Procrastination, perfectionism and analysis paralysis – these three Ps are the silent killers of motivation. They will stall your momentum towards your dreams and goals. No one is immune to them entirely – but, you can build your immunity to overcome them more quickly and easily.
In my experience, the longer you’re stuck in procrastination, perfectionism or analysis paralysis, the deeper you sink and the harder it is to get out.
It’s a lot like healthy eating or exercise. If you skip a couple of weeks, it’s hard to get back into it, but it’s doable. If you’ve skipped a couple of months, however, it feels like your going to war to get back on the bandwagon.
So if one or more of the P’s are keeping you stuck, take action RIGHT NOW. Each P needs a slightly different strategy to help you overcome it. Don’t know what’s keeping you stuck? I’ve got you covered there too.
You know you’re in procrastination when you’re simply avoiding the task. You just don’t want to do it. Your inner toddler keeps throwing tantrums and you distract yourself instead.
Strategy: Identify the very next task and set a timer. Take action on it for 15 minutes. This is all about getting started and breaking inertia. Tell yourself, “It’s just 15 minutes, and I can do anything for 15 minutes.” Once you have momentum, the rest will a heck of a lot easier.
You know you’re in perfectionism when you’re feeling fear. You’re afraid it’s not going to be good enough. You keep working on it, but it never seems to be done. Or, you don’t feel like it’s the right time, or you don’t know enough.
Strategy 1: Fail forward. Take imperfect action. Even though you know you won’t get it 100% right the first time, you’ll have started. Don’t worry, you’ll make many improvements from there. You can read more about this in my blog post The Gifts of Total Crap.
Strategy 2: Set a deadline. If you’ve been perfecting your project forever, choose a date in which you’ll be done, no matter where you are with it. For perfectionists, remember your 80% is good enough.
You know you’re in analysis paralysis when you just can’t seem to make a decision or you’re afraid to make the wrong decision.
Strategy: Try it on for size. Unless you are taking a multiple choice test, there is rarely only one right answer. If you’ve been stuck in analysis paralysis, more analysis won’t help you. It’s time to pick one direction and try it on for size. Move forward with it. Clarity comes after taking action.
Here’s the good news. As you work with procrastination, perfectionism, and analysis paralysis, you’ll get better at recognizing it. You’ll see it creep up, or in some cases pop-up in your face, and you’ll know how to better handle it. You’ll be able to overcome it before it takes a strong hold, making you unstoppable.
Start with these strategies and make them your own. Stay curious as you figure out what works best for you.