Personal Development & Procrastination

In psychology, procrastination refers to the act of replacing high-priority actions with tasks of lower priority, or doing something from which one derives enjoyment, and thus putting off important tasks to alater time. Wikipedia definition 2012

There are 2 types of business owners who need help; those who don’t know what to do and those who do know what to do but don’t do it! Once you have established your business, further growth comes down to your own personal development. Growing a business is not just about having good business acumen. Your business is a reflection of you and it will therefore grow as far as you grow personally. Personal development is the process of improving your habits, characteristics, routines, attitudes, or practices, in an attempt to improve your lifestyle, business ethic and to overcome procrastination.


What is procrastination?

Procrastination, the habit of putting tasks off to the last possible minute, can be a big problem in both your business and your personal life. Procrastination can lead to missed opportunities, haphazard work hours, stress, overwhelm, resentment, and guilt.

Procrastination can become a behaviour pattern and can be trigged in many different ways so you won’t always procrastinate for the same reason. Sometimes it may be because you’re overwhelmed and other times it may be because you just don’t know where to start.

What causes procrastination?

There are various reasons for procrastination:

1. Stress: In some circumstances, procrastination works as a coping mechanism to keep your stress levels under control

2. Lack of focus and direction: Scattered and confused thoughts are common contributors. It’s difficult to stay on track when you do not have a clear focus or action plan.

3. Overwhelm: Having a to-do list that never gets completed can quickly lead to overwhelm and then procrastination, ironic really.

4. Lack of motivation: Until you identify an inspiring purpose, you’ll never achieve your potential and your motivation will always be weak.

5. Lack of discipline: Even if you are motivated, you will have tasks that you don’t enjoy so much. It is these times that you need a backup system of self discipline.

6. Poor time management: Are you just disorganised? Bad habits also lead to procrastination, you need a system and some new habits.

7. Lack of skill: If you do not have the skill required to complete a task, you may procrastinate to avoid failure. You have 3 options here: educate, delegate or eliminate.

8. Perfectionism: Believing that everything must be perfect is a recipe for stress. Here you may put a task off until the last minute just in case you find a way not to do it!

9. Laziness: Sometimes we are just too tired or we are emotionally and physically drained to work.

How to overcome procrastination.

  1. Clarify exactly what you want to accomplish
  2. Develop a clear plan with small action steps
  3. Make sure you exercise to increase energy levels
  4. Have someone to hold you accountable – one step at a time
  5. Change your language; “I must do xyz” causes stress, “I’d love to xyz” has a different effect
  6. Focus on starting, not on finishing
  7. Don’t place too much pressure on yourself, you don’t ‘have to do’ anything nor ‘should’ you do anything. You only ‘choose’ to do stuff.

Contact Lorraine, Strategic Marketing Specialist | Business Coach and Life Coach for a free session on how to Overcome Procrastination