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7 Characteristics of Procrastination (And How to Fight Them)

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7 Characteristics of Procrastination (And How to Fight Them)

We all do it to some degree or another; put off for tomorrow what we know should be done today. Postpone the inevitable pain for the current moment of pleasure. But we know that even if we can manage to put it out of our minds for the present, it will eventually come around and bite us on the butt and disturb our external calm demeanor.

Below are some of the symptoms of a procrastinator and the remedies to try.

1. Lack of Vision

Not having a clear vision for the future is one of the biggest reasons people procrastinate. If you can’t see the benefits of completing certain tasks why would you bother starting them?

Remedy

Have a clear picture of all that needs to be achieved and the reasons why, you are much more likely to be motivated to get going and get things done.

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2. Lack of Time

Lack of time is the most popular excuse banded about for not getting things done. But fortunately there are very few people in this world that don’t have the scope for becoming at least 10% more efficient. Being busy doesn’t equate to being efficient. Regularly when someone lacks time in their lives, it is due to poor organization skills, poor prioritization or the inability to say no.

Remedy

Learn to become more efficient with one’s time. This can free up many hours a week to get the more important stuff done.

3. Lack of Organization

The infamous words of Peter Druker say it clearly “Fail to Plan and Plan to Fail”. If you are disorganized and don’t keep a schedule you are likely to forget tasks and miss deadlines.

Remedy: Keeping a schedule will help you to track all the tasks that you have to do and ensure that tasks aren’t forgotten.

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4. Tiredness

Some will use the excuse of being too tired to get started. Many people delay and procrastinate on their home duties because they are too tired when they get home from work.

Remedy

Find out the reason for your tiredness. Are you eating right? Are you exercising? Not getting enough sleep? Find your reason and try to remedy it by changing your ways.

5. Fear

Fear of the outcome can be another delaying factor. Some people fear failure; they won’t be able to do the task to a good enough standard so they delay in getting started. Others — believe it or not — fear success. They may know that by completing a certain task, the outcome may lead them places they are unsure they want to go.

Remedy

Become clear about the consequences of completing or not completing a task.

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“Clarity brings Power” — Anthony Robins

6. Easily Distracted

In the modern age we are bombarded with technology and external stimulation that it becomes more difficult to stay focused.

Remedy

Turn of email notifications and only check emails at allocated times during your day. Switch off your phone and allow messages to go to voicemail. Close your office door and let people know you are not to be disturbed. Remember to stay in control of your technology and not let it control you.

7. Feeling Overwhelmed

Some tasks at hand can make us feel overwhelmed, mostly because we don’t know how to get started.

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Remedy

Break it down into bite sized chunks. Then break it down even more. Plan each part of the task so that you are focusing on completing the sub task rather than the overall task. This helps to feel in control and not overwhelmed. Zoom in and zoom out every now and again to make sure you are moving forward with the overall task.

But the best and simplest advice is to make a start on any important task. No matter how small or how insignificant in the overall picture, just get moving. In keeping with the laws of physics — “An object in motion tends to stay in motion” — you can start to get rid of procrastination by moving forward.

If you want to learn more about procrastination, check out What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

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Ciara Conlon

Productivity coach, speaker, blogger and author of Chaos to Control, a Practical Guide to Getting Things Done

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