5 Causes and 5 Cures of Procrastination

Do you find that procrastination stops you from doing the things in life that you really want to?

Perhaps you want to get in shape, get a qualification or start investing in your future.

Tomorrow is another day, you can always do it then, right? But then tomorrow comes, and you don’t feel like doing it again … and so goes the sad saga of procrastination.

Have you ever asked yourself when this will ever end? If you have then you’ve come to the right place. Below are 5 causes and 5 cures of procrastination that will help you say goodbye to your procrastination today.

Cause #1: Buying Your Own Lies

Did you ever think that when you say you are going to do something and don’t do it, that you are actually lying to yourself?

If you answered yes to the question above, don’t feel too bad because that not actually the main problem here. The main problem is when you believe yourself. You see, most procrastinators do believe that they really ARE going to finish that task, just not right now.

They convince themselves that if they don’t take action now, they will tomorrow or the next day.

The cure for this is simple, stop believing yourself when you say: “I’ll get onto that tomorrow”. Instead work to a plan to achieve the task set out in front of you.

Cause #2: Always Seeking Approval

Quite often, the problem with procrastination does not have to do with actually following through on a task. Instead, it’s with ensuring that you don’t really want to complete the task just so that you can make someone else happy.

It feels great to tell someone yes and not so good to say no, but if you end up going back on your commitment later, you’ll eventually put that person off side.

So what’s the cure? The cure is to practice saying “no”. Try saying no to things that you know you wont end up completing.

Don’t say “I’ll think about it” or “I’ll get back to you,” because this is just verbal procrastination. Instead, get comfortable with saying no … and when you do, your “yes” will be much more valuable.

Cause #3: Perfectionism

Perfectionism, is hand down the leading cause of procrastination and often the hardest to overcome.

Perfectionism can cause you delaying getting started or taking ages trying to complete something because you’re always going back and tweaking or continuously planning.

This is all based on fear. The fear that if something you do is not good enough, YOU aren’t good enough.

The cure for this to to take your self-confidence out of the equation, even when you do something good. This will help to reduce your level of perfectionism and keep it from over powering you.

Cause #4: Options, Options, Options

If you have too may options in front of you, you’ll find it really difficult and end up procrastinating until you learn to make and cultivate a certain degree of selective ignorance in your life.

With all these options in front of you, you’ll get stuck in whats called analysis paralysis and never get around to focusing on that one single thing.

The cure for this is simple, write down all the options at hand and rank them. Start focusing you attention on the high priority tasks and start working your way down the list.

In doing this you will find that you will end up with having the time later to focus on the less important tasks on your list. But even if you don’t you still would have gotten a lot of the top priority tasks done instead of being stuck with too many options.

Cause #5: It’s a Dirty Habit

You are not born with procrastinating, it’s not a character trait or somehow “in your blood.”

It’s actually just a habit that you would have picked up at some stage in your life. But the good news is this habit can be broken but just practicing better behaviors or habits over and over again.

So what are these better habits? Well, here they are:

  • Always have a written plan for something you want to achieve
  • Acknowledge that now is the only time you can ever live in
  • Get rid of perfectionism and accept that failure is a natural part of the learning process
  • Focus on a few key goals and trust in your own wisdom instead of being swayed by the opinions of others

Now you know what you need to do. Don’t think about it, just get started.