“Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.” – Napoleon Hill
In the Merriam-Webster dictionary, procrastination is defined as delaying doing something until a later time because you do not want to do it … and with all the distractions we encounter daily, we can easily get pulled away from those things that are important for us.
Procrastination occurs within our mind as we resist doing something that needs to be done, also known as, “mental resistance” and there is no tangible reason for this behaviour.
The reality is that procrastination is one of the biggest limiting beliefs that stops people from obtaining their goals and aspirations. Putting off an important task with the belief that there is a better time to do it, is merely self-defeating.
This only makes us feel guilty, ashamed, and anxious which negatively affects our emotional and mental energy. Causing us to be less likely to start the task, which in turn makes us feel guilty, ashamed, and anxious … and the cycle continues to repeat itself into an endless loop known as the procrastination doom loop.
The problem is that the more we procrastinate, the more negative feelings we have, and it is difficult to do tasks when we are in this frame of mind. Allowing procrastination to rent prime real estate in your mind, means your mind never gets a rest. Our conscious mind can only hold 5-9 bits of information at any moment, so clogging it with things that you know you need to do but are not completing, makes you unproductive.
People who procrastinate usually do so because they are disorganized, they are too overwhelmed to even get started, or they have a fear of failure, fear of success, or fear that they won’t do the task perfectly. Contrary to popular belief, procrastination is not a form of laziness. A lazy person doesn’t want to do anything and is okay with that decision whereas a procrastinator is unable to get started and feels bad about it.
Procrastination, in itself, is not the problem here, our mindset is. So how do we shift our mindset to be successful in these tasks in a way that doesn’t zap our energy and rob our time? It’s simple, just do it! Pick the biggest, hairiest, scariest, most difficult task that you know you need to do but have been putting off and make it your intention for the day. Then start taking powerful steps towards completing it NOW!
So instead of sitting in your procrastination, leap towards it and embrace it head on. This seems incredibly intuitive and when you embrace it head on and take powerful steps towards completing the task, an overwhelming sense of relief will overcome you. You will become relaxed, joyful, and proud of your accomplishments opening you up for many new opportunities and growth.
Here are some helpful hints to shift your mindset from procrastination to action-taking so that you tackle your important tasks with ease:
1) Do a brainstorm exercise and write down everything you are thinking about, any tasks, any worries, and any negative thoughts or emotions. Make sure you are including all the tasks you are procrastinating on. Look through your list and cross off any tasks that are not important or that you have no control over– many of our worries fall into this category. If there are tasks that you can delegate, then do so. If there are things you spend time on that are not productive e.g., social media, then remove them too.
2) Go through your revised list and group any tasks that will take less than 5 minutes to complete (e.g., book doctor’s appointment, call the school, book a new client, check email). Set aside 15-30 minutes in the day to complete these quick tasks. This will give your brain a sense of real accomplishment and consequently raise your vibration to allow space for any important tasks that you need to complete.
3) Pick 1-3 things from your revised list that will be your intention for the day. I don’t like the phrase “to-do” lists. It feels like work and my first inclination is to run away from it. Instead call it your “intentions” list. This feels like the task has purpose and it makes me feel much more inclined to complete it. Set aside 2-3 undisturbed hours, to help you get into flow state where creativity and productivity happen with ease. You can use music to help keep you in flow. Turn off all distractions and let people around you know that you do not want to be disturbed during that time.
4) If your intention item is a big one, break it down into bite-size pieces and focus on one piece at a time. Procrastination can be a product of being overwhelmed so breaking it down makes it feel less intimidating and much more rewarding as you complete each chunk.
5) The rest of your list can be moved to another day. These are the less important tasks that are not time-sensitive, but you still would like to complete in the near future.
6) Reward yourself in a healthy way. This feeds the limbic part of your brain e.g., take the dog for a walk, eat a healthy snack, watch a comedy skit, call a close friend, play with the dog.
The key to beating procrastination is to realize that it is just a mindset. Shifting your perspective and embracing the task head-on, and then focusing on how much relief and joy you will feel once it is complete, is a powerful and productive way to get stuff done and combat procrastination.
Tina is a health and wellness coach, author and inspiration speaker who is best known for her holistic approach to creating balance in the body, emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. She helps women transform burnout into empowerment so that they can take back their control. Through this approach, Tina enables her clients to reach their health and wellness goals with ease, creating life-long sustainable solutions. To learn more about Tina and RenewYou go to [email protected]. If you are interested in receiving a FREE nutritious recipe every Monday subscribe to her list at https://courses.renewyoucoach.com/free-recipe-subscription.
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