By Katherine Olowookere

Oct 2, 2022

Whether it is switching to a different job or considering a major career change, change makes even the most powerful person a little fearful.

The human brain is designed to automatically crave comfort; however, changes disrupt that comfort and bring in with it uncertainty and with uncertainty comes fear. Fear is the major reason for procrastination.

Fear of uncertainty or what might happen if things change is the major reason why we procrastinate.

Procrastination hinders success in every way. If you're finding it difficult to switch careers to a field in tech or whatever area due to procrastination, this blog post contains strategies to help you overcome.

In this article, we will examine what procrastination is, the ways it can affect your life/career growth, and the five root causes of procrastination. We will also review techniques you can use to beat procrastination and become more excited about the challenges ahead when switching careers.

What is Procrastination?

Procrastination is simply the act of avoiding what you need to do now, and consciously putting it off until another time. Procrastination is linked to several risks and detrimental outcomes, including decreased well-being, worse mental and physical health, worse financial situation, higher interpersonal connection problems, and delay in career achievement.

Many of these problems are interconnected, which means that they frequently coexist and that some of them may contribute to or exacerbate others.

When you acknowledge that you're procrastinating and actively attempt to change your behavior, you can overcome these problems.

Why would you procrastinate?

The 5 root causes of procrastination in a career change are:

  1. Difficulty: We tend to procrastinate on difficult tasks and processes.
  2. Uncertainty: We procrastinate when we are unsure and we do not know what to do
  3. Overloading: We procrastinate when we feel overwhelmed
  4. Fears: We procrastinate when we fear that we might fail (or succeed)
  5. Lack of a role-model / mentor: We procrastinate when we do not have anyone to hold us accountable for our inactions and properly mentor us on how to get things done.

How to Overcome Procrastination in a Career Change

Here are seven strategies you can use to help you overcome procrastination:

1. Forgive yourself for procrastinating in the past:

This is the first step towards change. If you can't forgive yourself for procrastinating in the past, you're more likely to procrastinate again. It has been found that [forgiving oneself]( for putting off a task leads to less future procrastination on similar tasks.

In order to quit procrastinating, get a note and make a list of those things that have held you back in the past and that have made you put off what you were supposed to do. This act lets you focus your energies on trying again and not on beating yourselves up.

2. Become more self-aware:

A wonderful strategy to start fighting procrastination is to raise your level of self-awareness in this area. The urge to procrastinate is a form of subconscious mood repair. Becoming more self-aware will help you take control and overcome.

Look for trends in your behavior, such as specific tasks that you frequently postpone. They are most likely going to be difficult tasks especially if you're transitioning to a [career in Data Science]( or tech.

3. Break up the task and do it step by step:

  Start small. Research about that new field online, reach out to individuals doing well in that area, attend a conference, connect with a mentor. Taking small steps consistently will eliminate worry about your lack of progress.

Decide whether the profession best suits you and keep moving forward with baby steps in that direction. In the long run, it will be preferable to make a plan and take a little more time than to rush and fail to take care of your essential necessities.

Maintain your dedication to the process of learning and keep your end objective in mind. Don't forget to have fun while doing it.

4. Focus on the journey and not just the destination:

"Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it" Success is about creating genuine value along the journey, not just about the outcome in the end. 

Ensure you enjoy the process as you break up your process and consistently take action.

To focus on the journey you've got to set meaningful goals that motivate you to work, find ways of contributing to others' success, and manage your time effectively by using the Pomodoro technique.

5. Set short-term goals:

Another way of making tasks simpler is by focusing on short-term objectives. For instance, setting a goal to do a portion of a task before lunch makes it more feasible than thinking about completing the entire assignment by the due date.

Knowing that you've worked effectively before lunch will help you enjoy your lunch break more. Additionally, knowing that you were productive in the morning can help you work more efficiently later in the day.

6. Seek proper guidance and someone to hold you accountable:

Proper guidance from an experienced professional in the career field you wish to switch to will extremely make the process easier for you.

[With the help of a mentor]( or career advisor, you can get clarity on what you want, how to begin, and what to focus on so you don't get overwhelmed.

An effective method for combating procrastination is to have a companion who can hold you accountable. Your accountability partner could be a colleague, manager, or friend.

If you find that you're procrastinating, telling your partner about it means they can encourage you and offer support to get you into the right mindset to work effectively.

Why do you need to talk to a mentor or an advisor? Talking to a mentor or a career advisor helps you in getting clarity on what you really want and if you're making the right decision. An experienced mentor can encourage you and reassure you when things get tough or whenever you're second-guessing your decisions.

7. Reward yourself and celebrate small wins and progress:

incentives work. One effective method for combating procrastination is to reward yourself with the items you use to divert your attention. A reward in place might give you something to work toward in order to finish your task on schedule. Design some kind of reward system that can motivate you when you finish your tasks. Learn to give yourself some accolades when you make significant progress no matter how small.

Procrastination is a bad habit that can restrict your potential and undermine your career. It can also disrupt your goals, reduce morale, and even lead to depression or job loss. So, it's crucial to take proactive steps to prevent it.

If you have been putting off the decision to switch careers because you find it to be too daunting, consider splitting the process up into smaller, more manageable pieces. Put more effort into starting projects than finishing them by breaking them up into smaller tasks.

At O'Fallon Labs, you can speak with one of our devoted professional mentors who has successfully changed his career and he's doing excellently well.

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About O'Fallon Labs

In O'Fallon Labs we help recent graduates and professionals to get started and thrive in their Data Science careers via 1:1 mentoring and more.

Katherine Olowookere

Katherine is a content manager at O'Fallon Labs. She is interested in writing about a varioty of topics including careers in technology. Katherine holds a B.Sc. in E. Physics. She is passionate about personal growth and making young people become better versions of themselves through personal self development

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