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Understanding procrastination – identifying what’s holding you back

November 6, 2017 by Liz Green

Understanding procrastination – identifying what’s holding you back

How frequently do you find yourself putting off a task or project until the last minute because you dread some aspect of completing it? It might be the topic that doesn’t inspire you or that you’re unsure of, or it might be something you don’t enjoy doing like pulling up weeds or cleaning the bathroom.

If you identify as a procrastinator or you regularly experience task aversion, it’s a good idea to put some work into addressing it, as it’s probably negatively affecting other areas of your life. The very act of procrastination prolongs your negative feelings and can make you feel even less like completing the task, while at the same time stressed about avoiding it as the deadline approaches.

A good starting point to overcoming your aversion is to identify exactly why you don’t want to do it. Sometimes, you just have a gut feeling every time you see a particular item on your to-do list, which makes you want to shuffle it to the bottom of the page. If you take a few minutes to ask yourself what’s behind that feeling, you can begin to understand what’s causing your roadblocks.

Once you’re clear on why you’re avoiding a task, you can develop a strategy to get it done, which will remove some stress from the situation. If you adopt this approach every time you feel procrastination sneaking into your to-do list, you’ll develop a healthy habit that will sustain your productivity at uni, at work and beyond.

Looking for some more help? Try the Decision Making, Goal Setting and Project Management modules available on Curtin Challenge.

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