You can fill a few shelves with books about procrastination. These resources are especially helpful for the chronic habitual procrastinator. What about the rest of us? Why do careful planners and goal oriented folks sometimes put things off?
Everybody procrastinates from time to time
I’m a program/ project manager. My main job duty is to make certain everything happens when it’s supposed to at the projected cost. Over the past year, my employer has asked me to create corporate project management training. Great opportunity, right? Meh. I hate writing nonfiction (respect to those of you who rock this genre). Weeks pass with no progress while the classes get uncomfortably close.
Exploring the “Why” we procrastinate
Here are my theories. Mind you, I’m not a mental health professional just an experienced observer of human behavior:
- You don’t want to do it
- You resent doing it
- You don’t know how to do it and are afraid to ask for help
- You lack the self-confidence to do it
Let’s take the first two bullets (they’re related) – I get it. Been there. Forced to wear the t-shirt.
“We have to tighten our belts, which means everybody has to help out by taking on more work. We just don’t have the resources, so can you squeeze it in? Oh, and I need it by Monday.”
Sound familiar? I could give you the same tired old advice to buckle down and just do it. BUT – I’m not. Rather, I’m suggesting you figure out what’s in it for YOU. Document what you’re doing and use it to get a promotion or a better job.
A word about FEAR (aka the last two bullets) – Everyone experiences self-doubt when trying to do a new task. What you do with that fear defines you. Option One: Stay paralyzed with fear, don’t do the task and get in trouble or fired. Option Two: Seek out someone who can help you and be honest with them. I think you’ll find most folks are happy to give you a little help.
What if my procrastination doesn’t involve the day job? I’m experiencing the “I don’t wanna” symptoms on my creative project. My advice: This may be your subconscious trying to tell you the path you’re headed down is the wrong one. Take some time to examine what you’re doing and why.