Stop Your Procrastinating…Today

In today’s episode of the Inspiration2grow podcast we are talking about how to beat procrastination -> … that force which prevents you from following through on what you should be doing or what you set out to do.  It is those tasks looming over your head which need to get done but for some reason, you just don’t want to or don’t feel like tackling them.

If you tend to procrastinate, you are likely a repeat offender unnecessarily postponing decisions or actions you know deep down you have to take.
The big problem with the issue of procrastination is it can increase your stress levels and possibly cause you to miss out on opportunities.

I’m sure we have all found ourselves in this situation whether we are talking about smaller-scale actions such as ironing a laundry basket full of clothes or a larger-scale decision such as leaving a job that no longer find fulfilling and challenging.

We often procrastinate on tasks we find:  difficult or challenging, stressful even, unpleasant, aversive or just plain boring. Tasks of this nature can make a person feel overwhelmed and provokes considerable anxiety in us.

Have you ever stopped and asked yourself WHY DO I PROCRASTINATE?

Procrastination is driven by a variety of thoughts and habits but basically, we avoid tasks or put them off because we don’t believe we’ll enjoy doing them.  We want to avoid making ourselves unhappy OR we are afraid that we may not be able to do them well.  Oftentimes these tasks cause us to feel confused by their complexity or we feel overwhelmed by their scope.

Psychologists have identified various drivers of procrastination to being:
1.       Low self-confidence to anxiety
2.       A lack of structure or plan
3.       One’s inability to motivate oneself to complete unpleasant tasks
4.       Becoming fixed on negative thoughts

For people with perfectionist tendencies, this behaviour pattern protects them against fear of failure, as well as judgement from others and themselves.  By avoiding the unpleasant work and investing time and energy to other tasks, procrastinators avoid feeling unproductive. 

But we all pay the price later if we give in to our procrastination.

Today I’d like to share some ways or steps to stop the cycle of procrastination once and for all.  Because, let’s face it, we don’t feel great about ourselves if we are constantly putting off tasks, we knew we have to address sooner or later, right?

The #1, most important way to end your procrastination right now, is to identify the smallest possible step you can take to make progress toward your goals, and try to start with just THAT tiny step. 

For example,

If you need to write an essay, you can decide to start by writing just a single word or sentence.  Gosh, how I wish I knew about this back in secondary school.

If you have to get a load of ironing done, start by setting up the ironing board and iron (don’t plug it in though!)

If you need to do your personal taxes for 2022, start by assembling a few documents like receipts or a binder for better organization.  What I mean is, gather a few things you will need for this process.  It’s a small step in the right direction.

If you want to start a workout routine, start by researching the type of exercise you want to do.  Watch the videos, prep your mind for what’s to come.  Maybe you could even get you workout clothes ready and laid out for easy access.

You’ll be amazed at how good it feels to take at least the smallest step in the direction of task completion.

So, let’s dive into ways to deal with procrastination when it rears its ugly head.

1. Forgive yourself for procrastinating in the past and flip the script on feeling lazy.

Now that you’ve accepted the situation, forgive yourself and allow yourself a fresh start.
If you believe you are lazy, be firm and make an identity shift since you become what you think.
Some people tend to label themselves as lazy as opposed to realizing it’s procrastination holding them back.  We will have to do a mindset shift here, because what or how we think of ourselves, becomes our identity.
You’ll have to flip the script from “I’m too lazy to do this”  to something like…
“I am going to take one small step by doing (blank).  I don’t need to complete the task today but I will commit to taking another small step tomorrow.” 

2. Understand the power of momentum.

It all begins with a single step.  I’ve already mentioned this.  By doing one simple thing to ensure you are moving in the right direction, you will create momentum within yourself.

To create momentum, do this: 
-> List 3 small tasks to do
-> Set a 50-minute timer
-> Take 10-minute breaks
-> Repeat

Completing tasks (or even partial completion of tasks) will reinforce the idea of finished them.  This, in turn, will solidify in your mind that you are capable.

3.  Break down your tasks.

Nothing great is or was built overnight. 
By focusing on smaller goals, the big goal will be less overwhelming.

4. Never multitask!

Keeping your focus on one task will allow you to:
-> Become more productive
-> Be less overwhelmed
-> Produce better output for the single task

5. Set deadlines.

You know how to stick to deadlines for your job, right?  Well, how about deadlines for yourself?
By completing tasks within the time boundaries you set, it will motivate you to keep on track.

6. Manage your energy, not your time.

o   Get in a solid 7 – 8 hours of sleep. 
o   Eliminate low-value tasks that need to be done.  Get these out of your way.
o   Do the most important task when you have the most energy. 
o   Take enough breaks.

7. Surround yourself with like-minded people.

Even better, get a mentor who has walked the path you are on and who can keep you on track.  This coach or mentor will help you stop making the excuses you allow yourself to all the time.

8.  Write a daily to-do list.

Make your to-do list short and actionable.
-> Be specific
-> Create urgency
-> Don’t overcomplicate it

9.  Eliminate distractions.

Situate yourself in a spot that is free of interruption especially when you have to do a demanding task.  We constantly get distracted by: our phones, our families, barking dogs, the TV.  So, find a spot that is quiet and more conducive to getting the task done.
10..  Be clear with what you want.

Clarity is key to overcoming procrastination.
You cannot go on a journey if you don’t know the destination. 

Don’t worry if you find yourself in the category of procrastination.  And, please don’t think of it as being lazy.

Statistics show that 20% of adults are chronic procrastinators.  That’s 1 in 5 of us. 

BUT… here’s the better news.  “Everybody procrastinates, but NOT everyone is a procrastinator.”

Follow the steps I have just talked about the next time you feel yourself putting a task off.  And, be sure to reward yourself once the task is finished.

And that’s my message for today, friends.

I would also like to invite you to become part of the Inspiration2grow community on Facebook.  The group name is: Inspiration2grow for Female Goal-getters.  It is meant to be a community of like-minded women who want to grow strong from the inside out.  There will be daily journalling prompts, nutrition and fitness tips, exercises to try, encouraging conversations among the community and lots more.  So, be sure to join this group for support, new ideas and the necessary rocket fuel to propel your health and wellness to new heights.

You owe it to yourself to take care of yourself, show up for yourself and become the best version of YOU.

In case you haven’t heard it yet today, let me be the first to tell you…

You are incredible, capable and your potential is limitless.  Never forget that I believe in you 100%.  Now, go out there and show the world what you are truly made of.

I hope to have inspired you to grow.

Til next time,
Lisa  xoxo