According to Business Insider article “The 4 Main Types of Procrastinators and How to Not be One of Them, According to 2 Accountability Coaches,” there are 4 types of procrastination. Knowing which type you fall under is the key to creating the tools to overcome your pattern.
This is the person who says “I work well under pressure,” when in reality, they’re actually just putting everything off until they have absolutely not choice but to do the tasks that need to be done. They’re forcing themselves to complete the task by giving almost no time to do so. They’ve always pulled it off in the past, so there’s no reason to think that there’s really anything wrong with pushing everything off. In reality, this habit is not sustainable.
One way to break this pattern is by focusing on a start date, instead of an end date. By doing this, you’re changing what your brain is so focused on, and in turn, taking the pressure off of yourself.
This is the person who says “I’m so lazy right now.” These are the people who are extremely hard on themselves and think that any time they don’t finish a task, it’s because they’re lazy. The reality of this situation as that they’re not lazy AT ALL. They’re tired, usually overworking themselves, and they refuse to take a break.
If this is you, break this pattern by scheduling breaks. Take a walk, stand up and stretch, or even just go for some water. This will help the blood flow in your brain, and changing your thinking around the “I’m so lazy” thought pattern.
The “I’m so busy” person. The often overworked and overwhelmed. People who are busy are generally getting a lot done, and a lot of them will even continue to take on more without saying anything. Telling people “I’m so busy,” is generally indicative of avoidance. The “Over-booker” doesn’t want to admit they don’t want to do something, so they act like an outside force is stopping them by telling people they’re too busy.
This pattern is broken with some self reflection. Think about why you’re not doing whatever it is you’re avoiding. The Over-booker typically isn’t avoiding a specific “task”, so this one’s a bit different.
The “I just got an idea!” person is a procrastinator by starting new tasks without finishing the task they’re already working on. These people have a lot of unfinished tasks, and a lot of brilliant ideas. These procrastinators get burnt out easily, because they’re jumping head first into a new idea, and they’re losing time. They’re not seeing any results, because they never get to the finish line of one of the tasks they’re working on.
This one is tough to break, because you just have to do the dang thing. You have to see a project through to the very end, and if you get a new idea right in the middle, DON’T STOP. Write your new idea down, and start on it when you finish the current project.
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