I came across an article today, I can't remember where, which linked a tendency to procrastinate with low self-esteem. And just like that, a light bulb went off over my head.
I've been a procrastinator for about 15 years, so not all my life but definitely most of my adult life, and it's taken me until today to realise that I do this for 2 reasons:
1. Deep down I don't think I have the right skills or the ability to do "it".
2. If I put "it" off then I won't fail.
And just like that, it's clear I'm a bit of a perfectionist who doesn't actually think that much of myself.
But where does procrastination really get me? It certainly doesn't drive me forwards. Instead, it keeps me stuck in a cycle of feeling rubbish about myself. I procrastinate - I feel I've achieved nothing - I'm hard on myself for wasting time and for being a low achiever - I procrastinate some more. How have I never realised this before?
I have to admit that thought's a bit scary! I already knew there were other elements in my life that need some real work on them and they're elements that I don't consider small.
For example: my diet is appalling and needs a complete overhaul. It's high in sugar, and probably fat, and low in fruit and vegetables. Then, there's my activity levels; I don't exercise. At all.
Add to that the permanent feeling of exhaustion which hits once the boys are in bed and I finally have the chance to just sit and "be".
So, yes, I'm feeling overwhelmed and not really sure where or how to start. It all feels so big, too much, you know?
There's a lot of hints and tips on the internet about ways to stop procrastinating and I'm not going to include them all here. But here's a few, which I think will particularly work for me:
1. Take some time out to regroup and think about what you want to achieve. I've got so much going on in my head that I think it would be really useful to take a little time to clarify what's important to me and what I need to do to get there.
2. Break your work into little steps, then focus on one part at a time. If, after breaking it down, you still procrastinate then break it down even further.
3. Don't make it easy to procrastinate. Get rid of the distractions around you. For me, this means stepping away from the internet and switching the tv off!
4. Stop over-complicating things. There is no perfect time and there are no perfect people.
5. Get a grip and just do it. No-one has ever procrastinated their way to success. It all comes down to taking action. Without this, nothing's going to happen.
Are you guilty of procrastination? What techniques do you use to make sure you get things done? Please let me know in the comments as I'd love to know.