LRS 015: Why We Procrastinate 56

why we procrastinate - podcast episode

Welcome to the 15th episode of The Let’s Reach Success podcast. Today we’ll talk about something we all struggle with – procrastination. It not only makes us come up with excuses, put things off for later and even never get them done, but we also leave behind our goals in life and don’t move forward because of that.

So in this episode of the show I’ll share with you the most common reasons why we procrastinate.

Imagine a world where procrastination doesn’t exist.

People won’t feel stressed, overwhelmed or upset just by looking at their tasks for the day. No one would complain about, analyze, fear or put off what needs to be done. They will just do it. By simply starting, being focused, doing a small part of it, and then the next one.

But that’s not the world we live in. Although it might be.

[tweetthis]We let procrastination – the desire to do anything else but the important task in front of us – control us.[/tweetthis]

It leads us to dark places, where we feel hopeless. We turn to distractions, face fear and anxiety, we don’t feel happy, we think and analyze too much and never feel accomplished.
We put things off for later. But later becomes never. And things don’t get done.

But if we really understand what’s going on when we try to start working on a task, we’ll see that it’s not procrastination itself, but other elements.

Like worrying about not having enough time to complete it, not being ready, or thinking we’re not good enough to do that. Having many other things to do, not being sure if it’s that important, not knowing where to start or what to do, not being sure if now is the right time, etc.

These are all excuses our mind comes up with. And they’re an illusion.
But if we eliminate them, all that is left will be us and the task. And when nothing can stop us from doing it, we’ll just start.

If you’re wondering why we procrastinate and what we can do about it, check out the episode.

Show Notes:

  • How the big picture scares us and what to do about it [1:57]
  • The 3 things that cause lack of motivation (and how that leads to procrastination) [2:50]
  • What causes fear of failure [4:12]
  • The 3 types of procrastination and how that prevents us from getting things done [4:55]
  • What to do when we don’t know where to start (when facing a new task/project) [7:25]
  • What things from childhood are the reasons we procrastinate today [9:12]
  • Who is my latest book for [11:39]

Mentioned:

Listen to the episode here:

 

Why We Procrastinate

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How I Finally Managed to Focus and Got to Work without Putting It Off 19

How I Finally Managed to Focus and Got to Work without Putting It Off

Here are the things that helped me find focus and finally get to work:

Tip #1 Write it down.

When I say write it down I mean that whatever you want to do on the day or even the night before for the following day. Simply write exactly down what you want to do/achieve. This simple tip alone is almost like flicking a switch in your brain to do it.

Simply writing down your goals and your plans not only makes you think about the goals and the steps that you need to do to achieve them. Sometimes this can be a great way to realize exactly what you want and get you thinking of things you perhaps hadn’t thought of prior.

Not only this but there have been countless studies done showing that writing something down with greatly improve the chances of it coming to fruition than not writing it down at all.

The great thing about this is that it can be literally applied to many areas of like. You can write down your long-term goals or you can write down what you plan to do for the next day.

I, personally, do it every night after I am long finished with my work for that day. I set aside 5-10 minutes for writing down what I want to do tomorrow. The act itself cements it in your brain.

This is also a great way to help with procrastination. It’s almost like holding yourself accountable for it which I will get into more in my next point.

Tip #2 Hold yourself accountable.

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Holding yourself accountable to an overall goal or target can be an excellent way to actually push yourself to that point where you get to work consistently.

For example, let’s say I want to lose some weight and be on a particular diet to achieve that goal. Telling your friends and family that you are doing it makes you more accountable than doing it alone.

Your friends/family will often follow up with you about your progress. This is a constant kick up your ass to keep working towards your goal. Also, doing things like posting it on Facebook or somewhere where people can engage with you and follow your progress is great.

Ideally, having an accountability partner would be the best option for this.

An accountability partner and you would usually be moving towards the same goal and would constantly encourage each other to get to work. Most importantly, you two will be accountable for your actions!

A great way to find such like-minded people is through social media. For example when I work on my blog FlipFlopsandAppleSauce, I have a artner that is also running a blog. We both set goals on how often we publish content to hold each other accountable. It works extremely well.

Tip #3 Don’t be focused on results.

Don’t put pressure on yourself if you aren’t achieving your goals as quickly as you want.

Let’s say you have an online business and you want to make $1000 a month in profit. Instead of focusing on how much money you are currently making, look at what steps you need to take to get to that $1000. The more of these you take, the sooner you will get there.

Tip #4 Concentrate on today.

 

Some people are always thinking of long-term objectives. That’s not a problem, but you should always try to break down your goals into smaller, easier steps. Then, dedicate each day to working towards completing these steps.

Not only does that make things simpler and easier to manage, but it also puts less stress and pressure on you in the long run and will undoubtedly save you lots of time.

Tip #5 Let it become a habit.

Once you get into a routine, doing some of the more tedious things won’t be as much of a problem. Because at the beginning, you had to make a more conscious effort to make them happen. But once something becomes a habit through use of constant repetition, it becomes 10 times easier to do it.

After doing something consistently for 20 days in a row, it will start to become a habit.

So, if you are doing something that you don’t enjoy 100% to work towards your goal, it would be a great idea to challenge yourself for 3 weeks. Make it a habit, because, beyond that initial 3 weeks, things should only become easier.

#Tip 6 Think goals, not hours.

Some people say ‘I want to work 5 hours on this today’. In my opinion, this is not a solid mentality to have.

People who work with that in mind tend to draw out what they are working out to achieve that time target, which usually isn’t helpful at all. Not only that, but it lowers overall productivity.

I like to set steps that I want to do on that exact day. I have a clearer target that isn’t limited or restricted by time in this case.

Also, once you have finished what you set out to do for that day, you feel a great sense of accomplishment. Which for me, is an amazing feeling that keeps me coming back for more!

***

David Gray is an entrepreneur that loves marketing. This “career” path allows him the freedom that he truly craves in his life.