“I have a dream: My task will be done in no time and effortlessly.”
Surely this is not what was said when people are daydreaming. But it was not missed in essence for Dreamers. Their procrastination is usually based on a too optimistic assumption, ambition, or escapism from boredom. They tend to underestimate the time and effort required for their tasks, but the reality is not any easier.
Similar to Crisis-makers, they get bored easily due to the desire for variety. But the reason to leave the task until the last minute varies: they don’t think they need so much time or they simply don’t want to spend more time than they would like. It feels like being locked in a dungeon once they begin with their tasks, especially when the tasks require longevity or seem tedious. They move on to other more interesting activities swiftly. “How easily I get distracted!” They say to themselves, with their free spirit.
Needs: Love and Connection, Variety, Growth
It is probably impossible for you not to find something else “more fun” to do if you are a Dreamer. You are passionate about various possibilities in life, having plenty of ideas bubbling in your head and you have beautiful visions too! – Just on the horizon, not right next to you. How can you make your dreams come true?
1/ Reality check
Have you done similar tasks before? How long did it take you? If this is a totally new experience to you, have you done a trial run, alpha test or a soft launch? What evidence do you have to back your estimated time up? Just like the Worrier has a distorted perception about reality, this fact check can bring you back to reality from your dream, and make a realistic plan.
2/ Build a reliable accountability system
A system is not formed by just one person or one step. You need to be honest to yourself: Whose criticism is trustworthy? Will you be available for their interventions if you fall out? How can you align your performance to their interest?
You could ask friends, colleagues or family to hold you accountable, but you also have to verify if this is reliable to you – people are quite busy with their own matters most of the time and it is only natural. So if your success is linked to theirs, they are more likely to help you succeed. Getting a leadership coach to review your performance is also a great solution if you find it difficult to connect with reality. In the coaching program, you work with your coach together through reflective questioning and humble inquiry when you deviate from your plan, so you can get back on track and really make it happen!
3/ Pomodoro technique
In order to keep the boredom tolerable to you, time yourself 25 minutes for undivided attention and 5 minutes for a short break afterwards. Then repeat with the same interval for three times, followed by a long break for 20-30 minutes.
This technique was created by Francesco Cirillo in software development and has been adapted by professionals around the world to work efficiently and effectively. You can surely change your interval to what fits you the best. The key is to convince your brain that this is only a short period of discomfort so it can be more bearable for you to focus on a boring but important task.
Compared to other types of procrastination, Dreamers are usually more creative but less structured. But you can learn how to construct your dream space and project reality – Inception, no procrastination.