Procrastination is the habit of putting off what should be done today until tomorrow, or the next day, or week, or month… and so on. This affects us all from time to time.
There are a few reasons why we procrastinate but the main one is fear: Fear of rejection, fear of change, fear of failure, and also perfectionism can cause procrastination. These are natural fears but the idea is to acknowledge them, but act in spite of them!
Sometimes procrastination is the result of feeling that something is just too big and scary to even begin! The thing is that once you have begun, the task is probably a lot more enjoyable & doable than you thought.
Here is a great technique that you can use to overcome procrastination & get into action!
The Swiss Cheese Method
Alan Lakein, author of an amazing little book: “How to Get Control of Your Time & Your Life” advises that if a task is overwhelming you, poke holes in it like Swiss cheese. The holes represent small parts of this task that take small chunks of time. Once you have made a few holes, the overall task will seem less scary and looming. You will already be involved, gaining momentum and confidence and it will be much easier to continue.
You’ll be surprised how much you can do in small chunks of time. Even if you only have a few minutes to spare in between other stuff, still attempt the Swiss cheese method.
“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”
How to do the Swiss Cheese!
- Identify a large or overwhelming task.
- To start thinking positively and get yourself in the right frame of mind, take a few minutes to close your eyes and imagine how you will feel once this task is complete.
- Now brainstorm and create a list of short or instant actions to complete this task. You may need to break down larger steps into smaller chunks to come up with your list of small items.
- Put these tasks in order of priority.
- Start on the first one now!
- As you work through your list and make more holes in the cheese, notice how much better and more confident you feel as you are now involved, and how less scary the job is now.
The thought of a large or complex action is always worse than actually doing it. Once you have started and are involved, you will be surprised at how much easier the task is than you initially thought. You will power forward and find it so much simpler to complete it!
Remember that the only cure to procrastination is action and if you wait until you ’feel’ like doing something you may never begin! So try the Swiss Cheese Method!