Once you realize the type of activities you tend to procrastinate, there is a “mind hack” you can use to cure yourself of the habit. More on that in a minute.
How many hours of time and energy are wasted every week by procrastination? And even worse, how much extra work is created by delaying what must be done?
First, it’s helpful to understand why you formed the habit of procrastination in the first place. Procrastination comes from the Latin word procrastinare which means to put off to tomorrow. Generally, we procrastinate on tasks that we aren’t looking forward to, such as a big assignment or even small unpleasant chores.
Getting to the root of WHY you are avoiding certain tasks will help you tackle and overcome them.
- Is the task so big you don’t know where to start?
- Does the task require actions you’re not familiar with or haven’t done before?
- Does the task require dealing with people you’re not familiar with or would rather avoid?
- Is the task simply not important enough to invest your time into?
Often times, our brain has expectations about how we will feel when doing something, and those expectations are negative. Take some time to think about when you thought you would enjoy doing something but then didn’t, and when the opposite happened. You thought you wouldn’t enjoy doing something but instead it was quick and painless when you actually accomplished it. Our brain’s expectations can impact our experience of things but in the case of procrastination, it’s important to recognize how often our brain is downright wrong about how we will feel at a certain time in a certain situation.
How to Stop Procrastinating
- Write a list of all the tasks you’ve been putting off. Acknowledge any that you can cross off and let go because they are not important.
- Get to the root of WHY you’ve been avoiding the remaining tasks on the list. Prioritize and put together an action plan for each one. Break down large projects into small tasks. Figure out how to time block them to schedule them into your calendar.Figure out how you can make the activities as quick and painless as possible. This may mean letting go of perfectionism that would suck your time and produce minimal added value.For example, you can spend 100’s of hours looking for every last receipt for tax deductions, or you can go with what you have in 2-3 hours, make sure the big things that account for 90% of your deductions are included, and move on with your life.
- Once you identify why you’ve been avoiding them, figure out why it is important to get them done.
- Create incentives to get them done- even if it is taking deep breaths and visualizing the relief you will have when the work is complete.
PROCRASTINATION MIND HACK:
This exercise can help you stop procrastinating for good.
When you realize you are putting off what needs to be done and either entertaining yourself or doing busywork instead, give yourself intentional time to procrastinate while you do the following.
Go to a corner in the room, crouch down to curl up in a ball, put your thumb in your mouth, rock back and forth, and say “I’m procrastinating, I’m procrastinating, I’m procrastinating.” It won’t be long before you get up and get back to work!
You can break the habit of procrastination with intentional thought and focus on your priorities.
Chunk big project down, get the important things off your to-do list, and regain positive momentum in your life.
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Make today count!