Would you describe yourself as a procrastinator? If your answer is “hell, yes“, then chances are you’ve also been told you’re a ‘high achiever’ one or two times before. It’s a fact that high achievers procrastinate more than most. And many small business owners fit into this personality type. While procrastination can sometimes be a thorn in one’s side, it’s not all bad news. Stick with us, this article’s for you.
1. Identify what motivates you.
Procrastination is really all about emotions management. Humans are designed to desire positive emotions and avoid negative ones. In order to understand what triggers these emotions, we need to learn what motivates us to get a task done. Non-procrastinators are motivated by the responsibility of the task itself; they feel some level of anxiety from the moment they’re expected to deliver an outcome. As a result, they chase positive emotions by getting onto the task immediately. On the other hand, those of us who aren’t anxious about the task itself, tend to worry more about its associated deadline.
2. Create short-term deadlines within a long-term project.
For all you high achievers motivated by a deadline, we have no doubt you have one or more epic stories about whipping together a project, a brief or other piece of work at lightening speed, finishing just in time to present your first (and final) draft to a none-the-wiser client. At the time, you’d promised yourself never to do it again, the stress just wasn’t worth it. But time and time again, you fail to keep that promise. There’s hope for you, but it takes a little sneakiness on your part. You can outsmart your pesky penchant for procrastination (try saying that 3 times fast!) by creating short-term deadlines within a long-term project. If self-imposed deadlines don’t work for you, then bring your client in on the game and promise to deliver your work in stages where possible.
3. Acceptance, to some degree, is required.
To some degree, our procrastination is part of what makes us who we are. Don’t hate on yourself for it, instead learn the management approaches that work best for you. But always remember to seek additional support or advice if ever you feel procrastination is getting in the way of your personal or professional success.
Now… what is it you were meant to be doing again? 🙂
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