Understand, accept, realize, and dwell with the fact that failure is not fatal. There is a way to correct most of the mistakes we make, and most of them have a second chance you can use to right your wrongs, so you don’t have to fear failure. Each time you try and fail, you’re left with the wisdom to learn from your mistakes, which gives you a step ahead of those who never tried. Nevertheless, never start a task with the hope to fail; only be realistic that you’re not perfect, so you’re prone to mistakes and failure. If you can conquer the fear of failure, you’re a step closer to increasing your productivity.
Obsession with Perfection: Procrastination also takes over when one is engrossed in the thought of doing the perfect job. They have the expectation that everything from them must be perfect. This can be related to the fear caused by failure; the difference here is that you are only scared you can’t perform as high as you picture in your head. An obsessive perfectionist will find it difficult, if not impossible, to start any new tasks. Procrastination sets in when there is a need to try out something alien to him/her. This is so because every perfectionist is primarily scared of ‘what will people say if I’m not up to the standard?’ Funny enough, they are unnecessarily worried about whether they will like the outcome of the action they never take or not.
Don’t get things mixed up here; it is a beautiful feeling to be proud of whatever you do and aim to do better always. Nonetheless, there is a problem somewhere if the mental picture you have for your success if far beyond what you can reasonably do. For that reason, you’ll be more comfortable to procrastinate and do nothing. It’s a great thing to be proud of the work that you do and to want to do your best.
Cultivate the act of doing your best and learn to be happy with whatever output you get. Believe that you can always do better until you reach the best. I can confirm to you that there is no perfect job anywhere because there are some people somewhere who are ready to criticize and bring out the faults in every ‘perfect job.’ Shun the habit of perfectionism and watch yourself increase in productivity.
Energy Mismanagement: We are biological machines, and just like the artificial machines, energy is required for the execution of tasks and for carrying out activities, both mental and physical. However, the most given excuse for procrastination is low energy level, even though it’s not the reason in most cases – ‘I’m seriously tired right now, I’ll do it later.’ It is natural that if you don’t have enough or the required energy, you won’t be able to do much; hence, people frequently use this reason to procrastinate. Energy, however, is a limited resource that can be exhausted and become insufficient at any point; this means it needs to be appropriately managed. This cause of procrastination is common among the people who relatively live an unhealthy lifestyle (poor energy management), such as ‘not getting enough sleep,’ ‘constant intake of imbalanced diet,’ and so on. The lifestyle you live plays a vital role in your energy level, which is a factor for procrastination – a tangible factor in your productivity. This problem is easy to identify because it is more physical than mental. When the mind is willing to work, but the body is not helping the situation, then there is a problem of low energy levels.
The solution to this is obvious. Avoid whatever that can drain your energy. Live a healthier lifestyle. Involve in an excellent sleep, balanced diet, and frequently exercise your body to locate a balance that suits your system. In a situation whereby the self-help methods up there seems not working, you may need to consult a healthcare professional to help you cure the low energy level. Say no to unproductive living!
Lack of Concentration: Your inability to focus or concentrate simply means you don’t have a goal. The people in this category believe the saying, ‘a traveler with no definite destination travels further.’ If I can ask, what’s the essence of traveling further and get nothing done eventually? It is apparent that anyone who lacks focus in life easily falls for procrastination. Your life seems like you’re just drifting through life if you often feel you don’t have a direction, or you think that you lack purpose in life. Procrastination is invited when one has no set goals he/she is working toward. You’ll have no tangible reason to keep up with tasks.
Cautiously set your goals on whatever task or action you want to execute. Learning, specifically, requires you to set attainable, concise, unambiguous, feasible, and realistic goals (I’ll still get these explained later in this book). It is advisable to target a high bar that will encourage you, but not too high that it will exhaust you and cause your failure. Having goals is important, but having realistic goals is much more important.
I was once a chronic procrastinator, thankfully I fought the war and won. In the process of battling procrastination, I leafed through many books, listened to tapes, attended seminars, and even consulted professionals. One of the effective weapons I used is what I call TCP.
As strong as procrastination seems, Mel Robbins discovered a rule he called The Five-Second Rule, which has been put to test by me and several others. Not ordinarily does this rule, which I’ll call The Countdown Push conquers procrastination; it does it magically and works for almost everything that pertains to procrastination. It is simple and may seem stupid, but then, employing it to your life will definitely push you out of procrastination zone to an active zone, then increased productivity follows.