Procrastination – What Is It and How To Procrastinate?
Most of us have an idea of what it means to us, but I’ve looked it up.
It means the act of delaying something.
More specifically, repeatedly delaying doing something that needs doing.
When I talk to people and their work performance comes up, I often ask if procrastination is an issue.
Most people say yes. The honest ones. The others lie, probably more to themselves than to me.
There’s a lot going on when we procrastinate.
I say ‘we’ because we all do, hence the liar’s comment, so the best we can do is manage it or minimise it; let’s not beat ourselves up for the fact that we all do it.
You may know by now that my partner, Michelle, is a Psychologist and she’s researched the psychology of procrastination and made us a guide to help you manage yourself and your procrastination.
(Comment or reply PROCRASTINATION at the end of the video. Or put it off till later).
Something Michelle taught me though, is that there are a few ways to
procrastinate and I will show you some of them so you can catch yourself when
you’re procrastinating (at work, we’ll stick to at work in your business, right?).
If you catch yourself, the guide will help you manage your brain.
I’ll follow up with some activities you can implement too.
The most obvious way to procrastinate is to not work and avoid working for a bit. I’m guilty of this. If I’m finding something difficult, I’ll check Facebook and get lost in videos for a bit until I can drag myself back to whatever it is.
Other people, if they’re working at home, perhaps will mow the lawn or hang the washing.
I had a friend who seemed to always be mowing his lawn when he should have been working.
When I was studying it was the worst. I used to tell myself I couldn’t possibly study until my room was clean or my tapes were alphabetically stacked.
But there’s another way to procrastinate that’s a bit harder to notice. It’s procrastinating by ‘working’ (notice my quote marks?). It’s when you’ve got a big, difficult task to do but you take ages to do it because there’s all these other little jobs that you absolutely have to get done first.
The things I find difficult, usually things like writing videos like this or the longer training videos, I find it easy to stop doing when the phone rings or an email comes in or I start thinking about all the other things I have to do and maybe I should get a few of those done first.
This is the type of procrastinating I see in my clients – trades and building business owners who have shitloads of things to do and who find it hard to find time for the difficult or big jobs that will make their businesses better.
That’s the type of procrastinating you can pretend isn’t really procrastinating, isn’t it? You can pretend you were actually too busy.
You didn’t have time to do it or to get to it. You had to do those other jobs – you had no choice.
The truth is there’s always a choice and you choose one path and not the other. You choose to procrastinate, not necessarily consciously and you choose to do the small jobs and not the big ones, even as you tell yourself you have no choice, you have to choose this path.
A whole chunk of my coaching and my coaching program, perhaps even most of it, is focused on these big difficult jobs – sadly, most of the things that will change your business up are quite big jobs and you’re always going to have to fight your natural urge to procrastinate, you’ve got to get them done to get the progress you want.
So the point of today is to take a look at your behaviour and see it for what really it is – are you procrastinating. Are you procrastinating but telling yourself something else is going on?
You’re costing yourself when you defer an important job. It’s worth investing in not procrastinating so much.
Request the guide – comment or reply PROCRASTINATION and we’ll send it to you or get in touch to talk about business coaching and start making real changes.
There are four ways you can engage with me:
1. Subscribe to these emails and get them once a week in your inbox so you never miss a video from me.
2. Join the Trades Business Toolshed Facebook Group where you can watch these videos, ask me questions or talk to your peers.
3. Attend my next Tools Down workshop.
4. Book yourself a 10-minute chat with me. We’ll talk about whether coaching is right for you now and if it is, we’ll go further into the process before you have to make your mind up.
See you later.