7 Reasons we procrastinate

7 Reasons we procrastinate

procrastinate or do some weeding?In an epic effort to squash my procrastination streak, I spent six and half hours weeding the garden this past Saturday. In the whirlwind of finishing my book, I let the garden go untended for a long, long time.

I poured all my time and energy into my book. Night and day. Day and night.

and…

It was hot outside.

If I’m totally honestly with myself, I think that’s the real reason I didn’t do the weeding.

It was hot outside.

Kind of a sad reason, huh?

I can write a whole freaking book (247 pages!), but going outside to weed when it’s 90 degrees turned out to be a non-starter for me.

I thought about going out to weed everyday. I knew I missing out on yummy veggies. I knew the weeds and the bugs were going to win.

And still…I procrastinated.

A study out of Carlton University figured out seven triggers for procrastination. If the thing you aren’t doing is:

  1. Boring
  2. Frustrating
  3. Difficult
  4. Ambiguous
  5. Unstructured
  6. Lacking intrinsic reward
  7. Lacking personal meaning

…you will be more inclined to procrastinate.

And the more triggers a task has, the more you put off getting it done.

When I think about gardening, I realized the longer I put it off, the more frustrating and difficult it became. Also, it’s a very unstructured activity. No one was demanding that I weed the garden. There was no schedule or deadline. There were no repercussion for not getting it done (except letting a lot of good produce go to waste).

And so, six and half hours later, 85% of the garden was finally weeded. I still need to finish the carrots and the asparagus row (maybe this weekend?).

Gentle reader, I share this list so you can shed some light on things you might be procrastinating about.

You could be avoiding something small (like weeding) or something big (like starting a new business or changing jobs).

If you can figure out why you’re in procrastination mode, you can shift into action by removing some of the triggers.

For instance, you could hire a career coach to help you with a job transition. This will give you support and introduces structure (and accountability) to the process.

With my weeding, I could schedule in one hour, several mornings a week. By picking a cooler time of day and committing to it, I eliminate the triggers.

Procrastination doesn’t have to derail you from getting/achieving what you want. Figure out the triggers and kick ’em to the curb!

Make some room,

Angie

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