What Are You Putting Off Doing?
By Wendy Hearn
decisions are you feeling resistance to making?
When you are "putting off" things,
this is called procrastinating. Procrastination
affects most people to a greater or lesser degree.
You're probably aware that at times, you've
been inclined to put off a task.
some people procrastination has become a habit, but the
remedy is straightforward. Identify what you're putting
off and then address it. The key to handling procrastination
is often a pattern to procrastination. You may put off only
certain tasks or many. It may be fear that causes it. Perhaps
there's a phone call you dread making because you don't
know what to say or how the other person may react. Some
other common areas that many people put off are:
Time for fun
Making changes in work or personal life
Doing what you really want to do
Time for family and friends
also easy to keep putting tasks off because they aren't
likely to meet your own high standards. Perhaps you just
have too much on your plate, so inevitably you postpone
may procrastinate over a project until time's running short.
You probably believe you work better under pressure, which
motivates you to complete it. Living life at this speed
will catch up with you, eventually draining your energy.
you procrastinate, ask yourself why and then discover how
to overcome it. Procrastination is a symptom and not the
cause. If you procrastinate, don't give yourself a hard
time about it - just decide to act. Get to the root cause,
understand it and take action.
of a task you've completed without procrastinating. Why
was this task easy to complete? Perhaps it was fun, you
felt confident or it was a team effort. Use this successful
method and apply it to a delayed task. Step back from the
situation to understand it more clearly.
on action and devise a plan to get the tasks done. List
your tasks - delegate some, refuse others and prioritise
the rest. Start with the task that you've been putting off
the most. Tackle one task and break it into small chunks.
Start the process and allow yourself to feel successful
on completion. Carry this feeling of success forward, build
on it, and be inspired by it.
an encouragement team, perhaps a friend, work colleague
or coach. Create a message for yourself, perhaps "Just
Do It" as a note on your desk. Change your message
weekly to suit you.
a specific time but limit it. Getting started is often the
hard bit but then the momentum builds. A client was putting
off starting a new project but agreed to spend just 5 minutes
on it to see what happened. When we next spoke, he was delighted
because after the initial 5 minutes, he found it easy to
up the task or situation. Usually when we procrastinate
over something we make it more of a chore than it needs
to be and we don't always approach it in the best frame
of mind. Reward yourself for completing the task.
procrastinating! You will experience less fear, less struggle
and a sense of relief.
you like to leave procrastination behind and really move
ahead faster? That's what I assist my clients to do. Click
here to find out more.
© 2000-2002 Wendy Hearn
Hearn is a personal and professional coach who works with
business owners, professionals, executives and managers
who are ready to enrich their lives. . . finding more success,
fun, balance, joy and time. She coaches one-to-one with
individuals and groups by telephone and email.