Let he who is blameless cast the first stone… deafening silence. We are all guilty of procrastinating but to varying degrees. Is it having such a serious impact on your life that it’s starting to affect your happiness and ability to achieve your goals? There are signs that may indicate your procrastination problem is a chronic one. Here are some "symptoms" of chronic procrastination, Do any of these signs sound like you?
1. Difficulty Coping When Faced With Change
Do you feel aimless and anxious when a project comes to an end? Do you find it difficult to get into another project? Do you find that days, perhaps weeks, will pass before you can motivate yourself to dive in? This isn’t just detrimental to the optimal efficiency of a business or project. It can also be stressful when you face your home life in this way.
2. You Feel Overwhelmed
When you face a new project, do you feel overwhelmed by its size? Find it difficult to determine where to start? Do you have trouble distinguishing "the wood from the trees"? If this is you then there’s a good chance that you put off starting your task because then you won’t need to worry about the stress it brings. There’s one big problem with that… your stress will just increase the longer you avoid it and the project isn’t going to go away.
3. You Are Always Late
If there’s one thing, we can rely on a chronic procrastinator to do its turn up late. That’s right, they’re not known for being punctual, probably because they fail to determine how long particular tasks actually take. They tend to be late for meetings and often miss deadlines or just make it.
4. Your To-Do List Is Ridiculous
Do you dutifully set about crafting your to-do list every morning and then tick each item off as you complete it? You seem very organized, but for some reason, your list is getting longer and fewer ticks are appearing. You may be a procrastinator, but you also may be overstuffing your list and making your life more difficult.
5. Your Priorities Are All Wrong
You feel as though you’re making headway but looking back what is it that you actually managed to achieve? You’ve indulged in trivial tasks rather than focusing on items of high priority, but no one can accuse you of being lazy or wasting time. Right? It doesn’t feel like procrastination when you’re achieving something… but, it is.
6. Difficulty Making Decisions
Another sign of chronic procrastination is the inability to decide on doing something, details or projects, when to do it, how to do it, or most important if to do it. Wavering is one of the classic signs of procrastination. Perhaps getting stuck in the planning is a subconscious excuse for never starting.
How To Overcome
Here are some helpful tips to help you overcome your chronic problem.
• Break Projects Down. It’s easier to handle a project if you break it down into manageable chunks. When you have specific actions to take at each step, getting started will feel less daunting. Get started with just one task and make sure it’s something that you enjoy or simple. Once you complete that you can work through the rest one stage at a time.
• Peer Pressure. There’s nothing worse than public humiliation so use your peers are a way to keep you accountable for completing your goals and deadlines.
• Procrastinators often struggle with what others think of them. While they are wholly competent, the pressure is too much for them to handle. If this sounds like you then it may be wise to speak to a good NLP coach or hypnotherapist, it could be linked to some form of anxiety or low self-esteem, which could be the root of your problem. They would help you uncover when you made this decision in your life and help you come up with powerful solutions. Most importantly raise your awareness to when it pokes its head around again!
So, are you a chronic procrastinator? If you are not sure, take the quiz from Psychology Today to find out unless you’re working on something more important, hint, hint.