Do you know what you should be doing… but don’t do it? If you haven’t taken action on an important task for your business or career, or if you have been talking about (but putting off) a next step in your life, you might tell yourself that you ‘don’t have time’, or you might get down on yourself for being lazy.
We hear a lot of generic advice that tells us to ‘just do it,’ as well as other women’s stories of how they ‘just did it’ – but you may feel that these don’t apply to your situation. If so, you feel even worse about yourself.
If you haven’t taken action on an important task, it’s usually for one reason only – and it’s not because of lack of time or laziness. It’s because you haven’t identified what type of procrastinator you are, and then identified the solution that matches your ‘type’ (or types.)
From training thousands of people, I have identified 12 “types” of procrastinators. Here are 5 of the most common.
For example, are you:
An Avoider? You don’t “feel like doing it.” To you, it’s too complex, too boring, and you believe yourself when you say you will ‘do it tomorrow.’
A Spinner? You are juggling too many projects, are going in too many directions, and try to be all things to all people. You put out a lot of energy but don’t get the results that come from deciding to carry one ball ‘across the finish line’ to success.
A Perfectionist? You are concerned how others will evaluate your efforts so you keep redoing tasks to get all details right… nothing is ever good enough or finished.
A Learner? You always think you ‘need to learn more’ to get started, so you keep yourself in a state of information overload and lack of confidence in your knowledge.
A Dreamer? You have creative ideas and may be a visionary; however, you are ‘all talk, no action.’ It’s hard for you to break down your vision into the first step to get started.
Learning your type can help you get unstuck, because each type has a different solution.
For example, if you are a Spinner, you want to decide which of your exciting projects is the most important to finish first, and then leverage the success you have from that one to finish the others. If you are a Learner, you want start “just in time” (learn only the next skill you need to progress) instead of “just in case” learning (learn everything you think you will need to know ahead of time). If you are a Perfectionist you want to become more objective about when your work has reached a point that it will get the desired result – make it about the purpose of the work not about how people will evaluate you. If you are an Avoider, you want to try the idea of a ‘start by’ rather than a ‘finish by’ deadline. Learn to manage your attention to ‘get yourself in the mood’ to do it – or just delegate the tasks you don’t like to someone who is great at it!
The more you know about yourself the easier it will be to get yourself to take action. Go out and take action today, the world needs your talents!
–Sharon Melnick, PhD, January 2015 Career Coach