There’s nothing wrong with taking a break, but you know procrastination when you see it. Here’s how to recognize the signs of procrastination and stop the cycle of excuses and delays so you can achieve more success in life and in business.
If you have ever been a leader, manager, or business owner with employees, you’ve experienced what it’s like delegating an important task under deadline. From experience, you’ve probably learned who you can trust to complete the task well, and on time, when others fall short.
Have you ever delegated a time-sensitive task to an employee only to find them making excuses, waiting until the last minute, or wasting time when they should be working on your project?
It probably got you fired up.
So, here’s a question for you: If you don’t tolerate procrastination from others, why would you ever tolerate procrastination from yourself?
First, let’s establish that no one is perfect and no one is completely procrastination-free, every moment of every day. However, you can spot a habitual procrastinator anywhere. Here are some common signs:
- Procrastinators are often overly optimistic about completing complex tasks in little time
- Thinks and says they work best under pressure
- Easily distracted and loses focus when there is no urgency
- Delayed start (because they have a false sense that everything is under control, so there’s no need to jump into it immediately)
- When no progress has been made, they offer reassurance that everything is under control
- Action driven by panic (the realization that everything is not under control)
- Scrambles last minute, working hours on end to complete a project minutes before the deadline.
Taking the above information into consideration, answer the following three questions below.
Do you recognize any of these signs in employees or coworkers? (What is your answer?)
How many of the characteristics listed above have you experienced at any time in your personal or professional life? (What is your answer?)
0-1 2-4 5-7
How often do you find yourself exhibiting these habits? (What is your answer?)
Rarely Sometimes Frequently
There’s no right or wrong answer to Question #1 – procrastination is a common characteristic and often encountered in the workplace.
If you answered 0-1 in Question #2 – you probably tackle every day and professional tasks head on without delay. If you answered 2-4, you may procrastinate sometimes. If you answered 5-7, definitely keep reading!
If you answered rarely to Question 3, that’s good – you’re probably not a habitual procrastinator. If you answered sometimes, there’s room for improvement. However, if you answered frequently – we have some work to do.
The key is to discover the root cause of your procrastination, so you can correct it. Most procrastination is commonly rooted in the following issues:
Low self-confidence: When you’re feeling insecure about your ability to complete a task, (forget about completing it well), you probably delay it to avoid feeling “stupid.” Truth be told, you have more than enough smarts to figure it out. The good news is that the more times you tackle a task head on – and are successful – the easier it is to stop procrastinating.
Perfectionist: You’re a perfectionist and nothing less than stellar is acceptable. Give yourself a break and let go of trying to be perfect. Given your high standards your best is probably far above par.
Rebellion: Procrastination may be your way of expressing your rebellion. A sort of “You can’t tell me what to do, I’ll do it when I’m good and ready.” This probably didn’t work when you tried to use it with your parents (or it did work and that’s why you use it as an adult), but it definitely will NOT work with your boss. If you’re an entrepreneur – well, you’re just shooting your own foot.
Manipulation: This is a common characteristic of an insecure coworker or manager. “They can’t start without me. This project is nothing without my talent.” This takes some personal growth to overcome and the realization that discounting the ability of others does not increase your own. If you’re feeling insecure, go back to school or take additional training. When you expand your skill set, you can stop feeling insecure about your value.
Coping with Pressure: Procrastination may be a coping skill to dealing with feeling overwhelmed. They delay until they have the mental stability to perform the task or wait until the very last minute to start. While this may certainly be the case some days, the important thing to remember is not to make a habit of it. Delegate tasks temporarily or permanently to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Will you choose to begin reducing procrastinating in your life so you can enjoy even greater successes or will you continue to let procrastination hold you back from reaching your true potential? What has to happen next for you to stop letting procrastination be your excuse? It’s easy to make excuses and it’s even easier to use those excuses to procrastinate. With a little insight into why procrastination occurs, you may be able to reduce or completely eliminate it from your personal and professional life.
To watch the complimentary Masterclass to help you with procrastination, if you have a procrastination issue, go to https://www.accountabilitycoach.com/free-articles/free-webinars/.
Do you feel like your business has plateaued or you are sick and tired of being sick and tired? Could you use a shot in the arm to make even more progress on your goals? Consider working with The Accountability Coach. I’m here to help you accelerate your results, so you can enjoy your ideal business and ideal life! Reach out today for your complimentary consultation.
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