Breaking the Procrastination Pattern

Do you always put off today what can be done tomorrow? Maybe tomorrow never comes? Are you feeling overwhelmed by everything that needs to be achieved and that just freezes you into inaction?

We are all guilty of procrastinating from time to time, however it can become a real problem if tomorrow never comes and your list of things to do just keeps growing without you making any progress.

So, how do you begin to overcome this?Well, the first thing is to recognise that you are probably procrastinating! The second, is to be realistic about how you start to change the way you do things and thirdly, probably the most brutal, is to be honest with yourself that unless you can start again with a blank sheet, there will still be some work to do, both behaviourally and physically.

The biggest lesson I had to learn the reason why I was procrastinating. This is a crucial step as it means that we are recognising that something needs to change.

The trouble is that once we start putting off a task, it can seem more and more daunting to get going again.

I can speak from experience. I needed to complete a 7000 word thesis and I really didn't want to write it, so just put it to the back of my mind and tried to forget about it. Of course, the longer I went without doing it, the more I thought about it! It was dominating my life and I hadn't even written it!

Eventually, I had to take action - so I started by just writing a title on a page. Then, the following evening, I grabbed my notepad and just started writing some random ideas! Sounds crazy. but I just wanted to break the pattern.

Amazingly, it felt good, and I carried on like this - just writing random things down for a couple of weeks.From there I was able to go on to write the Thesis and submit it within a few weeks.

My learning...

The longer you avoid doing something the bigger it gets inside your mind and the more overwhelmed you feel. ANY PROGRESS that gets you started wipes away that feeling and gives you a fresh start, and from there it's easier to keep moving once you've got a little momentum.

Top tips to help you take action today:

Stop looking at the end goal - think smaller and more immediately

When you've taken the first step - congratulate yourself and do the same again.

Quick wins (those actions with immediate impact), help us to stay motivated and see actions as progress.

Work out your preferred time period - in other words set yourself a time goal!!

If you think it might help you, tell others what you are doing - knowing that others may check in with you can be very encouraging (or the kick up the backside that you need!)

Focus on the benefits, for instance I knew once I'd tackled my written work, I would be able to close the door on it!

Just do something! Anything! Try it and see what happens!

 

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