Avoid the Stress of Procrastination
By Paul Rothbart
The inability to start a task is something that can have serious consequences. Looming deadlines cause anxiety and missing them can lead to loss of income or disappointing those we care about. That's a lot of stress. Procrastination can make us feel ashamed, unworthy and lazy. But to not do something is a choice, not connected to lethargy. Don't just accept it as a part of you that can't be changed. It can be overcome by following these steps.
Admit You Have a Problem
This is Step 1 for those other guys, but it applies here too. Acknowledging that procrastinating is what you are doing is the way to start. Putting a task aside because of reprioritizing a chore list or to tackle a pressing concern is not procrastination. Situations like this occur all the time. The signs of being a procrastinator are continually putting off a task, starting one and then moving on to do a second task without completing the first. Another clear sign is waiting until you "feel it" because the time is not right. These are all ways of avoiding chores and qualify as procrastination. So, now we know how to recognize it. What do we do about it?
Figure Out Why
In order to solve any problem, the cause of it must be understood. There are several reasons people procrastinate. Tasks that seem boring or unpleasant, though necessary, are often avoided. Lack of organization is another common culprit. A large list of tasks can be very overwhelming. Some people fear not doing a satisfactory job. A lack of confidence can make just starting a chore harder than actually doing it. Though not nearly as common, fear of success can also be a cause of procrastination. If I do this too well, I will be assigned a huge load of similar tasks. Once the why is determined we move to the final step.
Managing the Problem
First, get better organized. Don't just make a to-do list, prioritize it. Set up a schedule for tasks based on importance. Eliminate distractions as much as possible. Put the phone aside and turn off email and social media. And no television. Give yourself rewards for completing difficult tasks. This can be as simple as a tasty beverage or a trip to a favorite take out place for a snack or lunch. Ask for help! Co-workers, family and friends can keep an eye on you and make sure you are on track.
There are many things in life that can cause stress and anxiety. Putting off important chores is a major one. By acknowledging, figuring out why, and then applying one of these solutions, jobs can be completed, task lists crossed off, and sanity maintained.
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