Like many, I am known to procrastinate myself, not as much anymore, but it is a human condition that affects even the best of us. I have been working from home for over three decades. My experience has provided me firsthand insight about the challenges faced by home workers. Now as a performance coach, I can assure you that procrastination is a challenge faced my many home workers. They believe that their habit of procrastinating holds them back from achieving goals and lifelong dreams and it is a common problem that affects many, even me. So, how did I overcome my habit? What have I learned from my experience as a home worker that will help aspiring home workers who are also “master procrastinators”?
Moreover, how can you apply my knowledge and advice in your life so you too can stop procrastinating? Read on to learn more:
Let's begin by answering the question - What is PROCRASTINATION?
In the simplest words, PROCRASTINATION is a challenge, a habit that causes us to delay or postpone something. A procrastinator will usually prefer less essential tasks or more the pleasurable ones to the ones that are important or urgent. Procrastinators also delay important work intending to do it later. In my experience, procrastination is most common in people who struggle with self-control or are perfectionists.
Distractions are a home worker’s greatest enemy, combined with the tendency to procrastinate, many homeworkers are afraid that the odds may be stacked against them.
See my blog on procrastination as one of the challenges of working from home
Let’s look into the most common causes of procrastination and how you can change the way you think so you can treat the cause of your procrastination.
Lack Of Focus Or Absence Of Structure
A lack of focus is one of the most prevalent causes of procrastination. In my experience, if you often feel directionless or purposeless then it may be because you have not defined any target goals for yourself. A lack of focus is widespread in younger people, who end up wasting precious time because they have not established a target and therefore an absence of structure that pushes them to work towards and achieve a goal.
The solution would be to commit to something and setting goals. Keep in mind that life is a long journey. We play the long game. We’re lifelong learners. Think of it as a process through which you improve every single day, so you’ll eventually arrive at a point where your life is in order, and you feel in control of things. To get there, you must play the long game and commit to lifelong learning.
Fear Of Failure Or Anxiety
This is another common one - the fear of failure or anxiety that holds people back from going after their goals and dreams because it’s a given that you can’t fail if you don’t try. In this case, procrastinators delay action as a way of protecting and comforting themselves.
For starters, it is vital that you understand “failures” are inevitable and failing is a part of life. You might have convinced yourself that successful and productive people don’t fail, but let me assure you they do, they, however, get up a lot faster.
You need to rewire your brain and leave behind old patterns so whenever procrastination, guilt, self-criticism strikes make it your goal to get back on track as soon as possible. Acknowledge your feelings of disappointment, shame or guilt and forgive yourself.
Perfectionism Or Low Self-Confidence
It is not uncommon to find perfectionists that are also procrastinators. If you are an extreme perfectionist, then you desire to achieve complete satisfaction or the perfect result could be holding you back. Perfectionists are also extremely critical especially of themselves, which seems to be the greatest obstacle that prevents them from achieving their goals. Similarly, people who suffer from low self-confidence doubt themselves and their skill, which causes them to delay activities or miss opportunities.
For all the self-confessed perfectionists and people with low self-confidence out there, my advice to you is to choose self-compassion over self-criticism. Self-criticism will bind you, whereas, self-compassion will give you a sense of freedom so you can allow yourself to make mistakes and let things be less than perfect all the time.
We also tend to put off tasks that we find annoying, unpleasant or uninteresting. We all have such tasks in our lives that may not be enjoyable, but you need to do them. Try tackling such tasks by dividing them into smaller, more achievable goals and set a deadline.
Remind yourself that almost every successful person has gone through hardship before “making it.” Edison failed over a 10,000 x before making the light bulb work.
If you are feeling defeated by your habit of procrastinating, then let me comfort you by listing some of the most successful people in the world who are also famous procrastinators:
· Bill Clinton: The former US president, and one of the most famous politicians of the world, Bill Clinton was once panned by the Time magazine for his laziness and procrastinating while in was in office.
· Leonardo Da Vinci: Da Vinci’s habit of procrastination might be the reason why his famous masterpieces like the Mona Lisa took 16 years to complete and why many pieces were left unfinished.
· Victor Hugo: The famous French writer known for his famous novels Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame is also a prominent procrastinator. Reportedly, he has taken some serious measures to motivate himself to stop procrastinating and start working.
Finally consider these quotes from some of some famous people as motivation to stop procrastination.
· “Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” - Charles Dickens, David Copperfield
· “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.” - Mark Twain
· “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone” - Pablo Picasso