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5 Ways to Stop Procrastination

just do itProcrastination can stop us from achieving what we want. It can also cause stress, anxiety and a lot of time-wasting. If you want to stop procrastination… 

you need to identify the reasons for it. Then you can put in place simple strategies to help you overcome your procrastination. Here are some of the main reasons why we procrastinate, and what you can do to change the habit of putting things off until tomorrow.

You perceive an upcoming task to be unpleasant or difficult

The human brain is hard wired to avoid pain (or perceived pain), so you’ll instinctively want to delay painful activities for as long as possible. But human beings are also lucky enough to have intellect and reasoning ability. Ask yourself: Would I be happier completing this task now and then feeling a sense of achievement? Or would I be happier worrying about it for a few days and then doing it at the last minute? The answer is obvious, but so often we don’t allow our logical reasoning to prevail. It might also be a good idea to reward yourself when you finish things you perceive as unpleasant.

You set yourself high standards and don’t want to start a task unless you know that the end result will be perfect

This is quite a common reason for procrastination, and the solution lies with your mindset. Being a true perfectionist is generally a bad thing! If you consistently expect things to go perfectly, you’ll never be satisfied, because most things don’t go exactly according to plan. Instead, do the best you can and expect things to go well, but not perfectly. Learn to be satisfied about a job well done, and on time. Look for progress, not perfection.

You fear failure

You spend so much time focusing on what could go wrong, you forget to focus on what you need to do to ensure things go right. Visualise a successful outcome, and this will help you to take positive steps to achieving your goal. Real failure is not trying in the first place.

You think you have to be “in the right mood” to begin your task

This is just an excuse. As soon as you start something, your mood usually changes as you get more involved in the activity and see progress. If you have the time, start now. Make this a habit and after a while it will become automatic. Scheduling tasks will make this a lot easier as you get into a routine where you don’t have to be ‘motivated’ every time – you just do it because it’s part of your day.

The task seems overwhelming or very complex and you just can’t face it

Sometimes it can feel daunting when you’re faced with a big project. The key is to break it down into manageable pieces – how to eat an elephant, right? Start with your goal, and then write down what needs to be done to achieve that goal within a certain timeframe. This is where scheduling specific tasks is important. If you can complete small, scheduled tasks on a daily basis, reaching your big goal becomes almost automatic, and your project will seem much less scary. Life coaching can help you with this process.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

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