15th May 2018

Overcoming Procrastination

Possessing the tendency to procrastinate makes for quite the precarious situation to find yourself in because it’s somewhat of a lifelong “condition”. I mean there is no doubt about the fact that it’s a negative quality to possess because it sets you going on a cycle of alternating between two extremes and that cannot be good for you mentally, especially over the long run.

It’s simply not healthy to experience the rush of just managing to get the job done right on the deadline and then going through the whole cycle again of kicking the can down the road and building up to your next pressurised work mode. Oh and procrastinators are some of the most creative people in the world you’ll find – for some reason there appears to be great pleasure to be had out of tasks you otherwise wouldn’t even consider doing ordinarily.

FreeCell, Solitaire, Tri-Peaks – these are just some of those timewasters which suddenly become so interesting that you’d rather spend your time playing these card games instead of getting on with the task you need to get on with. I don’t have to go through all the creative ways through which serial procrastinators waste their time – there are plenty. Even those of us whose messy desks have us citing that it is in actual fact an “organised mess” suddenly feel the urge to tidy up and straighten everything right out when there’s work to be done!

But how do you overcome your procrastination? One way not to do so is jumping online and seeking positive reinforcement for your preconceptions. It won’t take you too long to find an article, whether scientifically backed or not, that will tell you all sorts of things like how people who have a strong tendency to procrastinate are in actual fact very intelligent and creative. That may be true, but it’s definitely no reason to add fuel to your procrastination fire.

The big and small of it is simple really – just get on with the task you need to finish, no matter how you feel about having to do it. The secret is to get started. If you have some sales copy to type, sit down and get typing. That work-mode playlist you first have to compile can wait until you’ve written the first few paragraphs, which introduces a very powerful mechanism with which to combat procrastination, that being rewarding yourself for completing certain milestones.

Don’t be too hard on yourself though because as you know, this can only make things worse. It’s like a drug – that feeling you get when the deadline is looming closer and closer and there’s an internal war going on inside of you inevitably won by your the urge to keep putting it off.

“I work best under pressure” is a fallacy because all it really indicates is that you work well when you need to get a task done. Here’s the thing – whether the deadline is ominously looming large and is due very soon or indeed if it’s still a long way away, the bottom line which remains is that you have a task to get done, so get it done!

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