If you are like most people, including myself, you may have what I call a “procrastination factor”.
Ugh, sounds terrible, , , what is it?
Often, it’s hard to get started on something that may not be all that fun to do. Other things just seem to take precedent and get in the way of you focusing on that special project that you know is important but may not be that exciting to work on.
Maybe it’s completing your budget, , , developing a performance plan for one of your employees, , , or dealing with a difficult employee situation. It could even be attending a seminar or taking a class that you know will help but you just can’t seem to find a good time.
Most people tend to focus on things they are really interested in doing, , , and they put things on the shelf for a later day some of the things that need to get done, , , that is, until the last minute.
I believe IT people must have developed terms like “all nighter”, “burn the midnight oil”, “just in time”. In many cases, we have to have pressure on us before we will actually put forth the effort and work on a project that may not be one of our most interesting things to work on.
Case in point: I’ve completed many projects since starting my company ten years ago. In a few cases, I had to create a self imposed deadline that put pressure on me in order to get to it and focus on the task at hand. I’m sort of in this situation now with a project, so I deal with my personal “procrastination factor” all the time.
Here is what I’ve learned to be a key in breaking through a procrastination deadlock that might be holding you up. Simply make a personal commitment to yourself, stop making excuses, and “go for it”.
Things that have helped me and might help you include:
- Psych yourself up and think of the positive benefits that will come to you when you complete the project. Putting a positive spin on the project that motivates you can be a big help.
- Break the project down into smaller parts. Maybe the procrastination is caused by the project being so huge that it intimidates you. Break it down into pieces so you can see some early successes that will lead to the end result you want to achieve.
- Get started. What I’ve seen with my own situation is that most of the challenge is in getting started, , , once you start, you may find that you have all kinds of energy and growing interest to complete the project. Once I truly start on a project, I’ve worked nights and weekends to finish.
- Stay with it. Once you start, stay with it, , , you can lose momentum and even grind to a halt if you stop and don’t get back to it soon.
- Create a deadline. Sometimes, we simply need the pressure of a deadline to force us to get started and to finish something important. I know it has been something that I’ve had to do to complete certain projects.
- Talk it over with someone who might provide you some insight. In my case, I run certain issues by a few colleagues who understand me. Another source that’s always helpful is my wife, , , she understand me better than anyone and often has very good input that helps me get focused better.
- Set reasonable milestones. By setting realistic milestones, you can start seeing progress. Nothing motivates you more than realizing that you are succeeding.
Well, I need to stop posting onto ITLever (one of the fun and interesting things I like to do), , , and get back to that project I keep putting off. It doesn’t seem to be getting done by itself! 🙂
Stop procrastinating and make it happen !!