According to a recent study, 40% of people have experienced financial loss due to procrastination, and an “I’ll do later” mentality. In this article,I will share with you 10 practical ways how you can minimize the level of procrastinating you’re doing today.
Have you ever thought or said: I have to get to this deadline. It’s a priority, but you don’t hit it many times. You think you have a lot more time than you really do, right? Think about it. You’re like, Oh man, you know man, I’ve got next Friday. It’s good. I got so much time to get it done. All of a sudden we’re like, it’s Thursday. Oh my goodness. How do I get this thing done now? Maybe we got away with it in high school. Maybe we got away with it in college. You cannot get away with it in business because if you don’t hit your deadline, you lose customers, you don’t hit your deadlines, you lose millions, potentially billions.
10 Reasons People Procrastinate
- Bad Estimation of Time.
If you have deadlines you are not hitting, a lot of times you thought you had way more time than you really did. You need to improve in this area and you have to improve in the area of knowing the deadline and where your time is going.
- You are taking on more projects than you can handle
Most of the time this is because someone can’t rebuttal with everything they have on their plate and say yes to everything being thrown their way. You need to be able to have a conversation about whether the request is realistic or not.
Way Too many distractions in your life. What notifications are on your phone? Meaning snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, texts, Whatsapp. How many notifications do you have? Do you know how many of the reasons we procrastinate are typically because all these notifications are on.
Sometimes you’ve got to turn off the notifications to a lot of things. People talk to their wives or their husbands while they’re at work. But sometimes your biggest distraction is every time your wife or your husband has an issue on a phone with them. Oh my gosh, look what happened. Oh seriously and Oh my gosh, okay, got it. And then you just forgot the project that you were due by four o’clock today and you miss your deadline. Then you’re sitting in a meeting.
You don’t have anything prepared looking like a fool just because you got a call from your husband or your wife and you got distracted. Okay? So sometimes it’s you have way too many distractions. You’ve got a lower dose
- You’re a Perfectionist.
So sometimes when you’re a perfectionist, you don’t do anything unless if it’s perfect, right? So you have the, I don’t want to say best of both worlds. It’s more like the worst of both worlds because you’re both scared of fear of success and you’re scared of failure. What if I don’t do a good job because it has to be perfect. And what if I do come through and do a very good job, then there’s more pressure on me because everybody’s expecting me to do another project that could be bigger. You’ve got to kind of get over this perfection and stuff and start meeting your deadlines.
- You Really Don’t Know Where to Start.
So imagine you are told, here’s your task. You’ve got to get this done. And you said yes, but you’re not really clear on what’s expected of you. So when you come back to your desk or you’re sitting by yourself, like what is my step number one or number two, what do I do next? I have no idea what to do next. So because you wouldn’t give a clear expectation because you didn’t ask the right question. You’re sitting there saying, I don’t really know.
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- Low Energy.
Let me explain to what I mean by low energy. You know, some people call it lazy, some people got low energy, stamina, fatigue, endurance, whatever you want to call it is.
I’ll give you a task to somebody and you kind of know. They’re like, oh, okay. We had a meeting the other day and I told my executives, there’s a couple of people in the office; if I asked for them to do a task in my mind, I know it’s not going to get done. Why? Because every time they do, their energy is low and they’re not excited about hitting their deadlines. Why are we moving somebody told different department? No, no, no, no, no. We just have to figure out to realize, are we willing to lower standards and accept this kind of performance or do we need to go get somebody with high energy that’s not lazy, that’s willing to work and get the job done?
Let’s figure this thing out. Now they might, that may sound harsh to some people, but in reality, if you’re in an environment that’s a startup and everything is moving and somebody has low energy, sometimes you just don’t get the deadlines done because your energy is just slow and you get increase.
A lot of times you’re given a project or you accept a project or you take an assignment or it’s even for yourself and you’re trying to get this one thing done, this task. Then you’ve got a deadline and you just kind of in, you’re like, oh my gosh, I cannot believe I have to do this. You want me to pay my bills on time? This is so flipping boring is driving me nuts. I just don’t want to deal with the run. And he or she may set it aside due to boredom.
Now that doesn’t mean that’s the right decision you made, but sometime we procrastinate because whatever project we’re working on is absolutely boring.
- Your Leader Procrastinates
Many offices have cultural procrastination. I know that sounds kind of strange, but there are many businesses that are okay if deadlines are not met, they’re very casual about it. So guess what happens if that’s the culture from the top and it’s accepted? Anybody else in that culture is okay with procrastination.
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- You Do Not Have the Right Team to Delegate To
So your CEO, your Founder, your C Suite executive, say you have seven deadlines to reach this month.
Okay, you got all these projects and three of them, it’s gotta be you your diligence on them, but the other four you can delegate to somebody else. Now, every time it comes down to you delegating a project to somebody, you either don’t trust the individual to be able to do as good of a job as you or you just don’t have the right person. So either you got to start to learn to trust your people or go recruit and find the right people they can trust because one of those two is preventing you from delegating.
- You Simply Don’t See Value in the Project You’re Working On.
Meaning you know the project, you know you’ve got to hit the deadline but you don’t really value it. So you procrastinate and you set it aside and turn your attentions in a whole different place.
Here’s how simple it is. When a task comes to hand, like we have to do something, our brain goes to one of two places. I don’t know if I really want to do this, but on the other side is I have no other choice. I have to do this. For example, I don’t know if I want to wake up this morning to go to the gym and I really don’t feel like it. You don’t have to do it. You get up to go to the gym because you want to go to the gym and get in shape and look better.
Right now, I don’t know if I really wake feel like waking up this morning to take my kids to school. You don’t have a choice. You’re there, right? You have to get up early to feed them and take them to school because it’s your job, right? So somebody may watch this and saying, well, I don’t know if I like the word, have to hate to say to you a lot of things in life as things we have to do. No one likes to pay taxes.
We have to pay taxes. No one likes to take their kids to school every morning. You have to do it. If something like no one likes to go pay their bills, but you’ve got to pay your bills, you don’t pay your bills, you’re kicked out. There’s a lot of things we have to do as parents, no one wakes up and says, oh my gosh, I love changing diapers it’s just the most exciting thing in my life. I just really love waking up to a bunch of poop and diapers. I don’t love it, but have to do it. You’re the parent. You chose to have a baby, right?
So there’s a level of decision making process that has to do with your maturity level. The higher we mature, there are certain things we got to do that we don’t want to do, but we have to do. So let me get into a little bit deeper.
ALWAYS ask: Do I Have to Do It?
And your brain will say, no, you don’t have to do it. Or it will say, yeah, you got to do it, but this one you can assign to the team. If we can do it collectively as a family, we can do collectively as an office, that’s a team project. I can make this a team project or I can delegate this to an individual to get this done. The challenge with a lot of the decisions that we procrastinate on is things that we have to do and things that it’s on me to do that we set aside. That’s when it causes problems.
You’ve got four things you can do every time you’ve got a decision.
- Make a list of what you need to do next.
For instance, what do I need to do here? Step number one, do this. Number two is this. Number three is this, number four is this, number five is this and Number six is this? Okay? Let me send that email number one. Number two, let me make that phone call to this person. Number three, I gotta get that thing back and I’m good to go. Hey Johnny, can you make that phone call to Bobby? Get them on the phone. I got to talk to him about this. You’re already halfway to getting your assignment done.
So you accept that responsibility. You take an assignment instead of procrastinating immediately. Make a listicle of what to do.
- Create a Reward System.
If I finish this, here’s my reward. Sometime it’s very simple. You know, if I get this part done, I’m going to go out there and go to this place and eat. If I get this part done, I’m going to go out there and do this and If I go and work out five days a week, this week on Sunday, I’m going to go up and get myself this. If you read this book every day for five days, the kids are gonna get this, but there’s gotta be a listicle and then
- Have Smaller Victories
There are many smaller victories that are getting you excited to develop the muscle of getting projects done. Sometimes you simply have a list and you’ll get the list done. If you’re getting small things done, when a bigger responsibility comes, your muscles have been being built up for this big one, you get that part done and that’s a massive victory for you. create small victories that lead to the big one.
- Always Sell The Vision to yourself and the People Involved in That Project.
For example, guys, listen, I know nobody wants to be doing this right now. We’re here at 11 o’clock at night and we got a lot of better things that we can do than being here at 11 o’clock. I’m sure you’d love to be with your family. You probably would love to be Netflix and chilling with your newest girlfriend. You’d probably love to be playing soccer right now, but here’s what we’re doing at four. The reality is this, if we get this together, this project is going to get us closer to x, Y, Z, and you can get closer to getting your promotion and collectively we can say we were part of this project. So you do that both with your team and you gotta be able to psych yourself out too when you’re working on a project all by yourself and nobody’s there.
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If you don’t psych yourself out, when you’re by yourself on a project, you’ll eventually get bored out of your mind and you’ll say, you know what? I’m just not in the mood. So because the whole thing we talked about with boredom earlier, there’s a lot of things I do as a CEO and an entrepreneur that’s boring; a lot of things. But because the vision is so big in exciting and the legacy excites me and the history excites me, I do it anyways based on the vision. So again, those are the 10 reasons why people procrastinate. Those are the few reasons how we come up with our conclusion on the decisions we make for procrastination and a few hacks you can use to help you minimize the level of procrastinating you’ve been doing lately.
To reach the Empire University team you can email: Team@EmpireUni.com
Patrick is a successful startup entrepreneur, CEO of PHP Agency, Inc., emerging author and Creator of Valuetainment on Youtube. As a natural critical thinker, Patrick takes complex leadership, management and entrepreneurial ideas and converts them into simple life lessons for today and tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.