We’re heading into the holiday season, and I’m hearing lots of talk about hanging it up for the year — postponing job searches, client prospecting, and important projects until January.
Yes, you deserve a break and plenty of time for celebrations. But in many cases, the holidays are just the excuse du jour to cover for a stubborn case of procrastination.
Procrastination is a tough habit to break. We know better, yet we keep doing it anyway.
You put something off for far too long, and you kick yourself later. It could’ve been so much easier, less stressful, and more successful if you’d timed it better.
So what gives?
Why do we continue procrastinating when we know we’ll pay the price for it?
It could be any number of things, but the big one: FEAR
This sometimes surprises people. “Fear? Fear of what!?” You convince yourself that you’re putting things off because you’re busy or tired or have too much else going on. And sometimes you just don’t wanna.
But more often than not, there’s something else going on beneath the excuses.
When I dig a little deeper with clients, here’s what I find:
Fear of failing. “What if my idea totally bombs?”
Fear of not being good enough. “What if I try and don’t make the cut?”
Fear of conflict. “What if I bring this up, and they get upset with me?”
Fear of success. “What if my book’s a hit, and I have to be in the spotlight?”
Fear of change. “What if I lose the weight and look so great I can’t handle the attention?”
All of this leads to procrastination. It sends us into loops of anxiety about doing it and not doing it. It stops people from achieving their goals.
How do you overcome procrastination?
Look at the fear behind it. That’s where you’ll find the keys to what you need to unlock.
Take some form of action. Pick one: Do it. Delegate it. Dump it. Don’t know how to do it, or don’t want to? Delegate it. If it’s truly not a priority? Dump it and let it go. Clear the way for what’s most important.
Focus on the prize. What’s your WHY? As the outcome of doing this thing — what do you want to have? Who do you want to become? Dangle the carrot and go after it.
In my line of work, I encounter far too many people who let procrastination stop them from making their next move. Whether it’s something routine that needs to get done, a power play needed to make progress, or pursuing a big scary life changing dream — don’t let procrastination stop you.
It’s a habit you can break if you recognize it for what it really is and commit to working on it.