Is It Procrastination?

I received a question this week on procrastination from someone taking the Procrastination Course that I think applies to many of us. How do we know if we are procrastinating or if it is a matter of our life becoming too full so we can’t finish everything?

You can tell if you are procrastinating several different ways:

You procrastinate on the same tasks over and over. If I haven’t made a phone call yet that I had planned on making, chances are I’m procrastinating. I really don’t like calling for appointments, customer service, or knowing I will be put on hold. What always ends up on your list day after day before it gets done? You may have a block against doing a type of work.

You fiddle around with it, but don’t accomplish anything. Moving papers from pile to pile is not taking action or making decisions. And you still have a pile of paper. Or when you get to the end of a project, you make tiny tweaks instead of finishing it because it might get judged.

You get started, but are doing something else before you know it. You end up straightening your desk, folding laundry or checking your email within 5 minutes. You may not like this task or feel you are under-qualified to do it.

The task ends up on your to do list more than two months. Most tasks on your list that long can be handed off to someone else, or taken off the list. That to do hasn’t become important enough for you to complete.

You plan to do it and never consciously make a decision not to do it. It just happens. You don’t say, “This project is more important, the other task can wait until this time.” You have more control of your time than you think. You need to re-evaluate your plan throughout the day and make decisions, instead of doing what catches your attention most at this moment.

You feel your energy drain every time you think of the task. Inside you know the task could have been done before now. This kind of task needs to be done as soon as you can so you can regain your energy. Grab an accountability partner and get going.

We may not always be able to get through all our to do’s, but keep making the decisions of what to do that will help you create the life you want. Don’t let procrastination keep your from your dreams and aspirations.