How To Stop Procrastinating
First, don’t beat yourself up because you have reached the point where you are searching for articles on how to stop procrastinating.
The whole world defaults to the path of least resistance.
However, even if procrastination is in all things, this does not signify it’s a desirable strategy. And regularly, we find ourselves putting things off when we realize we will end up happier if we actually take action.
We whisper to ourselves, “I ought to really be at work,” as we shop for stuff on Amazon that we don’t even need, stand in front of the open refrigerator for the 4th time in an hour, or discover we’re watching how to play the trumpet tutorials on Facebook when we do not even own a trumpet.
This bad habit is not just about your job, it can impact other vital parts of our daily lives. Failing to get that worrying health symptom investigated by the doctor leaves an unidentified illness without treatment.
Avoid someone you need to have a serious chat with only makes the uncomfortable issue last longer. And postponing a significant decision, like separating, signing a contract, returning to college, or at long last switching to a career we actually enjoy, can result in decades of inactivity.
Ultimately, we beat ourselves up. We lament all the opportunities squandered as time slips through our hands.
Why can’t we just do it?
The remedy appears so easy: Just do it already. But the actuality is much more challenging, and to make things worse, procrastinating is in our DNA.
To put the icing on the cake, a report in the journal Psychology mentions that procrastination is, sadly, a lifetime characteristic.
So does that make the search for how to stop procrastinating pointless? Are we destined to a life of spending hours of mindlessly checking out 90’s pop music videos on Vimeo?
Much like the stress heads amongst us can work at relaxing, and those susceptible to stress can learn to let go, those of us who tend to put things off can discover our own techniques to help us concentrate and withstand our urges.
Procrastinating has many masks. In some cases, it’s merely picking enjoyment over self-control. In some cases, it’s an effort to stay away from something undesirable. And often it’s becoming immobilized by mind-boggling requirements.
For that reason, here are 5 diverse reasons that we procrastinate, and also a tailored strategy for each:
1. The activity isn’t important to us.
Whether it’s a ringing cell phone or a bill due to be paid soon, we have a tendency to only care of what’s right before us.
But it’s a great deal more difficult to focus on things that may not be critical. From arranging the cellar to saving for a pension, we all have matters we never get around to. Consequently, tasks large and small remain overlooked at the end of the to-do list for many months, if not decades.
Remedy: Think about the bigger picture.
However, believe it or not, this irritating propensity has good intentions. Learning how to stop procrastinating is difficult because people are wired to keep in mind the requirements of the here and now a lot more ardently than the needs of the long-term, an event called temporal discounting.
This is a human trait generated by a part of our mind called the Reticular Activating System and it makes flawless sense:
The here and now is what we focus on
If your house is on fire it would not be great if you insisted on finishing the laundry before you dealt with it.
The solution, according to a report in the Journal of Character and Cultural Psychology, is to accept a wider point of view instead of fault-finding the details. Check out daily duties via the lens of a grander image.
For instance, if you’ve been intending to return to college, but just never seem to get around to it, pause for a moment. If you take action what will this change about your life? What are your true objectives around your further education and learning?
How to Stop Procrastinating: What’s the big picture?
Tackling a brand-new viewpoint can jump-start the process of doing something about it.
Once you’ve made a decision to get started, it’s time to fight a fresh type of inaction which is …
2. We do not have an idea how to begin or what comes next.
Regularly, we find ourselves procrastinating, due to the fact that we’re uncertain what to do, to begin with. We feel overloaded, bewildered, or confused. We delayed starting since we’re unsure what the initial step is.
This type of putting things off is less an evasion of the activity and more dodging of detrimental feelings. Nobody likes to feel inept or naive, so who can criticize us for flipping our focus to Facebook and even sprucing up the kitchen instead.
Without a doubt, when we put off the activity at hand by doing other duties, it’s called productive procrastinating. And anybody who’s ever arranged the files on their PC or went shopping on the internet for an approaching social event rather than doing real work understands what I mean.
Remedy: Develop complexity into the activity.
The secret about learning how to stop procrastinating is to recognize that it’s completely normal to feel overloaded or dumb when you’re only beginning, particularly if you’ve never done the activity previously.
For that reason, create some complexity in the task. Make “figure out stages” the initial step.
As an alternative, many individuals need some external input to allow them to think, so brainstorm with your colleagues to come up with a game plan.
Keep in mind, it’s fine for the start of the project to consist of a great deal of turning points, and plain old screwing up. It only feels bad if you believe it should not be happening.
3. We’re scared of failing.
A sprinkle of perfectionism is not all negative. It goes without saying, high standards result in fantastic results. Many people are self-proclaimed perfectionists – it sounds like a good thing, but it’s not. Sometimes you have to tell yourself ‘it’s okay to be okay’ at something.
Remedy: Disentangle productivity and self-image.
Perfectionism and delay are connected, but it’s not always the exorbitant requirements that slow you down, but the crazy-high standards combined with a mindset that your functionality is linked to your self-respect. That blend can bring you to a total standstill.
Always keep in mind the essential distinction between who you are and what you accomplish. There’s a lot more to your value than your achievements, your character, loved ones, interests, experiences, journeys, friends, politics, style, awareness, difficulties you’ve conquered, and, most significantly, how you treat people.
4. Many of us work best with a deadline approaching.
All of us knew (or perhaps were) that teenager in senior high or university who could break open the schoolbook for the very first time a couple of days before the final examination and still do far better than those people who planned ahead of time.
Remedy: Understand Yourself Better
There is no right and wrong approach, those youngsters were planning ahead, merely differently. There are 2 kinds of procrastination: passive and active. Passive is what we generally consider ‘procrastination’: getting sidetracked by cat videos to the impairment of our work etc.
Active is more tactical, those of us who work better under force and like the adrenaline rush and extreme concentration that comes with a near due date may choose to begin later.
And, it appears, the decision pays off.
A report by several European scientists discovered that passive procrastination adversely impacts students’ Grade point averages, but active procrastinators’ grades come out just fine. The lesson here is to know who you are as a person.
If the stressful magnitude of pulling all-nighters works for you, go ahead and make that bucket of espresso and crack open the schoolbook at one in the morning.
5. We avoid boring as much as possible
What we’re expected to be doing is often boring. It’s difficult. It’s 3 p.m. on a lovely, sunny Friday, and we ‘d rather be doing just about anything else. No wonder people so often ask me how to stop procrastinating.
There are many things nobody likes to do; income taxes, contacting tech support or even just getting off the sofa to go to bed.
What to do in this case?
Remedy: Setting powerful goals.
A report in the International Journal of Character revealed that lots of university students who procrastinated did this just because there were exciting alternatives available. In their minds, they weren’t avoiding doing their work, they entirely planned to study.
Just not right now.
And much like the active subset from the prior research study, these people also knew themselves well. The report discovered that they made up for their propensity to procrastinate by planning to study more and getting to it sooner than those non-procrastinating folk.
Invest In Yourself
Simply put, they appropriated for time squandered from the beginning. And in the long run? They actually studied more, not a lot more, but hey it’s still a result.
To sum up: if you wish to learn how to stop procrastinating, consider the bigger picture, understand it’s alright to be overwhelmed and perplexed at the start, keep in mind your value transcends your accomplishments, and, above all, learn to love yourself more.
Work with your inclination to delay as it is, not as you wish it to be. So jump on that, oh of course, straight after you watch that video clip on how to get rid of fluff on your sweater.
Take it to the next level?
Are you ready to take this to the next level and actually get started on unlocking your full potential in life?
Craig Beck’s Unleashed: Live event is a powerful next step.
Come spend the day with bestselling author and master coach Craig Beck and learn how to stop procrastinating and live life like you mean it.