It’s taken me a while to write this blog, I’ve been meaning to do it for some time now, I even put it at the very top of my to-do list, but there were just so many other things that needed my attention….none of which I can actually call to my mind at this very moment…sound familiar?
Procrastination – the sometime malady of everyone who has ever worked in the history of ever. It can strike even the most productive of us at some point throughout the working week – you probably don’t even know when you’re doing it. You’re likely typing away in blissful ignorance like the happy little design-agency worker that you are until BAMN you suddenly realise that you’re 3 months deep in #CatsofTwitter memes and you have a half-written email open to Marcel in accounts that you started drafting 2 hours ago – urgh those damn hilarious felines, they get me every time.
In fact, there is a very good chance that you are procrastinating right now – I mean why else would you click on a post titled ‘Procrastination Station’ when you actually have far more important, strategic and digitally challenging things to do on a Monday morning? Like replying to Marcel for example. I really should get onto that…
The good thing is, if you are here for that reason, then here at Pistachio we have put together some simple strategies which you can employ from this moment onwards to eliminate those pesky procrastination tendencies.
But first – why do we procrastinate?
Here are a few mainstream reasons:
– Fear of failure
– Fear of being judged
– Obsession with perfection
– Over planning
– Setting unrealistic expectations
– Lack of direction
– No purpose
The common, underlying, theme usually lies in our apprehension about whether we can actually achieve what we set out to achieve – quite simply, we don’t believe in ourselves.
Well that is one theory anyway. And I would love to use the rest of this post as a motivational, poetically inspiring piece of prose that reassures you that YOU CAN DO IT! But instead what I am actually going to do is point out that for some, maybe not all, but for some of the procrastinators amongst us – it might just be about arrogance.
Yep I said it, I’m sorry, but look at it this way – procrastination is about getting things done, and if you managed to get that thing that was supposed to take two weeks done in half a day, then guess what? You’ll always assume that you can leave yourself half a day to do it. Arrogance.
Now whether I’ve just called you a coward or an egotist is immaterial – because the fact of the matter is, procrastination is bad. It’s bad because it limits the potential of a productive and successful working day – even if you are already doing really really well at your job, and let’s face it most of us are, if we’re procrastinating then we’re not reaching the heady heights of our full mind-blowing potential.
So, what is the answer? Well here at Pistachio we don’t profess to have ALL of the answers – but we do come pretty darn close – so here are our top procrastination avoidance tips:
– Have a game plan: writing your goals down, even if they’re just for one day, will increase your chances of actually fulfilling them by a whopping 50%
– Tell people your plans: tell your friends/family/colleagues that you are serious about achieving certain things within a set time-frame and make sure they won’t quit hassling you until you’ve done them
– The 24-hour rule: think only in the time frame of 24 hours, we need to plan but we also have the tendency to overburden ourselves which can demotivate us. Even if your goal is 6 months to 2 years off, think about just one day and what you can do within it to help achieve your goals
– Get feedback: positive feedback and encouragement is the fastest way to get recognition for your achievements and is crucial for sustaining your motivation
– Break it down: work in bite-sized chunks – decide what is the most important activity to achieve your goal and take a small step towards it, and then take the next one
– Visualise your ideal day: imagine your perfect working environment and what you’ll achieve by being in it, then re-create it in real life!
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF: whether your procrastination is from feelings of self-doubt or you have simply become complacent in motivating yourself to push through to the next level, the most important thing to remember is – you absolutely CAN do it – so stay positive and re-align your focus…especially when those dancing kitties come creeping in…