not doing what we are told or leaving everything until the last minute. Last is built on the idea that some people leave everything until the very last minute. Some people like to appear laid back or drop out of things so they don’t have to successes or fail at anything?

When is it a bad thing?

Putting off today what might be done tomorrow may mean that some things will never get done at all. If we hate making decisions, think about what the reasons are that is making us indecisive. Usually we are getting something out of not making a decision. Either we imagine that we don’t have enough time that we are a perfectionist or it may be linked to fear in some way. But remember that we don’t have to do anything if we really don’t want to!

Is it ever a good thing?

We tend to think of procrastination as being a bad thing but it can also be a good thing. The procrastinator may not be able to decide to take that extra cream cake or make a decision about their work or business, might just make the right decision for them at that time.  Sometimes by putting off the small things we can achieve big things, the things that we really want to do. We may wish to write a book or develop our business and by avoiding errands to do real work we can get things done. After all at funerals nobody ever says ‘……was really good at cleaning the house or washing the car’ Good procrastination is about avoiding the small stuff to get the things that we really want to do done. Of course we might not have a relationship or any friends if we don’t do some of the small things like wash! Some errands do have to be done or they just get worse, like completing tax returns or cutting the lawn.

5 tips for dealing with Procrastination

  1. Why not change your perspective and do the thing that you’re putting off first.
  2. Time yourself on a task that you have been putting of. Put 20 minutes on a kitchen timer and you’ll be surprised what can be achieved when you try to beat the timer.
  3. If you have a big task to do – set yourself a goal and break it down into small achievable chunks
  4. Take account of the sort of person that you are. What are your values and expectations? Do they fit with the task in hand?
  5. Accept that there is no magic wand and just do it!

The truth is that we all procrastinate from time to time. Know yourself and choose how to procrastinate. Know what it is that works for you and not what others say you should do.

Gillian Kitchen

The Change Agency



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