What is the one thing that you avoid at all costs?

The thing that you come up with excuse after excuse to put it off.

Mine is mowing the lawn. ūüôĀ

I hate it and I avoid it as though my life depends on it. I come up with every excuse in the book not to do it; it’s too dark, I will do it tomorrow, I really need to finish watching the entire Friends boxset first.Then it gets to the point where I know I can’t put it off anymore and I have to do it three times to get it to the right height, essentially taking me three times longer than if I had just done it when it first needed to be done.

This is procrastination and everyone does it. Psychology Today (2016) claim that up to 20 percent of people are actually considered to be chronic procrastinators and deliberately look for distractions to put off the things that they don’t want to do.

So, what can you do to avoid procrastination? Mind Tools Ltd (2016) suggests a three step process to deal with procrastination and get those important tasks ticked off.

1. Recognise that you are procrastinating

Most people can identify that they are procrastinating if they are honest. Procrastinating includes putting off important tasks to do the tasks you find more fun, waiting for the ‚Äėright time‚Äô to do a task and making excuses as to why you can‚Äôt do something just to name a few. Essentially anything that takes you away from the task at hand is procrastination.

2. Work out why you are procrastinating

People procrastinate for all sorts of reasons and it is important to work out why you are procrastinating about a given task. Do you find it difficult or not have the required skills to complete it? Do you find the task boring? Are you simply disorganised?

3. Adopt anti-procrastination strategies

Once you know the reason you are procrastinating you can start to put strategies in place to avoid procrastination. Depending on the situation here are some strategies you could put it place

  • Give yourself rewards for completing a task
  • Write a prioritised to do list
  • Break the task into smaller pieces and complete one piece at a time
  • Set yourself goals with a time limit

At the end of the day you will never totally avoid procrastination however using these steps may help you to realise when you are procrastinating and put steps in place to get back to the task at hand.

Now I’m off to mow my lawn.

Author: Service Skills Academy

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