“Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.” - Anonymous

Procrastination, or putting tasks off to the last possible second, is a major problem for many people. This causes undue stress, missed opportunities, unnecessary errors, frustration, and guilt - just to name a few issue. What are the root causes of procrastination and what can you do to overcome it?

Change Your Mind
One of the common causes of procrastination is wrong thinking. If you are thinking that you "have to" do something, you are already behind the curve. Since the desire for freedom is part of the human experience, people naturally resist activities that infringe upon that freedom. Thus, when you feelbound to do something, you want to put it off until the consequences of not doing it outweigh the feeling of bondage. The solution to "have to" is change your thinking to "want to", or at the very least "choose to". This simple change in thought will give you back the power. In turn, you will take away the discomfort of completing the task.

Another thought that will cause you to procrastinate is thinking that you must "finish it". If you are not procrastinating, you usually have the ability to work on projects over time. By thinking that you must finish something, you are putting tremendous pressure on yourself. If you change your thought to "start it", then you are giving yourself freedom to break the project down into bite-sized pieces. Often, you will change your approach during a project anyway as new information becomes available. It's much easier to change direction once your moving than it is to get the project moving forward.

It's Okay That You're Not Perfect
Perhaps the biggest cause of procrastination is perfectionism. There are many people who will not start something because they don't think they can do it well enough to meet their own impossible standards. Other perfectionists will put tremendous pressure on themselves and others to meet those impossible standards. Either way, this causes stress.

At the root of perfectionism is fear. It may be fear of failure or fear of rejection by others. To cast out this fear and overcome perfectionism, try love. If you love others and they love you, it's okay to be human and make mistakes. Let's face it, mistakes are part of life. You shouldn't set out to mistakes intentionally, but when you do, correct it and move forward.

Break It Down
Regardless of the reason you're procrastinating, you will benefit by breaking your projects down into smaller pieces. Whenever possible, divide your tasks into the physical actions that must be done to bring your project to completion.

When you become aware of the reason that you are putting things off, change your thinking, and you'll change your life.

Author's Bio: 

Bill Tyler is the Founder of the Bubble Planner. The Bubble Planner creates 2010 Calendars and Time Management Tools that enable people to unleash their potential.