The more you put off something, the more pain your create in your life. Because anticipating the thing you have to – do but don’t want to – is painful.
Going to the gym, for example, is easy once you’re there. But you can anticipate it a whole week before that, and now the brain accepts it as a negative experience and wants you to put it off for later. And thus, comes up with tens of excuses not to do it, and ideas of what to do instead (usually easier tasks you can switch to right away, distractions).
But never forget that procrastination is a choice you make.
And as with every other, there’s a deeper reason behind it.
You may spend hours trying to figure it out, and in the end, it’s you and the task again. The thing you want to put off, the activity you worry about, fear, or think might fail at.
And you have to make the same choice again – whether to start working on it now, or switch to something else.
But if we let procrastination win all the time, we don’t get anything done. And can never move forward, achieve our goals and reach our dreams.
We’ll be stuck in doing meaningless things and living with distractions.
And I’m sure that’s not the life you’ve planned for yourself.
So here are some things to do that will help you win the battle with procrastination:
- identify what’s important and clear everything else away, know why you’re doing it;
- break your tasks into smaller actions that are easy and quick;
- know that nothing matters now but the task;
- starting is what scares most of us, but it’s also the only time you’ll actually have to use your willpower. From then on, it gets much easier. Just start small;
- you’ll have urges to switch to another task right away. Don’t listen to them. It’s your resilience speaking. And it doesn’t want you to get anything done;
- your mind will make up a bunch of excuses as to why you don’t need to take action now. And this can change your decision, if you let it. So don’t;
- set a time period;
- have a deadline, it helps;
- work without distractions – do whatever you need to do so that there won’t be any people coming in the room, phones ringing, notifications coming, etc;
- we usually focus on the hard part of the task, on how long it will take us, on the things we need to do after that. And it all looks hard and exhausting. We get anxious.
So try to focus on why you need to do it – think of the benefits of getting it done: how good you’ll feel, how relieved you’ll be, that you’ll be closer to your goals, are being productive, etc.
We can only fear the task and the process of doing it, before we’ve started working on it. So if you start right away, and don’t give your mind time to think too much and analyze what may go wrong, you might just find it super easy to complete it, too.
Win the battle with procrastination a few times, and you’ll get better, more confident, and will see it’s not that hard. Soon it will become a habit to just begin working on stuff, and get it done in no time.
So do you struggle with procrastination? What do you do about it?
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
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