Updated: Jun 26, 2020
What are you avoiding? Do you find you have things you intend to do but never actually get around to doing them? Many of us procrastinate endlessly over tasks or jobs we intend to do. Classic ones for me are when I know I need to phone someone or to pay a bill. I intend to do it, I put it on my ‘to-do’ list but when it comes to it, I delay and delay. It ends up on my ‘to-do’ list for weeks. This then turns to feelings of dread, combined with worry for not doing ‘the thing’ or nearing the deadline. The longer I leave it, the bigger the job seems so I put it off even more. Sound familiar?
When we delay like this there are usually reasons for us not wanting to front the task. Most commonly these are - a fear of failure, perfectionist tendencies, a lack of confidence or knowledge. Instead of facing the task, we busy ourselves with other ‘easier’ jobs and distractions or make excuses about needing the ‘perfect’ circumstances or the right time. Again, these are delaying techniques.
Think of something that you’re avoiding right now. To help move forward with it:
List down all the reasons you’re putting it off. Be honest with yourself and write all the reasons down, even if you don’t like how it sounds.
Next to each reason, ask yourself ‘how true is that?’
For each reason, is there a counter argument? Note it down.
Challenge yourself - how much are you motivated to do this task? On a scale of 0-10. Is it really important to you?
If you believe it to be important, can you break it down into smaller goals, prioritising the urgent tasks sooner? Are there gaps in your own knowledge where you need to seek input?
Can you schedule time in your diary to carry out each of the tasks?
Tell someone - tell a colleague or friend about what you intend to do. We’re more likely to achieve things when we’re made accountable to the task.
Let me know how you get on. I'd love to hear from you.