A lot of time procrastination is classified as a form of laziness, a lack of focus or a lack of desire to do what we have on our to do list, and I know that for me that’s often the case.
But I have different types of procrastination and each one of them has a different cause and consequently I need to deal with them differently.
For me I have different types of procrastination:
- Lack of Interest
This is probably the one which is more based on laziness, this is where the tasks at hand are something mundane, a chore,
maybe doing taxes, paying bills, it has to be done, but I just don’t want to do it now. I’d rather do something else something more interesting. It can also be a little bit of rebellion as it’s something I have to do so I put it off until the last mine, I try and take back a little bit of control. Ok, yes I have to do it, but you know what I’m going to do this when I want.
This type of procrastination does really serve, we can put things off and delay them until they become an issue, ad we can end up spending more time and energy not doing than doing it.Here we would be much better here just doing it, getting it out of the way and then moving on to something else.
- Lack of Importance
This type of procrastination comes from when I have put something on my to do list which really shouldn’t be on there.
I wasn’t a 100% certain what needed to be done, or I had some free time, and I added it. However, subconsciously I know its a waste of time or a low-value task, and its one that just gets moved and moved until I decide to cross it off the list and not do it. However, too much energy is spent avoiding doing this before we cross it off the list.Here we need to be ruthless, we really need to question and challenge and answer honestly, and if it’s not needed then, cross it off as soon as possible, don’t waste any energy on avoiding tasks that don’t need to be done.
- Fear of Failure Procrastination
This is my biggest energy drain; this is where procrastination really has an impact on my ability to make progress.
Personally, I only get their of failure on important things, the little things I am okay with, but it’s the big things, those that have a major impact on results and progress that I get into fear over.
Usually, this fear is because I cannot see how I will be successful, or I lack belief that I will be successful, and this makes me believe that failure will be the outcome.
Now there are a couple of ways to avoid failing:
One is to review what needs to be done, come up with a workable plan, and find examples of others that have succeeded which can help give you the confidence you will be successful. When I decided to do my first marathon I used the fact that a 100-year old Indian hard run the London Marathon as proof to myself I could do it;
The other approach to avoiding failure is to just not start. If we don’t try we cannot fail, and often there is no real rational behind this, over worse there wouldn’t really be a big impact if I failed anyway.
One of the things I procrastinate most over is sales, but if you approach potential clients and they say no, there is no negative impact. In fact, the worst thing to do is to not try – because these really results in a lack of progress or failure.
So my very act of procrastination brings about the result I fear.This is the type of procrastination which really needs to get addressed. We need to understand whether there is an issue with our approach, and if there is, then we need to look to improve on it, and increase our confidence.
If we are just not starting then we need to realise this too and ask ourselves whats the worst thing that can happen,
and just do it, dive it, give it a shot.
There is no failure there is only feedback, and when we get that feedback, we can always adapt our approach and try again.
Procrastination really is a time thief, and it call help make the possible improbable, and we need to look to combat it.
To do that we need to identify our different types of procrastination and come up with a plan for each.
What types of procrastination do you suffer from, if any, and how do you look to combat it?