Common Causes of Procrastination
Is it humanly possible to meet all the obligations you currently have? If not, can you omit or reschedule some of these obligations?
Is the task relevant to you personally? Is it another person’s goal rather than your own? Try to find some personal reward or relevance for your completing the task. Are you really interested in the project? If not, can you find a way to make it interesting or let go of it?
Lack of training:
Are you unprepared or incapable of completing the task? On a new task, do you find you’re afraid of the unknown? Are the expectations ambiguous? You may want to ask for guidance, support, or a new perspective from someone who is more familiar with the process or skilled in the area.
Are you assuming that if you ignore the task long enough it will disappear? Do you tend to underestimate how much time and effort the job will take? Do you have a tendency to over-estimate the difficulty of getting the task done? Try sitting down and writing out each step of the job, how long each step will take, and then tackling the job one step at a time.
Are fears of doing a less than perfect job interfering with your productivity? Remember that perfection is unobtainable. Often it will feel worse to not do a job at all instead of doing it in a less than perfect manner. Ask yourself “what level of performance on this task would I expect from a friend/co-worker?”
Fear of evaluation:
Are you over concerned with another individual’s response to your performance. Try to assess how much total impact upon your life this one reaction will have. No one performs highly all the time, or in every area. Try to focus on completing the task with a goal of lessening your workload and anxiety, regardless of the evaluation.
Avoidance of negative experience:
Do you just HATE DOING THIS TASK? Does it rate up there with painful dental visits or cleaning out the refrigerator? Is there any way to make it more pleasurable or enjoyable? If not, try doing the dreaded task first, while you still have energy. Often it can be helpful to have a friend or co-worker nearby for encouragement (and to keep you on task!).