How to stop postponing things for later?
The habit of postponing things until the last minute can be a big problem both in business and in everyday life. Missed opportunities, overtime, stress, overload, resentment, guilt – signs of such a habit. This article will help identify the main causes of the habit of postponing things for later, and show how you can overcome it.
1. Replace “I must” with “I want.”
First, the understanding of the “need” to perform certain actions is the main reason why we postpone them for later. When you tell yourself that you “must” do something, then you are aware of the forced nature of this action, and automatically feel a sense of internal resistance.
Postponing the case for later acts as a kind of defense mechanism to keep you from performing unwanted actions.
If the task you are postponing has deadlines, then as these deadlines approach, the unpleasant feelings from the task itself overlap with stronger feelings from the consequences that will come if you don’t proceed immediately to the solution.
Allowing this lock is to understand and accept the fact that you shouldn’t do anything that you don’t want to do at all. Even if you are waiting for serious consequences, you are always free to choose. No one forces you to do this or that.
Decisions made by you on the path of life led you to the present situation. If you do not like the current state of affairs, you are free to make other decisions that will lead you to different results.
And note that you are not postponing all your affairs for later. There are things you do on time. Perhaps you are not missing your favorite TV show, or you will always find time to read an interesting forum on the Internet. In each situation – the choice is yours.
So, if you postpone the beginning of work on a new project and feel internal coercion, then realize that you are doing this on your own free will. Tasks that you decide on your own will are much less likely to be put aside.
2. Replace “Finish” with “Proceed.”
Secondly, considering the task as something big and indivisible, will definitely lead to the fact that you will set it aside. When you are focused on completing the task, and at the same time you do not have a clear idea of the steps you need to take, you create an overload feeling for yourself. And in this case, you link this unpleasant sensation with the task itself and postpone it for as long as possible.
If you say to yourself – “I have to prepare papers today” or “I must complete the creation of this report” – most likely you throw yourself into a state of stress and postpone the task until later.
The solution is to think about starting work on a small part of the task, instead of imagining that you need to complete the entire task.
Change the approach. Instead of asking “How do I finish all this?” – Ask the question “What a small part of the work I can do right now?”. If you just start solving a problem many times, then you will eventually come to its completion.
If one of your tasks that needs to be solved is the analysis of trash in the garage, then the thought that you have to remove this pile of garbage at one time plunges you into a sad mood and you save it for later.
Ask yourself how you can start with solving at least a small part of this task.
For example, come to the garage and sketch on a piece of paper a few ideas for small ten-minute garage cleaning activities. While you are doing this, you can take and take something from this big pile of garbage.
Do not think about doing something significant. Just focus on what you can do right now. By applying this approach regularly, you will eventually begin the last small area of work and eventually complete the solution of the entire problem.
3. Leave perfectionism and allow yourself to be imperfect.
The third type of erroneous thinking, which leads to the postponement of cases – is perfectionism. The idea that you have to do the work immediately and flawlessly leads you to a state of stress. And you associate stress with a task that requires a solution, and thus create all the conditions for yourself to postpone it for later.
Stop postponing the case until the last minute to finally find a way out of this trap.
Tell yourself – now there is not enough time to do the job flawlessly.
But if your task does not have deadlines, perfectionism can lead you to postpone this task indefinitely. If you have never even embarked on a task that you have always wanted to do very well, perhaps perfectionism keeps you from it.
You can fight perfectionism by giving yourself the right to be an imperfect person.
Have you ever used a computer program that could be called perfect from all points of view? Hardly.