Learning how to overcome procrastination is not easy. Often it is much easier to simply procrastinate.
I tend to procrastinate when I’m trying to do things I do not want to do or trying to do them in a way that is not providing value to others.
When you really sit down and think about it, overcoming procrastination is almost always about shifting your perspective and getting clear on what you really want.
I used to have no trouble procrastinating in school work because I really didn’t see what the point was.
I had no desire to do those things and would never repeat them. The only reason I did them was because “I had to”. It was the socially acceptable thing to do.
For me, procrastination pretty much always comes down to not doing what you really want to do. Have you ever procrastinated about something you are truly passionate about?
As I said above, if you’re doing stuff you don’t love, you have no one but yourself to blame if you run into procrastination. Listen to your feelings, discover your passion and you will be much more motivated.
As an example from my life, when I started playing poker professionally I had no trouble putting the hours in, but as the years went by and my interest declined, I started procrastinating, a lot. I didn’t want to play poker so I did my best to avoid it completely.
For a few years I forced myself to play and I really grew sick of the game. I haven’t played in almost a year and it feels great. The same thing happened when I jumped over to making a living through niche websites. In the beginning it was fun, but ultimately it was unsustainable if I wasn’t in line with what my passion was.
Delivering value goes hand in hand with your passion. If you’re providing value you will be much more motivated. At least that is the case for me. When I went from a poker player to building health websites to starting a blog, my motivation grew each time.
Some people can get motivated and stay motivated by money alone, but ultimately it eats up their soul. Because there comes a point where you realize that more money doesn’t equal more happiness, which is when you will start to resist it.
Are you truly providing value for others or are you just doing it to make money? Procrastination is a sign. Listen to it. What is it trying to tell you? Do you wish you were doing something else? Could you provide more value and be less selfish?
Sometimes you’re already doing what you love and still running into roadblocks and bouts of procrastination. When this happens it is usually because I am overwhelming myself and trying to juggle too many balls at once.
I am awesome at this, so throughout the years I’ve learned a few tricks to deal with it. The best thing is to focus on one core project, or at the most two. Keep it as simple as possible. And if you run into trouble, simplify the whole process.
Write down any steps you can take action on today. The smaller the pieces, the easier it will be to take action. Overwhelm happens to me when I try to think of all the things I want to do at once. It ultimately is just a figment of my imagination. Once you break it all down, you’ll see that procrastination tends to disappear.
When you start following your passion and putting your name and face out there, you may experience fear. I am constantly second-guessing myself as I write this blog. Is my writing good enough? Will people like me? What if no one reads what I have to say?
These are fears that we all have and they can create a massive amount of procrastination, because we’ve been taught to never fail and never be wrong. The best solution for me has been to shed awareness on what is really stopping me and just allowing the thoughts to be there.
It is easier said than done, but you do not have to identify with every thought you have. Following your passion can be scary, but you have to learn how to be imperfect.
To be honest, I do not keep meticulous goals. But I do keep a few large goals that keep me on track. You do not have to write down every detail. However, many find that it helps. To each his own, you have to find your own process and what works for you.
Goals provide clarity and clarity destroys procrastination. Avoid falling into the traps of spreading yourself thin. Realize the power of no. Saying no can be scary at first, because you don’t want to let people down.
I noticed this in my own life, but as I said no more and more I saw that those who were not really looking to be my friends dropped out of my life, and the true ones stayed. See it as a filter that at the same time keeps you focused and gives you more time time to spend on your projects.