Have you ever felt like you’re running out of time? Don’t feel discouraged because it’s common to get lost in your routine and lose track of time. But, when it turns into procrastination, that’s when it can become an issue in achieving your goals to live the life you love. Procrastination is a common behavior we use to sabotage ourselves and keep playing mediocre.
Unfortunately, no one has created a time machine for us to go back in time and fix our mistakes, but we can move forward and make effective changes in our lives to achieve clarity. Life is full of experiences and it’s perceived by how we use our time to fulfill our biggest potential. The question for you is, are you ready to take back control of your time and stop procrastinating?
Why Do I Procrastinate?
Have you ever been in a situation where you knew what you needed to do, but simply didn’t do it? What about waiting until the last minute to do something because you didn’t care? Or, even putting off an important task. These are all examples of procrastination. 8 of out 10 people I know attribute procrastination to laziness. But, is that correct? No, procrastination isn’t about laziness. It is much deeper than that. There are two main aspects to it. At one level lies our lack of focus. This is linked to the inability to stay put on what is needed to do. When we lack focus we lose motivation to get things done, especially when we feel defeated. Unknowingly, distractions fill up our space with unnecessary things while slowly pulling us away from our path. Once we stray from our path, we may easily feel overwhelmed with our never-ending list of duties. And instead of pausing to reestablish our priorities, we may have the urge to give up, wave our white flag and surrender to time.
While focus is a skill and can be learned, it may not always help us in overcoming procrastination. As Dr. Tim Pychyl, associate professor in the department of psychology at Carleton University Ottawa, said, “Procrastination is not merely a time management problem. It is rather, at a deeper level, an emotion regulation problem.” In other words, procrastination is an avoidance strategy stemming from how we feel. It keeps us from doing the very things that we know we need to do. Everyone has a different reason to procrastinate, but every reason points to how we feel first. Feelings of self-doubt, low self-esteem, anxiety, insecurity or fears about getting ridiculed, or rejected, or even fear of failure are strongly connected to the real reason why we procrastinate. There is an obvious, although perhaps yet undetected, reward for procrastinating. Having this awareness can help deal with procrastination.
HOW CAN I STOP PROCRASTINATING?
Before I get on with the real tactics of how you can overcome procrastination, it is important to understand that procrastination is about emotions first and then about time and space management. Keeping this in mind, when it comes to dealing with emotions, the practice of forgiveness and self-compassion can help to manage them in new and improved ways. Forgiveness is when we forgive ourselves in the moments of procrastination instead of beating yourself up, and self-compassion comes with the acceptance of the situation and dealing with it in a kind and compassionate manner. A study done in 2010 by Dr. Tim Pychyl and Dr. Michael Wohl showed that increased self-forgiveness among a sample of 119 university students reduced procrastination and appeared to be constructive in the short-term. Conscious breathing also helps when tackling procrastination with forgiveness and self-compassion. EFT tapping can also help people who feel trapped in an emotional cycle that keeps them from living a lifestyle they would love to experience.
Another tactic that helps with stopping procrastination is how Susan Jeffers puts it in her book, Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway – pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness. Sometimes, all you need to do is take the fear head-on or the leap over the fear and jump into action.
Once you have handled the emotional aspect of procrastination, it’s time to move into the realm of setting goals. As Linda Yoonjin, a brain education trainer and director/producer of Brain Education TV, puts it, “Setting a goal is important to mastering time and space.” In the below video, she explains the benefits of planning and how to manage your time and surroundings in order to overcome procrastination.
Many people need systems, support, and accountability measures when it comes to creating an exponential lifestyle for themselves. That’s where a life coach comes in. A coach is someone who helps you go deeper within yourself and explore perspectives and possibilities that you never previously thought of. The end result – You eventually get to where you want to be at your own pace.
People notice you and your energy even if they do not make direct contact with you. With the help of goals, we can vividly see our plan and how we want to achieve it, and that attracts the people we need in our lives to achieve those goals. We unknowingly spread high life energy when we are focused and determined. With this energy, we are also able to relate to others and their experiences.
Now that you know why you procrastinate and more importantly how to overcome your procrastination, go out and unleash your true potential.