The Accountability Coach: Business Acceleration|Productivity

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Are You a Procrastinator? Learn to Stop it!

Updated 4 months ago.

There’s nothing wrong with taking a break, but you know procrastination when you see it. Let’s talk about how to recognize the signs of procrastination and stop the cycle of excuses and delays, so you can achieve more success in life and in business.

If you have ever been a leader, manager, or business owner with employees, you’ve experienced what it’s like delegating an important task under deadline. From experience, you’ve probably learned who you can trust to complete the task well, and on time, when others fall short.

Have you ever delegated a time-sensitive task to an employee only to find them making excuses, waiting until the last minute, or wasting time when they should be working on your project?

It probably got you fired up.

So, here’s a question for you: If you don’t tolerate procrastination from others, why would you ever tolerate procrastination from yourself?

First, let’s establish that no one is perfect, and no one is completely procrastination-free, every moment of every day. However, you can spot a habitual procrastinator anywhere. Listen closely as I share seven common signs of a procrastinator.

1. Procrastinators are often overly optimistic about completing complex tasks in little time
2. Thinks and says they work best under pressure
3. Easily distracted and loses focus when there is no urgency
4. Delayed start (because they have a false sense that everything is under control, so there’s no need to jump into it immediately)
5. When no progress has been made, they offer reassurance that everything is under control
6. Action driven by panic (the realization that everything is not under control)
7. Scrambles last minute, working hours on end to complete a project minutes before the deadline.

Taking what I just mentioned about a procrastinator into consideration, answer these 3 questions I’m about to ask you.

Question #1
Do you recognize any of these signs in employees or coworkers?
Yes No

Question #2
How many of the seven characteristics I mentioned have you experienced at any time in your personal or professional life?
0-1 2-4 5-7

Question #3
How often do you find yourself exhibiting these habits?
Rarely Sometimes Frequently

There’s no right or wrong answer to Question #1 – procrastination is a common characteristic and often encountered in the workplace.

If you answered 0-1 in Question #2 – you probably tackle every day and professional tasks head on without delay. If you answered 2-4, you may procrastinate sometimes. If you answered 5-7, definitely keep listening!

If you answered rarely to Question 3, that’s good – you’re probably not a habitual procrastinator. If you answered sometimes, there’s room for improvement. However, if you answered frequently – we have some work to do.

The key is to discover the root cause of your procrastination, so you can correct it. Most procrastination is commonly rooted in one or more of the issues I’m about to share with you.

1. Low self-confidence: When you’re feeling insecure about your ability to complete a task, (forget about completing it well), you probably delay it to avoid feeling “stupid.” Truth be told, you have more than enough smarts to figure it out. The good news is that the more times you tackle a task head on – and are successful – the easier it is to stop procrastinating.

2. Perfectionist: You’re a perfectionist and nothing less than stellar is acceptable. Give yourself a break and let go of trying to be perfect. Given your high standards your best is probably far above par.

3. Rebellion: Procrastination may be your way of expressing your rebellion. A sort of “You can’t tell me what to do, I’ll do it when I’m good and ready.” This probably didn’t work when you tried to use it with your parents (or it did work and that’s why you use it as an adult), but it definitely will NOT work with your boss. If you’re an entrepreneur – well, you’re just shooting your own foot.

4. Manipulation: This is a common characteristic of an insecure coworker or manager. “They can’t start without me. This project is nothing without my talent.” This takes some personal growth to overcome and the realization that discounting the ability of others does not increase your own. If you’re feeling insecure, go back to school or take additional training. When you expand your skill set, you can stop feeling insecure about your value.

5. Coping with Pressure: Procrastination may be a coping skill to dealing with feeling overwhelmed. They delay until they have the mental stability to perform the task or wait until the very last minute to start. While this may certainly be the case some days, the important thing to remember is not to make a habit of it. Delegate tasks temporarily or permanently to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Will you choose to begin reducing procrastinating in your life, so you can enjoy even greater successes, or will you continue to let procrastination hold you back from reaching your true potential? What has to happen next for you to stop letting procrastination be your excuse? It’s easy to make excuses and it’s even easier to use those excuses to procrastinate. With a little insight into why procrastination occurs, you may be able to reduce or completely eliminate it from your personal and professional life.

For more help on reducing your procrastination, so you can create your ideal business and ideal life, reach out to me today and schedule your complimentary consultation.

Aim for what you want each and every day!
Anne Bachrach
The Accountability Coach™
The Results Accelerator™

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As an experienced accountability coach and author of 5 books, I help business professionals make more money, work less, and enjoy even better work life balance.

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Author of Excuses Don’t Count; Results Rule, Live Life with No Regrets, No Excuses, and the Work Life Balance Emergency Kit, The Roadmap To Success with Stephen Covey and Ken Blanchard, and more.