Procrastination is defined as the act of delaying or postponing something. It’s estimated that 80% of the population considers themselves to be a procrastinator and 20% say it’s a chronic problem for them. We’ve all done it at one time or another; we avoid the most important task at hand in favor of something easy and mindless. Instead of working on a report, we check email 15 times. Instead of exercising, we watch t.v. or check our email another 15 times. We come up with all sorts of excuses as to why we can’t focus on our task, but in the end we know it’s just because it seems too hard or too boring to tackle. So instead, we carry the shame of not doing what we are supposed to do. It follows us around and makes us feel less than everyone else who is doing the “right” thing. You’d think this would be motivating but for most, it just keeps the cycle going: “If I’m already this behind, it’ll be impossible to catch up so I might as well just stay stuck.” This can happen all the at work, at home and especially with our health! If you are interested in breaking this vicious cycle, read on!
If you procrastinate, admit it to yourself and know that it’s just a habit. You aren’t a bad person, you just have a mindset of delaying joy which you can turn around by:
- Breaking tasks down into smaller time commitments
- Scheduling the tasks on your calendar and treating them like the most important meetings or activities of your week
- Do the hardest things first
- Tell a friend, family member or colleague what you are doing and enlist their support
- Become a pride junkie! Look beyond the task and allow yourself to feel what it will feel like when you are done. Let this pride energy pull you through the task.
- Take the time to celebrate your small accomplishments along the way. Find things that keep you on track like reading, spending time with friends, getting outside….
Remember this… if you want things to be different, you have to think and act differently. You will not achieve different results with the same thoughts and actions. Be bold when you need to be and make a commitment to just do it!