The procrastination problem is like an epidemic. It seems to be everywhere, and it feels contagious.
If you delay one task, and you end up falling behind in another. Suddenly, your whole day is off track, which throws off your week, and then your month.
Then one day you look up and realized you’ve been setting the same New Year goal for yourself for the last three years. 🙄
Procrastination is the kind of problem that causes more problems. But often, it’s a symptom of a deeper, less obvious problem, too.
Here are three things that might be the real cause of your procrastination problem.
Fear of Success
We hear about the fear of failure all the time, but the fear of success is just as real. And it can be just as problematic.
When you’re a life-long overachiever, it’s hard to let yourself celebrate or relax when you reach a milestone or achieve a goal.
Why? Because somewhere deep inside, you’re afraid that that you can’t handle the success.
You imagine that you won’t have time for your family if you get a promotion, so you hold off on applying for that new role.
Or you afraid that you’ll lose interest once you get into a serious relationship, so you avoid following up after that really great third date.
The fear of success is about being afraid that getting the thing you want will change your life for the worse.
So procrastinating becomes a way of delaying success, so that you never have to deal with the problems that come with succeeding.
Lack of Clarity
A lack of clarity is another big contributor to the procrastination problem. Because getting started is infinitely harder when you don’t know where the starting line is.
Knowing where you want to end up isn’t the same as knowing how to get there. And our untrained brains do not deal well with this type of uncertainty.
Whether your’e working on a major task or just a mundane chore, your brain hates being confused. That’s why we ignore important deadlines and reach for simple tasks first.
It’s not that you like cleaning the bathroom. It just feels easier than putting together that new piece of IKEA furniture.You’re not procrastinating because you’re trying to avoid the work. You’re avoiding the feeling of confusion you have about the work. #LifeEditProject Click To Tweet
Speaking of feelings…confusion isn’t the only feeling that can make it harder to focus and get things done.
Sometimes, we simply get stuck in a pattern of inaction because we need to deal with our feelings first.
Unpleasant feelings—such as anger, rejection, and self doubt, to name a few—can get in the way of even the best intentions to be productive. And the feelings don’t even have to be caused by the task at hand.
If you just had a major argument with your bestie, or if you’re scared about the pending results of a medical exam, you might reach for your favorite snack instead of tackling that spreadsheet.
Unfortunately, ignoring negative emotions doesn’t make them go away. In that respect, feelings are like the tasks on our to-do list: the only way out is through.
Moving Past Procrastination
Eventually, we all find a way to procrastinate. And as long as you recognize it for what it is and can get yourself going again, it doesn’t have to be a problem.
But if you’re struggling with chronic procrastination across multiple areas of your life—or if you find yourself unable to take action even when you want to—it might be time to call in reinforcements.
Book a sales call with me for one-on-one coaching and let’s cure your chronic procrastination for good. Together, we’ll deal with the root cause of your inaction, so you can finally show up the way you want, at work and at home.