People procrastinate for different reasons but one of the most common is because they think of their task as a chore.
They think there’s so much time and energy required. They see their task as complex and burdensome. They might even consider it as something forced upon them.
Whether you’re trying to write a blog post, wanting to start a new business, attempting to exercise and eat healthily, or starting a new project, you can overcome procrastination by turning a chore into a choice.
Here are three questions to ask:
01. Why do I think of this as a chore?
Identifying specific reasons you view a task as a chore can help you clarify what about it exactly is bothering you or holding you back.
Once you do, you can come up with targeted solutions to address those particular aspects and then get past it.
For example, if you think of blogging as a chore and the real reason you feel that this is burdensome is because you don’t know what to write about, then you can treat this as valuable information for you.
You now know you should come up with a list of topics ahead of time, research more information related to your niche, or survey your audience what they might be looking to learn from you.
Another example is if you think of exercise as a chore.
Maybe the real reason you dislike exercise is because you’ve tried it before and you didn’t see the results you were expecting within the timeframe that you’ve set.
This now becomes an indication for you to try other forms of exercise, hire a trainer who can help with your specific needs, reframe your mindset for long-term commitment, or focus on eating healthily at the same time.
The same goes if you think of reading books as a chore.
Though you know that this will help you become knowledgeable in your field, maybe your reason for not doing it is because you don’t like spending money on books.
An alternative for you now is to borrow from your friends, visit the local library, or buy the less expensive audiobook or eBook versions instead.
02. Which aspects of this task do I have a say in?
Most often, doing a task has many factors involved such as a specific location, deadline, manner of doing it, team members, time of the day, and so on.
Even if you feel you have no say in the task or you think of the task as something forced upon you, try to take control of one or more small aspects and add a little of your input.
A blog post might need to be published but you could choose the location you write it (cafe, beach, restaurant, park, etc.) and the deadline you set for yourself (once a week as opposed to three times a week).
An exercise session might need to be done but you could choose what to wear (loose t-shirts instead of tight-fitting tops) and what kind of exercise to do (hiking or crossfit instead of jogging).
A project might need to be completed but you could choose which team members to bring in or which tasks should be assigned to each person. If you’re not the project leader and have no say in the task assigned to you, then choose how you plan on doing the task (one-time or in chunks) or what kind of environment you can set up (play some music, light candles, have no distractions, etc.).
03. What’s in it for me?
People can still procrastinate on a task no matter how important it is if they’re not clear about what’s in it for them.
Unless you know what reward, benefit, or advantage you will get, there’s a bigger chance that this task is something you won’t value.
Instead, try to uncover a deeper reason or purpose of this task and ask “Why?” at least three times.
In terms of blogging, you might find that financial and time freedom may be in it for you one year from now. In terms of exercising, strength and endurance may be in it for you in as little as 12 weeks. In terms of starting a business, working on your passions and providing for your family may be in it for you in two to five years.
If you find yourself struggling to overcome procrastination, one reason might be because you see your task as a chore. Even if you know that it's important, this way of thinking still won't help you because you don't see how it can benefit you.
Try reframing your mindset by asking why you really see it as a chore, how you can take control and include your input in some way, and what might be in it for you once you complete it.
Share in the comments below: What is one task you're procrastinating on because you see it as a chore? How might you turn that chore into a choice?