Have you ever thought that you need to do something, you put it off all day, then at a particular time of the day your can’t possibly start it because you won’t have time to complete it, the only decision now is to have a glass of wine instead or may be start it after a glass of wine and finish the job off in the morning.
I’ll start after I finish the first glass, I deserve the treat because I’ve been worrying all day about it and the wine will give me a bit of courage to start the job. The glass empties, maybe a top up then I’ll start?
Oops where has all that wine gone, I can’t start now as it would be irresponsible to do anything serious and important after a bottle of wine. I’ll do it in the morning, first thing – honest!
The next day comes, more immediate things crop up, they aren’t really important but they are better than doing this job, oops where has the day gone, I’ve been busy and productive, I’ll treat myself to a glass of wine.
Does this sound familiar, I’d be lying if I’ve never done this.
I remember writing to a solicitor many years ago and my first line of the letter was an apology “Sorry that I haven’t replied sooner but I’ve been procrastinating”
When do we procrastinate?
You will have your own reasons, here’s some reasons I’ve thought of:
- They won’t like it
- I’m not good enough
- I won’t like their response
My reasons are not about the actual thing but about what I think the response will be, even not being good enough is about their response, they think I’m not good enough!
A glass of wine may help in the short term however some things just need to be done and I know I feel relieved once I get over my procrastination. One of the methods I use is to ask myself if the reason I’ve thought of is actually true. If it is not true then it must be something else. Remember that the vast majority of people as absolutely hopeless at mind reading so how do you know what another person is thinking.
Lets work on “They won’t like it” is it true (you’re not a mind reader) probably not.
If you answer is ‘probably not’ then it’s not true, so no; we only want yes and no as an answer.
How does that make you feel? For me it gives me an opportunity to get on with the job, I’ve lost the thought that they won’t like it.
Second guessing others thoughts is a fools errand, you may force them to change their ideas, if you think they won’t like it you may inadvertently force them to that decision. If you don’t know if they wont like it then you can approach the job honestly and without self judgement. You may be surprised at the positive remarks.