How to Overcome Procrastination by Increasing Necessity

eliminate procrastination by increasing necessity - Certified High Performance Coaching

Procrastination. If you are a procrastinator, you might delay work-related tasks, postpone taking action on personal goals, avoid household chores, or put off unpleasant conversations. No matter when or why you procrastinate, the impact is always the same—your productivity plummets, and your self-esteem, self-trust, and self-confidence decline. But throw a little necessity into the mix, and you’ll break the cycle of procrastination quickly.

Necessity is “the state or fact of being required or indispensable.” You feel necessity when you must or need to do something. Necessity provides a sense of urgency, pushing you to act quickly—even if you don’t want to.

Sometimes, necessity causes you to act without pause. You simply know you have to do something. A perfect example might be a parent who discovers a child trapped under the wheel of a car and lifts the car off the child without a thought as to whether or not that is even possible. That’s acting out of necessity.

Or consider deadlines. You might procrastinate for weeks as your deadline approaches. However, when you barely have time to do the work, you buckle down and do “what is necessary.” You start and complete the work—and do it with focus, effectiveness, and flow.

And, let’s say you’ve known for several years you need to change your eating habits. Then, you have a health crisis. The doctor tells you that your lifespan will be severely shortened if you don’t begin eating a healthy diet. In fact, you might die in the next five years if nothing changes. So, you go straight to the grocery store, purchase the required foods, and begin your new diet that same day.

Necessity overlies every part of the Certified High Performance Coaching curriculum. Research has shown that raising necessity drives action and results, and the most successful people in the world intentionally raise their necessity levels for this reason.

Necessity as a Motivator

The power of necessity is that it requires action now…not later. Therefore, necessity provides a powerful motivator.

You stop procrastinating when tasks become essential for your success, well-being, or happiness. Instead, you act, focus, and move toward your goals.

Traditionally, “to procrastinate” means to delay or postpone action or put off doing something. “Procrastination” is defined as putting off intentionally or habitually doing something that should be done.

In fact, procrastination could be called a lack of motivation. All sorts of things can reduce your motivation level. For instance, fear can cause you to procrastinate. So can feeling uncomfortable doing a task or believing that taking action won’t produce the desired outcome. Lack of motivation also occurs when you think your actions or results will be criticized or judged. Of course, sometimes procrastination simply shows up when we feel lazy, but laziness is a lack of motivation.

As soon as you increase your necessity level, your motivation returns. Necessity causes you to act despite fears or beliefs.

Fear of Negative Consequences Provides Necessity

Necessity increases when you fear the consequences of procrastination. You might avoid such consequences, but eventually, they will motivate you to take action.

When you get clarity on the negative impact of not completing tasks on time, you may want to avoid them. Thus, you might jump into action.

For example, college students are more likely to submit assignments or prepare for exams when they know their academic achievements—and future career prospects—depend on timely submission or preparation. Also, business professionals meet project deadlines more regularly when they understand that failing to do so could compromise their job security.

Understanding the potential negative consequences of procrastination creates a sense of urgency. This encourages you to overcome avoidance and accelerate your efforts to complete tasks.

Benefits Provide Motivation

On the other hand, focusing on benefits helps increase necessity and reduce procrastination. This is the common result of positive reinforcement. You become more motivated, right?

For instance, if you know that taking fast action on a task will result in a promotion or bonus at work, you will likely act promptly rather than procrastinate. Also, students might finish their academic workload quickly to relax and enjoy an approaching school break. Or entrepreneurs might dive into work on business ventures, knowing they will have financial gains by bringing a product to market before the competition.

You can look at your own life for proof that attractive outcomes provide motivation that overrides procrastination.

Identity Keeps Procrastination at Bay

Your identity plays a role in whether or not you feel a high degree of necessity and, therefore, don’t procrastinate. Do you say, “I am someone who procrastinates,” or “I am someone who feels it’s necessary to take quick action toward goals”? These are ways of being or identity.

So, if you are committed, you do what you say you will do. And if you are someone who has integrity, you keep your promises and complete tasks or deliver work on time.

Your values flow out of your identity. A procrastinator doesn’t value promptness, planning, or sticking to a schedule. A procrastinator does not value doing work ahead of a deadline. Instead, a procrastinator values being stressed, waiting until the last minute, and rushing to meet a deadline.

A disciplined person likely values punctuality and commitment. Such an individual feels the need—necessity—to be on time and keep commitments. Therefore, this person controls any tendencies toward procrastination by focusing on the need to be punctual and keep promises.

Obviously, you could choose to be someone who is not a procrastinator. Choose an identity that helps you value the need to take prompt action.

Your procrastination habit will disappear as soon as your level of necessity is high enough to propel you to action. Urgent need helps you focus on the importance of doing a task now…not later. It also keeps you focused on the potential repercussions of leaving something undone until the last minute or the benefits of getting it done in a timely manner.

Ultimately, the way to overcome procrastination is to form positive habits. Increasing necessity can help you change your behavior and become someone who takes prompt action.

Do you procrastinate? Tell me in a comment below. And please share this post with someone who might benefit from reading it.

What if you could stop procrastinating…or behaving in ways you know aren’t supportive…and do so more quickly than you can imagine? It’s possible with a transformational coach or Certified High Performance Coach. If you want to be someone who can do the things necessary to create what matters to you, click here and schedule a quick meeting with me. Let’s see if we are a good fit to work together and what type of coaching would best help you get the results you desire.


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