Tag Archives: procrastination

7 ways to overcome procrastination

 

procrastinator

7 ways to overcome procrastination

 

1)List the advantages and disadvantages of procrastinating from the task

Draw up to columns on a sheet of paper and list the advantages and disadvantages. Remember, procrastination has many advantages: it is easy, you don’t have to face the possibility of failure, you can do something else more pleasurable. It is important to recognise the advantages as they may be too good to give up. Weigh the advantages against the disadvantages. You may learn that the task is just not right for you.

2) just do it

Your expectations are usually worse than reality. Like get into the constant pool, it is better to just jump in.

3) Plan it

Put it in your diary, or on your ‘to do’ list. Make it part of your routine rather than having to think about it. Start the day with your least pleasant task, then the day gets better. Decide on a specific time to get started.

4) Break the task up into smaller parts

If the task is overwhelming, do it a piece at a time. For example, just plan to do 15 minutes’ worth of work; often the sense of achievement will motivate you to do more. Mix the task up with more pleasurable activities and carry it out little and often.

5) Think differently

Challenge distorted thinking such as ‘awfulising’,’ black and white thinking’, and’ jumping to conclusions’. Concentrate on how good you will feel when you have done it. Lower your expectations. Aim to do an adequate, rather than a brilliant job.

6) Plan rewards and reinforcements

Reward yourself with something once you have done the dreaded deed. If it doesn’t work out as well as you hoped, you the experience as valuable learning.

7) Set deadlines and work towards them

Say to yourself, ‘I will have done before the end of the week, or the end of the year’.

 

Write down what you are putting off:

 

Write down the advantages and disadvantages of putting it off

 

 

 

Mandy X

 

 

 

 

 

Image: courtesy of rocknrollbride.com

7 Reasons why people procrastinate

 

stop-procrastination

7 Reasons why people procrastinate

Procrastination means putting something that we know we need to do. Most of us procrastinate to some extent. We have all said “I’ll do it later” or “I must get around to doing that”. But some people habitually procrastinates to such an extent that tasks build up their lives become very stressful.

Procrastination often amounts to deliberately avoiding having to confront our fears. Procrastination flourishes into optimal conditions. First, when the task is not urgent-we do not have to do it right now-there is time to do it in future. Second, when there is something more pleasurable to do now. Procrastination is usually about putting pleasure before pain.

1) Lacking a sense of mastery

You may hold the attitude that successful people achieve their goals without frustration and self-doubt. When the going gets tough you think, “this is not how it should be, this is wrong” and give up. Whereas people who are consistently successful have a ‘sense of mastery’ and assume that life will be a tough frustrating struggle, to be mastered. So, when they encounter obstacles they just carry on because that’s what they expect.

2) Assume you have to be in the mood

Procrastinators often think, “I don’t feel like it, I’ll wait until I’m in the mood”. But with some tasks that are boring or too demanding you will never feel in the mood. Successful people will often put action before motivation. Once you get started and begin to feel a sense of accomplishment it spurs you on to do more.

3) Fear of failure

You may leave the task until the last minute and then say, “I didn’t have enough time to do it properly”. By doing so you give yourself an excuse and protect yourself from the reality that your best effort might not have been good enough. Alternatively, if you are something of a perfectionist, you may think “I do not want to start unless I can do it properly or perfectly-otherwise I will feel like a failure”.

4) Fear of rejection or intimacy

You may avoid inviting friends around, or making a telephone call, in case you get rejected. Alternatively you may not feel comfortable with the other person getting to know you. Procrastination helps you maintain a safe emotional distance, allowing you to avoid revealing yourself to others.

5) Fear of success

If you do it really well you may draw attention to yourself or create more work for yourself.

6) Getting back at somebody

You may be putting something off as a way of getting back at somebody. If you’re feeling bossed around or coerced into doing something, your procrastination may be an indirect way of expressing anger or rebelling.

7) Lack of commitment

You may simply not consider the task important enough to put in the effort. Alternatively, you may think “it’s an unpleasant task and I would prefer to do something else”.

Procrastination leads to an accumulation of stress and pressure. Try chunking as a way of eating in to your daily tasks. Instead of looking at the insurmountable amount of work that needs to be done, break the workload down into smaller manageable tasks. This way, the work ahead will seem less overwhelming and more manageable.

Watch out for the next post on this blog as it deals with ways to overcome procrastination.

Mandy X

Why we procrastinate

procrastination photoWhy we procrastinate

Procrastination mainly comes about from our inner dialogue. Whatever story we are telling ourselves is what keeps us from tackling a specific project or task.

The types of thoughts that I have commonly found when seeing clients have been statements like: I am not sure if I am good enough to complete the task. I am not sure I am up to the task.

Other statements include: It has to be perfect, I can’t accept anything less than perfect.

It takes a while to peel away the layers of though and core beliefs to get to the above statements but once there we can begin to challenge how true these thoughts are.

Procrastinators tend to be people with very high expectations and a lot of self doubt. The two traits go together to cause a person to delay unecessarily. They fear failure and they fear ‘proving’ to themselves that they are indeed “useless” or “unloveable” (depending on what the situation is).

If you are procrastinating, ask yourself if you are putting ridiculous pressure on yourself to perform. What are you afraid of? If you fear failure, reassess what failure is to you. Failure isn’t about trying and it not working out, rather see failure as never trying at all. Look at failure differently. Separate your behaviour from you as a person – you are not a failure. Protect yourself from negative thoughts that pull you down. Thoughts are not facts.

Get stuck in and even if it doesn’t turn out quite as you expected, you will soon see that you are better able to deal with it than you anticipated. Don’t fear life and action. Fear inactivity as this will lead to low confidence and possibly even more self doubt.

Don’t take life so seriously. Give yourself a break and have fun.

Mandy X

Photo by Rennett Stowe

fear of failure

Are you a ‘dabbler’ or a ‘doer’?

 loser photo

Are you a ‘dabbler’ or a ‘doer’?

One of my favourite words in the English dictionary is “flibbertigibbet”. A flibbertigibbet is described as an unreliable, excessively chatty, flighty person who seems busy but actually gets very little done. A flibbertigibbet is definitely a dabbler – someone who never quite gets serious and stuck in to  life.

So, do you think you are a ‘dabbler’ or a ‘doer’? It’s important to make the distinction as being a dabbler means you are more likely to spend your time ‘spinning your wheels in the mud’. Dabblers put in the effort but they put the effort towards things that won’t bring the right results.

Characteristics of a dabbler:

1) Easily led by others.

2) Lack of clear precise goals.

3) Commitment-phobic on most levels: relationships, work, non-reliability in most areas of life.

4) Lack focus and procrastinate often.

5) Easily distracted from their aims and goals in favour of what others want them to do. This often helps further other people’s aims and goals whilst leaving the dabbler achieving very little for themselves.

6) Lack of self awareness and personal boundaries.

7) Dabblers can lack determination and persistence.

8) Dabblers are often referred to as the ‘plodders’ in life. They are not overly ambitious even though they may claim they are.

9) Dabblers like to play it safe. They don’t like to muck in and get their hands dirty – they are not good at dealing with the tougher side of life and tend to withdraw or disappear temporarily when there is trouble. Can be seen as being ‘fair weather friends’.

10) Lack empathy and compassion.

If you think you are a dabbler there are many things you can do to turn yourself into a ‘doer’.

How to stop being a Dabbler:

1) Identify areas in your life where you lack commitment. Is it in your personal life, professional life or do you lack conviction when it comes to carrying out your own ambitions in life?

2) Once you have identified these areas, try to understand why you lack commitment. What are you afraid of? Our fears are often worse in our heads than they are when they really happen.

3) Tune in to your inner wisdom and improve your self awareness. What makes you happy? Where do you want to be in 2 years time? 5 years time?

4) Have clear goals and make sure you spend a little bit of time every day working towards these goals, no matter how small the tasks. We all need to feel we have purpose in our lives.

5) Examine your beliefs around being more reliable and getting involved when life gets messy. Many people have negative thoughts around having to deal with emotional issues of others, hardships in life and difficult situations. These people tend to dabble around the edges and never get involved. You will have a lot more self respect if you “man-up/woman-up” and do the right thing instead of protecting yourself. Being supportive, being there in a crisis and being a problem solver increases self confidence and self belief. Dabblers rarely learn these skills because they play it safe.

6) Mature, balanced adults rarely disappear when the going gets tough. They believe they can make a difference and believe in their abilities. Do you believe in yourself? Do you believe you have the skills to carry a project through to the end? Do you tell yourself that no matter what comes your way, you will find a way around it? This is the talk of successful winners.

7) Learning to stand alone, have clear opinions, make mistakes and learn as we go is a great approach to life. Dabblers are frightened of life. Doers dive right in, they know they can handle stress and pressure even if they don’t exactly enjoy it.

Dabblers think they are doing themselves favours by tiptoeing around the edges of life. Instead, they are numbing their effectiveness and end up living a passive life with very few highs. Perhaps they miss the real lows as well but there is a high price to pay for this attitude in life. They will never learn the skills of resilience, self belief and the exhilaration of overcoming the odds.

Mandy X

Photo by symphony of love

Photo by symphony of love

mental inertia

Overcome Mental Inertia

motivation photo

How do we overcome mental inertia? People by nature are fearful of loss, whether that is financial, emotional or related to status or power. We are obsessed with accumulating safety, security and certainty. What we often ignore though is the fact that life is inherently uncertain. There are no guarantees or real security no matter how hard we try to play it safe. Too many fearful thoughts can lead us to mental inertia, where we feel safer in our well known comfort zone. The problem with our comfort zone is that it doesn’t stretch us in any way. I believe we all owe it to ourselves to find out our strengths and weaknesses and to figure out what we are truly capable of. This cannot happen if we consistently remain in our comfort zone. A little bit of discomfort creates a large amount of personal development.

Ways to overcome “Mental Inertia”:

  1. Visualise the positive results of your action and how good you will feel about yourself.
  2. Take action. If you start move physically, the brain will follow comply.
  3. Take small steps to begin with and count every small step as a victory and proof that you have it within you to make changes.
  4. Take a balanced approach. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. There will be times when you feel less motivated and that’s okay.
  5. Be optimistic about your capabilities.
  6. Adjust your concept of failure. See failure as never trying at all rather than trying and it not working out. There is a valuable lesson in every attempt that doesn’t quite work out.
  7. Self belief is key. Talk to yourself in a motivational way – “I can do it”.

 

Set yourself deadlines, don;t get caught up in the tiniest of details and get stuck in. I remember in one of my past jobs, there was this sales guy with the letters GOYA scrawled boldly above his desk. He told me they stood for:

 

Get Off Your Ass

Now that’s good advice – plain and simple. No excuses….   🙂

Mandy X

Photo by runonbeat

Do Something Different!

 

Never be afraid to try something new, because ...

Never be afraid to try something new, because life gets boring when you stay within the limits of what you already know. (Photo credit: deeplifequotes)

Did you know that most people tend to procrastinate? Are you one of them? Why do so many of us delay the inevitable? when you put effort and energy into trying to get what you want in ways that don’t work it will leave you frustrated and stuck. Ask yourself what it is that you want and what isn’t currently working in your life. What is leaving you feeling exhausted, mentally, emotionally or physically? Do you keep coming up against the same brick wall but still push forward in the hope of knocking it down? If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you will keep getting the same result-like a rat in a maze-you will keep repeating the same path.

 

If you believe that life will be a struggle, it most likely will be. What are you afraid of? If something isn’t flowing smoothly or if your efforts are not rewarded, stop what you’re doing and try something different. We tend to be creatures of habit and more often than not, we stick with what we know even when it no longer fulfils us. You can turn this thinking on its head, challenge your limiting ideas. The life you are living now is not a dress rehearsal. Decide what needs to be done, stop making excuses and think positively about what the future may hold. Don’t worry if you don’t know what the “something different” is, the first step is to just stop the old behaviours.

Trust in the positive adventures that lie ahead and believe that there is always something better out there for you and that grabbing this “something better” can only happen when you let go of what is not working. fear can cripple us and deny us a full exciting life. Stop exhausting yourself, let go of the struggle and believe that your future can be bright. You may not know how you’re going to change your current situation but taking small steps will eventually lead to there. Sometimes we know what we need to do, we just need to find the courage to take action. Be brave and marvel in your pioneering efforts.

Let go of obstinacy. If you’ve been using aggressive tactics, be willing to soften. If you’ve been playing the victim, be willing to become active and stand firm about who you are and what you want. When you do something different, he immediately change the dynamic allowing others to react differently too.

Free yourself and always tell yourself “no matter what comes my way, I will find a way around it”.

Mandy X

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What are you waiting for?

waiting

When you wait nothing seems to happen. Don’t kid yourself and hope for something to fall in your lap…go out and get it. Stop procrastinating and get on with it. Just do it.

Seize the moment and start the ball rolling. No matter how small. Every action that promotes future engagement and activity is worthwhile. It gives you a psychological boost and feeds your motivation. But you have to start somewhere. Get off your butt, make a to-do list and start the process. If not now…when? What silly excuses are you giving yourself to delay? Are they really valid and do they help you to feel better about yourself and your life..I think not.

So – even if it doesn’t work out or the effort you put in leads to nothing, you can still have the satisfaction that you did something. Hopefully you will learn from what you did as well – good or bad.

Life isn’t a dress rehearsal. Get that costume on, stick on the make up and hair and get out there. face the music, be brave and have fun. Stop taking yourself so seriously….see life as fun. It can be adventure if you let it.

 

Mandy X