Why do we procrastinate? 5 ways to stop!
Do you Procrastinate?
I think my life motto has been “Why do today what you can put off till tomorrow!”
That needs to change.
It gets challenging when I am frequently interrupted by 5 kids who need their mama . . . as I usually can’t procrastinate on taking care of their needs. 🙂 I also try to blame it on my CAADD (Child Activated Attention Deficit Disorder)!
Lately, I have been doing some soul searching as to why I procrastinate, as well as why I don’t finish projects that I start.
I am realizing – it has to do with a few things.
I have a “recording” in my head that I heard over and over again growing up – spoken by one of my parents, “You know what you SHOULD have done to make that better . . . ” or “Oh – I have an idea of what you COULD do next time.” or “That’s nice – but you know what WOULD have been better . . .” (Granted – this parent is an “ideas” kind of person – a visionary . . . but that doesn’t sit well in the mind of a little child (and now an adult) who just wants to hear “Great job! I’m proud of you!”)
All the should’ve, could’ve and would’ve-s have subconsciously derailed me many times.
I also came to realize that the anxiety I sometimes feel over nearing the completion of something (or even the thought of starting something) – comes from the fact thought that . . . I might not finish/do it right (and will hear about it – from others, or even myself)!
This truly has been an epiphany for me lately. (So that’s why!)
I have always been a perfectionist in many ways (though – as a child, my bedroom wouldn’t have shown that. Unless you want to say I was “perfectly messy!” I like to say I was “chaotically organized”. Or maybe it was “organized chaos”. I’m a visual person. If I couldn’t see it – I forgot I had it! Thus, I guess I forgot I had a floor in that bedroom! :))
Perfectionism can not only cause you to work on something too much or too long (and never really be finished or satisfied) – but it can stop you from even starting many times (because – if you don’t do it – then you can’t fail! 🙂 And also – if you don’t finish it, then there won’t be the statements of “you should have done it this way instead – it would have been better . . .”).
Now – these are not conscious thoughts that I had been thinking – but what I’ve come to realize that is driving me in my procrastination and the delay in finishing projects.
And now that I know . . . I’m working on getting healing for these “beliefs” – letting God’s truth replace the lies, working on being intentional in jumping over/pushing past the obstacles now that I see them, and learning to do and finish things even if they are not “perfect”. 🙂
My dad recently shared with me his 80% rule (though – ironically – it was mostly his voice that spoke all the “should have’s” to me throughout the years) . . . . That he doesn’t have to have things perfect – but at least 80% . . . and to not worry about the rest.
That’s a hard concept to swallow for this perfectionist (or should I say – a former-perfectionist-wanna-be). 🙂
I just had to share this post by Michael Hyatt (best-selling author and former Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers). Check out his recommendations on how to stop procrastinating and actually get some of those things done on your to-do list!
No more Procrastination!
Now . . . I’m off to stop procrastinating on something today (not that I haven’t been getting things done. I did manage to blog! :)) . . . the question is . . . which of the LOOOONG list of undone things do I start with? 🙂
Sometimes (when I’m feeling brave . . . or maybe a bit crazy) I wipe my whiteboard or to-do list clean . . . and whatever I can remember – I then write it back down. The other things . . . I just let them go! If they are important – they will resurface. 🙂
One of my favorite quotes (that’s posted in my bathroom . . . and that I try to ignore every day – obviously!) is this one:
“Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is a nobler art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials.” – Lin Yutang
AMEN! Now I just have to put it into practice!
Do you struggle with procrastination (or starting but not finishing things)? What do you think causes it in your life? What helps you to overcome it?
Share your comment with us!
C’mon . . . stop procrastinating on it! 🙂