If you are like many people you use the coping strategy of procrastination to keep from being in committed action.
Yes, procrastination is a coping strategy that most people think is a sign of laziness. When in fact, people often procrastinate because they have a fear of failing at a task, they dread the end result might not be great, or they simply don’t find value in the project.
How do you overcome a the coping strategy of procrastination?
One way is to create an outline for your project then break it into a to-do list. Then break the list down into what needs to be done first, then second, then next, etc. Start each day by doing something on the list. If you keep it small and give yourself permission to tackle just one thing, you can get past the feeling of overwhelm or failure and begin getting micro doses of success from completed tasks.
Another strategy, one that overcomes the fear of the end result, is to just start. Often, once you get started on a project you get into a flow and you just needed the momentum of beginning. A great time to start a project you have been putting off is after exercising. Why because you are physically and chemically in a high-energy state.
If you find that you have to do a project that you are not that interested in, see if you can tie it to a purpose or positive emotion to the result. Even if the positive emotion is the feeling of relaxation and contentment to be finished with the project. Or you can tie a reward to the finished project, something you will do for yourself when you have completed the project.
Plenty of time procrastination strategy
Maybe, none of the above apply to you. The only time you find yourself procrastinating is when the deadline is way off. You have difficulty getting started at all until that project is due in a few days. Then you create a lot of anxiety and stress for yourself getting it done last minute. One of the best strategies for this is to create milestones for your project with deadlines. It is a similar strategy to the to-do list above with the adding timelines. So by this date, you will have completed this part of the project and by this date the next portion. This keeps the project moving along at a pace that doesn’t cause a massive amount of work and stress right at the end.