Three Questions That Can Help You Avoid Procrastinating
Everybody procrastinates. Research shows that 88 percent of working professionals procrastinate at least one hour a day. Procrastination is a bad workplace habit that isn’t helping you or your organization. So, why do people procrastinate? Is it a terrible character flaw? An inability to manage time?
According to Thomas Oppong, an author and founder of AllTopStartups, it’s not a matter of being lazy or not knowing how to properly manage your time—it’s an emotional trap. When we procrastinate, we convince ourselves that what’s essential can wait. And in the meantime, we often focus on easier and more comfortable tasks.
One of the big problems with procrastination is that you can’t put off the difficult or time-consuming tasks forever. You’ll only end up stressing yourself out when you know you need to get something done but you keep putting it off.
If you want some helpful pointers on how to stop procrastinating, read on. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share guidance from Oppong on three questions to ask that will help you reduce the impulse to procrastinate.
1. What do I have, need or want to do? By answering this question, you are getting very specific and obvious about the task. Try writing it down if that helps. The goal is to get a good picture of the work or task at hand, says Oppong. You want to be able to quickly discern how big or small it is.
2. Why am I avoiding it? This question will help you uncover why you haven’t gotten started on something. Maybe you are afraid you won’t be able to win the account, or perhaps you aren’t sure about all the steps needed to accomplish something. Or maybe it’s something deeper. Oppong recommends confronting the uncomfortable feeling, mood or self-doubt instead of replacing it with a comfortable fix.
3. Why do I have, need or want to do this? Think about the end goal of a specific project or task. What do you stand to gain or achieve by completing it? And on the flip side, what could you lose if you keep postponing it? With this question, you are looking for your big why or reason, says Oppong.
High performers in any field, including sales, don’t make a habit of procrastinating. Everyone gets sidetracked occasionally and may put off especially tedious tasks. However, if you want to be the most successful in your role, you can’t consistently procrastinate.
Remember that if you don’t clarify what you have to do, why you are avoiding it and why you have to do it, you won’t find a way to get things done. Think on the three questions above the next time you feel like putting off a particular project. When you commit to answering the difficult questions, nothing can stand in your way.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Thomas Oppong is the founder of AllTopStartups and a career expert with a focus on creativity, productivity and self-improvement. His book, Bet on Yourself, reveals how to find and create meaningful work.