If you’re anything like me, then you’re a chronic procrastinator. I put off doing many tasks, even the most menial of them. And many of them are caused by indecision.
I’ve found that when I’m having a tough time deciding on something, I put it off, or do something more pleasurable. Whether deciding pricing for a new project, or what to type for the next sentence, I find my mind wandering to something else.
The root of that indecision is fear; the fear of making the wrong decision. I fear putting a price that is too high and the customer baulks, or that the next sentence is uninteresting and will turn readers away.
Or is it that indecision is causing fear? That my inability to make a decision is adding unnecessary worries that causes fear.
No, it’s fear causing indecision.
It’s unlikely that the indecision is causing my fear, but is rather a symptom of fear.
But how then can you overcome those fears, and address the procrastination.
In my experience, understanding the fear is a part, but addressing the fear is a bit trickier. Instead, I just force myself to make a decision. Once that decision is made, then I can then focus on the other aspects of the work at hand.
There was this time when I was scheduled to go abroad for some work. I don’t mind travelling, but I hate leaving my family behind. I was also afraid that I would do a poor job as this was a kind of project that I’ve never done before. Because of this, I procrastinated about buying the tickets, until there were only a few seats left, and was forced to purchase them.
There was still indecision about whether I should really go, and even contemplated cancelling the trip (and paying a penalty to the airline). That feeling stayed with me until I was actually on the plane ready to leave. Once the plane got off the ground, there was no going back. Suddenly my mind went to thinking about the work ahead for the week. All the indecision was gone, as there was no other choice left.
So, I never overcame my fears – leaving my family, and doing a poor job. Instead I made a decision that was hard to turn back on. I then had to face those fears head on.
So when next you’re plagued by procrastination, check whether indecision is a contributor. If it is, then reduce the number of options available until there is only one choice, or force yourself to make a choice in such a way that you can’t go back.
Perhaps this might help you. I’m not saying that it’s a fool proof system for all cases, but it’s worth a try.