Procrastination can sabotage the best time-management strategies. For busy mortgage professionals, procrastination is rarely done out of laziness or carelessness. Instead, it’s usually the result of asking too much of yourself. These ambitious professionals demand high-quality work and are eager to grow their careers. But when the to-do list gets too long, the tendency to procrastinate can set in. While occasionally moving something to tomorrow’s to-do list might not throw off your achievement potential, more chronic procrastination can really limit your success. Let’s take a look at some common reasons busy professionals procrastinate and what they can do to combat them:
When we constantly demand absolute perfection of ourselves, it can make getting started on a new project feeling like a daunting feat. While having high standards for your work is important, professionals shouldn’t get in the habit of putting something off just because they don’t think they can do it perfectly. Drafts, trials, and even brainstorming sessions are great ways to ease into a project without requiring perfection right away. Give yourself the space to get started without the stress, and then you can refine as you go along.
Lack of Planning
If you simply take each day as it comes, it can be very difficult to have a sense of what you can accomplish in the average workday. You might intend to get to many different things but find that some just continue getting pushed to the next day. If we invest the time in creating a solid plan for every day, we can take a realistic look at what we can expect to accomplish. Then, rather than putting twenty items on the to-do list and having to move ten to tomorrow, we can prioritize what needs to get done, and schedule things out across the week accordingly. That plan can then serve as a map to keep us on track as we progress throughout the day. When your to-do list feels manageable, you’re much less likely to procrastinate.
Whether it’s too much technology or friendly coworkers, when we’re surrounded by distractions, we often lose valuable time throughout our days. This encourages us to feel like there’s just not enough time in the day, so we move things to the future. When we’re mindful of distractions and limit them as best we can, we’re more organized and efficient. This gives us much less reason to procrastinate.
Finally, setting ambitious goals is great. They can push us to step out of our comfort zones and grow our careers. But if we’re not careful, some of them can backfire. Instead of motivating us, they may loom in the future as intimidating hurdles. If you don’t break these big goals into bite-sized pieces, getting started on working towards them can feel exhausting. Instead of just creating a large goal and leaving it at that, give yourself some small actionable steps you can start today. While the goal of running a marathon might feel like too much at the end of a long workday, the task of running a mile or two is much more approachable. Even if your steps are small, you’re making progress.
Getting a handle on how we manage our time is essential if we want to maximize our potential. For busy professionals, eliminating the habit of procrastination is a must. Check in and see if any of these common reasons apply to you, and if they do, you can be more aware the next time one stands in your way. Do you have any other thoughts on procrastination? Please share them.