Serious accidents are much more numerous than in any other discipline. And for good reason: we have to reckon with Murphy’s law. As an invaluable principle of this famous “law of maximum annoyance” recalls, the dates of rendering the heaviest projects always fall at the same time.
Skidding is almost inevitable. For example, you spend the weekend of your first wedding anniversary to work and your badly made file ridicules you as early as Monday morning in a meeting. In short: you decide to give up procrastination. But it’s not so easy.
1 – Why do today what can be postponed to tomorrow?
” It has nothing to do with laziness ,” says Michael Ferrari, coach and author of the book Stop Procrastination (Editions Quotidien Malin). Procrastiners are no less involved or less demanding than others. Moreover, we all have some subjects, more or less important, about which we procrastinate . Give yourself back to sport? Call a lost friend of sight? Repaint the bathroom? Procrastination! But rest assured, procrastination is not a trait of personality. For this author, it is only a habit to uproot. Unfortunately, it is not enough to want to be able to. ” No matter how much it costs us, getting rid of procrastination is very complicated”Says the coach. Astonishing, no?
There are also advantages to postponing. At the top of the list: fear. ” Procrastination can be the result of fear of failure, fear of the other’s gaze, or fear of self-esteem ,” says Dr. Bruno Koeltz, author of How not to put everything back on the map. next day (Editions Odile Jacob). As long as we do nothing, we do not expose ourselves. ” One of my clients has just started her business ,” says Ferrari. She had to advertise for months, everything was ready, but she was not doing anything. I learned later that she had suffered a professional failure. Trialix Procrastinating was a way of protecting oneself “. Other reasons may explain this behavior, such as excessive perfectionism – “I do things perfectly or I do not do them” – or being easily distracted and preferring more enjoyable activities.
2 – What procrastinator are you?
For Michael Ferrari, there are roughly three profiles of procrastiners, knowing that we can switch from one to another depending on the situation. The “stimulated” is still waiting for the last minute because he claims to work better in a hurry. The “avoidant” prefers to stay in the shadows. He hates being judged and fears to assume the consequences of failure . He tends to convince himself that he is slow and perfectionist. Finally, the “undecided” does not want to make any decision for fear of being wrong.
Procrastination is not a problem in itself, but the symptom of something, most often of one of the fears of which we have spoken above. Everyone is different, so one’s advice is usually not used by others. It is important to understand the triggers that are unique to you. ” To find out where you are, take a paper and a pencil ,” Dr. Koeltz advises. Identify your typical procrastination scenario. Detail what is happening and how you feel . Another exercise is to note in the morning what you plan to do and analyze, in the evening, what you really did.
3 – Prepare, organize, cut out
The key to success lies in the preparation of the tasks to be done and the way you approach them. First point: know that humans do not like to tackle bigger than him. Fatally, he will dodge. This file that you must return next week seems monstrous. Cut it out! Divide it into small innocent tasks and do them one after the other.
In the same vein, you can apply the “five-minute plan”. ” I always advise my procrastinator patients to set a goal of spending only five minutes on what they are doing ,” says Koeltz. It seems immediately more accessible. Once they’re done, they have to re-evaluate the situation and see if they decide on a new five-minute goal . ” In general, it’s yes.
By doing so you get into the action and you forget the fears that push you to postpone it. This is a very important success factor. Initiating an action also helps to heal the guilt that accompanies the procrastinator: you regain confidence and approach the rest with more serenity. If you put off a file, a diet or any other task that takes more than half an hour, it’s a good idea to plan the action. ” One of the mistakes that we often make,” says Ferrari , “is to believe that our projects are simple and that they do not require organization. But if it were so easy, you would have done it already, right?»Take back your pencil and set a frame for your project: define it, plan start and end dates, specify your role, your expectations and the people involved. Having a clear vision of what you want to do is essential to take action. Then divide the task into several small, harmless actions and insert them into a schedule. Always plan for an ideal rendering date, in addition to the actual cut-off date, in case you have misjudged the extent of the work (which is always the case). ” In general, it takes two or three times more time for an action than what is calculated, ” said the coach.
The schedule makes it possible to follow the progress of your intermediate objectives and to accumulate satisfactions well before having accomplished the whole task. It’s an excellent engine to keep and maintain motivation, especially if you reward yourself as you go
4 – Face the problems
There will certainly be some, and you must prepare for it. The first pitfall is of course to manage the parasitic thoughts. You sit at your desk and automatically wonder how much time you will have before deciding to postpone everything. ” The problem, when we do not want to adopt a behavior, is that we think constantly , confirms Michael Ferrari. It distracts us and increases the risk of doing exactly what we would like to avoid . ” STOP. Stay focused. To get there, you must not fight against parasitic thinking. Just notice his presence.