How to stop procrastination – we’re again on that irksome topic - procrastination! Procrastination is something we all struggle with to some extent. If you are a procrastinator, don’t feel you’re alone. Even if you are a master procrastinator or the queen of procrastination, you don’t have to feel hopeless about it. There is always hope. The important thing is to do something about it. That’s the operative word - “do.” Doing is the antidote to procrastination. Easier said than done – no pun intended.
In order to be able to overcome procrastination you must first be able to recognize which behavior of yours is a symptom or a sign of procrastination. It is important to remember that the definition of procrastination is to put off doing things for a later time, when you can and probably should do it now. It is also considered procrastination when you fill up your time with busy-work to avoid doing what you’re supposed to do. Busy-work here means work that is unimportant or not even related to the actual project you ought to be tackling.
Keeping that in mind, let me ask you, are you one of those people who continually finds yourself to be “very busy all day long,” but at the end of the day when you look back on your day you realize you haven’t really accomplished much?
If you answered “yes” then you are suffering from the, “I’m too busy syndrome.” Procrastination has numerous symptoms. “I’m too busy, but at the end of the day I find I have accomplished nothing,” is only one of the many ways procrastination manifests itself.
A symptom is not a cause. A symptom is merely the outward expression of some other hidden reason. The reason drives the behavior; the reason is the real cause for you to act that way. Your reason or the cause for procrastination may be something entirely different and may have no bearing on the number of things you have to do in a day. I will discuss the cause and go deeper into the psychology behind procrastination in a later article. Also, you will find a detailed discussion on this topic in my book, "Take Action Now: How to Stop Procrastination." (You can sign up below to get a preview copy of the book when it is out.)
Of all the symptoms of procrastination, the “I’m too busy syndrome” is so insidious that it acts almost like a hex or a spell. It is as though people who suffer from this symptom have fallen under a spell. Usually these people cannot even recognize that they are using “busy-ness” as an excuse to avoid starting the project they are supposed to. They don’t realize they are procrastinating. They really believe they are too busy, yet internally they feel stressed and frustrated because they have not accomplished what they want to.
That feeling of frustration, which can be anywhere from a mild disappointment at oneself to a deep sense of self-loathing, is the sure fire sign that your “busy-ness” is not real; that in fact you are procrastinating. You have or your mind has created that “busy-ness” to avoid something else, namely whatever it is that you are supposed to be doing. This matches the definition of procrastination perfectly. This conflict within yourself causes you to become unhappy, thus making the statement true that people who habitually procrastinate are often stressed and unhappy people. (To be continued in Part 2)
Please continue reading more about this in Part 2 of “How to Stop Procrastination - I’m too Busy Syndrome,” where I will differentiate between being really busy and the perception of busy-ness and much more.
This is another article in a series that will appear here from my new book: “Take Action Now: How to Stop Procrastination!” If you would like to have a review copy when it’s ready, please enter your name and email below to get on the VIP list.
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