What stops us from moving forward in our lives?
For many the answer is simple: Procrastination. The definition of the word is described as “the action of unnecessarily and voluntarily delaying or postponing something despite knowing that there will be negative consequences for doing so”.
Procrastinators are usually perfectionists: for whom it may be psychologically more acceptable to never tackle a job than face the possibility of not doing it well. They may be so highly concerned about what others will think of them that they put their futures at risk to avoid judgment.
Procrastination is all about how we think. Sometimes we find it easier to believe that we are putting off things because we are lazy, we lack the ability to see it through or we just don’t have the attention span. It always amazes me when a client comes into a session with a goal and their passion is evident, they talk constantly about how much they want it. However, they cannot seem to follow through on the associated actions that will get them there.
When we allow these thoughts of being lazy or lack ability to overtake, we begin to move from a casual passing thought and change into creating a belief. Changing a belief is essential if we want to stop procrastination and move forward in our lives.
This is my Top 8 anti – procrastination strategies:
- Commit to the task
Focus and visualise on doing, rather than avoiding the task. Write down what needs to be completed and give yourself a time frame for doing it. It’s proven that writing things down and setting realistic and achievable time frames ensures greater success rates.
- Take Bite size portions
Sometimes procrastination bites when the GOAL seems too big. Try breaking the tasks into small chunks. As you complete each one, remember to congratulate yourself. This will motivate you and ensure you follow through to the end.
- Start big
If your goal and associated tasks have differing levels of commitment and work. Start with the more challenging or bigger one’s first. You will find the satisfaction on completing this will spur you on and everything else will feel easy thereafter.
- Rephrase your internal dialogue
Try to be mindful of your internal voice. Recognise how often you use phrases such as,
“I have to”, “I need to”, this implies you have no choice, which isn’t true. Remember that you are in control. Consider changing these to a more empowered choice of language,
“I choose to”, “I want to”. Just this subtle use of words will energise and create the motivation to complete your goal and feel in control of your workload.
- Minimise Distractions
Turn off phones, social media, tv’s and anything that will distract you from the task in hand.
- Losing focus
Don’t give up or say you’ll do it later. Instead, go into another room, get a drink or snack.If you are feeling tired, take 5 minutes and run on the spot, do star jumps to re-energise. The key here is to change your current state and perspective.
- Get someone to check in
Often people find asking a family member or friend to check in on them helps. If you know that being held accountable by someone else motivates you to get things done, do it……
- Promise yourself a reward
Set yourself a promise upon completion of a reward. Maybe a day out, getting your hair or nails done, a meal at your favourite restaurant or it could be as simple as a cup of coffee with your favourite slice of cake.Nothing is more motivating than looking forward to a treat and it’s important to acknowledge the feeling of completion and pleasure of the treat.