By Tim Rooney
When we look at our “to do” list – it’s sometimes embarrassing to see how few of the good intentions have been executed, or even started.
This often leads to a lot of guilt even a feeling that you’re a “slacker”.
So our intentions were good - but we failed to execute!
Identifying the 7 reasons why we procrastinate
1. The task, goal, or problem you’re trying to fix, simply seems too big, too daunting.
2. You got no further than writing the goal down. The critical part- the details on how - were missing!
3. There was no real commitment to the goal [maybe the answer to “why” the goal was important was missing].
4. Perhaps you didn’t share your goal with anyone else, so it was easy to “let yourself off-the-hook”.
This is particularly true for people who are self-employed or who work in organizations that are highly entrepreneurial .Not unusually in these organizations; there is no comprehensive Management by Objectives system. In its place there is a culture of “fly by the seat of your pants”.
5. The tyranny of urgent may have over-taken your life and anything that is important but not urgent gets pushed to the back of your “to do” list. [We sometimes confuse being “busy” with being productive - doing emails or shuffling papers around!].
6. We sometimes have doubts about how to actually fix the problem & then again
7. There is the fear of failure
This toxic combination factors – get in the way of our achieving our full potential.
3 Ideas to help break this cycle of self-inflicted, guilt inducing, energy sapping procrastination
- Correctly diagnose the problem. Identify which one of the above, in isolation or in combination, may be holding you back and deal with that piece of the “puzzle”.
- “Chunk” or break the goal into smaller pieceswhere the goal is considered “too big” .Start by breaking it into its component activities and start knocking off pieces of the problem you are trying to fix in bite size mouthfuls.
- Remember its O.K. to fail & the only way we grow is to learn from our mistakes.
For example - look at prospecting for new business – we often put this off because selling often comes with a lot of rejection. Its here your best mantra should be “You cannot fail at prospecting unless you fail to prospect!”
Lastly – Nike had it right with their “Just do it!” imperative.