I wrote a little while ago about procrastination. And while I thought it was a bit of fun, after some feedback I see it’s a real problem for some people. So, I have decided to write a new blog to help you decide whether you are really procrastinating or is it something else. I will then write a new blog with real advice for procrastinators. Don’t worry, the irony is not lost on me that it will take three blog posts to get to the good stuff.

The first thing is to realise you are procrastinating. Changing prioritises are a fact of life, but if you keep putting things off or switch focus because you want to avoid doing something, then you are procrastinating. Other signs are filling your day with low-priority tasks, having important items on your to-do list for a long time, starting a high-priority task and then stopping or if you need to be in right mood or wait for the right time to tackle something.

Next you need to understand the reasons why you are not doing the task. Note, I did not ask why you are procrastinating. Perhaps there is another reason. For instance, are you avoiding a task because you find it boring or unpleasant? If so, take a deep breath and get it out of the way quickly and then focus on the aspects that you do enjoy.

Poor organisation can lead to delayed tasks and missed deadlines. Well organised people successfully overcome this by using prioritised to-do lists, plans and schedules. Even if you’re organised, you can still become overwhelmed by a task. If this is the case, seek help with the task.

Another factor to consider is poor decision making. If you can’t decide what to do, you can’t start. Or you put off taking action worried you might do it wrong. Maybe you doubt your abilities and worry you might fail, so you put it off and stay in your comfort zone. But this lack of confidence is denying you the chance to learn and grow.

Also, it can be easy to confuse perfectionism and procrastination. As Jen Sincero (US Writer and Coach) said, “Perfectionism and procrastination have such a fine line. You say, ‘Well, I want it to be good. I want it to be perfect.’ But what you’re really doing is not doing your work. You’re putting off showing up and being visible because then you’re going to be judged, and it might suck”. Many perfectionists are also procrastinators. They would rather not do a task than do it imperfectly.

For some, procrastination is not a bad habit but a symptom of a serious underlying health issue. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), anxiety and depression can make you procrastination. If this is the case, then these causes need addressing.

If you are suffering from low confidence, anxiety or depression then Hypnotherapy can help. Contact me to find out more.

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