If you procrastinate, take comfort in knowing that you have lots of company. However, procrastination sabotages our best intentions, increases our stress levels, and decreases our performance level.That makes it definitely an undesirable habit, but one that can be overcome.

Here are common reasons we procrastinate. Can you find your reason below?

  • The task is distasteful
  • The task is overwhelming
  • Fear of failure
  • Not enough time
  • And finally, one of the biggest, perfectionism

Does perfectionism contribute to procrastination for you? Solve the problem by:

  • Checking with others to see if it needs to be perfect
  • Hiring someone to complete the project
  • Applying what Salvador Dali said, “Have no fear of perfectionism. You will never achieve it.” You can, though, do complete work, and keep moving forward.

Let’s explore the Do It Now! method . . .

1. If it takes less than 3 to 5 minutes: Many items feel like they take longer than they actually do. Often when I ask clients to estimate how long a project will take to complete, their estimate greatly exceeds the actual time involved! Check your watch to get a more realistic time frame, and then Wow! yourself for Doing It Now!

2. Will you have any more information in an hour, a day, or a week? Every time you hear yourself saying, “I’ll think about this later”, pick up the item again and see if you can make a decision now. My hunch is there is no time you are going to skip up to this “think about it later” stack and want to make decisions. If you have the necessary information, Do It Now!

3. If you don’t want to do it now, will you want to do it later? Let’s be honest. The answer to this question is never yes. When you hear yourself say, “I’ll do this later”, let that be a red flag to ask yourself why. Research tells us that if we have something we don’t want to do, such as that dreaded phone call, or filling out that application, everything we do that day will take longer. Stop procrastinating and Do It Now!

4. Some work can’t be done quickly. If this is the case, try to add value to it each time you touch it. The typical piece of paper is moved on a desk eight times before it is dealt with.

  • For instance, it’s after 5 o’clock, you’re reading your mail and find you have a question about your insurance policy. You can’t call now, but you can write down the question and circle the phone number. The next day it will much easier to finish the task.
  • If it is a big project, take a minute and write down the steps required to complete it. Then schedule short segments of time on your calendar to get it to completion. Chances are you will never be able to buy out a big block of time, so divide it up and conquer it.

You can conquer procrastination by self awareness and being alert. Don’t let procrastination creep back into your life. Implement the methods above, and move forward in your life.

The first 80% of the project takes as much energy as it takes to complete the last 20%. The last 20% is where projects often stall.

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