How To Kick The Procrastination Habit

If you find that your procrastination habit never seems to budge, try these tips.

21st April 2016Jonathan MillsJonathan Mills
Overcome Procrastination

It’s certainly not as dramatic as some of the other problems you can have in your business … but procrastination can really sabotage your work if you let it. If you find that your to-do list never seems to budge, try these tips:

 

Understand where it’s coming from

A lot of people think that procrastination is just another word for laziness, but this isn’t really true. It happens for all kinds of reasons, from perfectionism to anxiety to analysis paralysis to unconscious thoughts that leave you sabotaging yourself without even realising what’s happening. So if there’s something that you keep putting off, ask yourself, “Where is this really coming from?” When you know what’s underlying the problem, then you can fix it.

 

Fix any negative associations

Having negative associations with actions is one of the subtlest, but most common reasons for procrastination. For instance, if you have a negative association with making sales calls, then guess what? When it comes time to make a sales call, you’re suddenly going to find loads of other things that you “need” to do before you make the call.

The good news is, you can absolutely change your associations, even the really entrenched ones. You just need to create a new association with the action. Let’s take the example of putting off your sales calls. Maybe you’ve been rejected on sales calls before, so you’ve formed the association that making sales calls equals rejection. And then, working on that assumption, you’ve been timid and anxious on other sales calls, which has led to more rejection … which just reinforces the belief that making sales calls leads to rejection. See how it works?

But what would happen if you thought about it a different way? Maybe instead of sales calls leading to rejection, they could be opportunities to help people. If you think about it like that, suddenly the calls become much more appealing, don’t they? So think about what positive associations you can make with the things you’ve been putting off, and use them to break the cycle of negativity. (More on this in Sasudi’s Learning Zone)

 

Do something … anything!

Finally, choose one thing and just do it! A lot of times we get stuck in the stasis of procrastination, but doing just one thing — even if it’s the smallest possible thing on your to-do list — can totally shake up your energy. It’s actually better to start with something small, because then you can rack up a win pretty easily, which will give you more energy to do the next thing, and so on and so on. You’ll end up building momentum without even realising it!

OK, time to come clean. What’s one thing that you’ve been procrastinating on … and what are you going to do about it? Tell us in the comments below so we can cheer you on!

Until next time,

Jonathan

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