Overcoming Procrastination

”You feel overwhelmed. You can’t seem to make yourself do what you need to do, and now it’s all catching up with you. Don’t worry; procrastination is incredibly common and affects everyone at some point in their lives. The key is learning how to overcome it, so your life isn’t ruled by the fear of deadlines or potential failure, but rather by a sense of independence and accomplishment.

The first step towards overcoming procrastination lies in understanding why we do it. This may be because we are afraid of making mistakes, lack confidence in our abilities, or simply don’t understand how best to approach a task. As a result, we put off doing anything at all until the deadline looms closer than expected. We also often struggle with tasks that appear too difficult or time-consuming compared with those that hold less appeal, leading us into ‘avoidance mode’. To tackle this issue head-on, try breaking down big projects into small, manageable chunks, as well as rewarding yourself for each completed task, regardless of how small they may be.

It has been suggested that negative self-talk compounds these effects. If you find yourself engaging in thoughts such as ‘I’m not capable enough’ or ‘This will take too long’, switch them out for positive affirmations like ‘I am capable of completing this task successfully before my deadline’ or ‘I have everything I need to achieve great things today!’ A little bit goes a long way here; reminding ourselves that we can overcome any challenge placed before us when given the proper tools (and motivation!) helps develop more productive habits over time.

Developing an effective routine can also help alleviate feelings associated with procrastinating such as guilt or anxiety, while promoting discipline and focus throughout your day/weekend/etc. Firstly, decide what needs doing and allocate sufficient time based on estimates rather than expectations. Schedules should look realistic and achievable, no matter how daunting they initially appear. Then ensure you stick rigidly to plans throughout the week, while setting aside regular breaks between activities. Science suggests that taking five minutes every couple of hours relaxes both mind and body, helping to maintain momentum without feeling overwhelmed by deadlines, etc. Additionally, create effective work spaces; reducing clutter and other distractions creates ideal conditions for concentration, while having designated rest areas helps establish boundaries between personal and professional domains, encouraging healthy lifestyle practices such as eating well, sleeping plenty, avoiding excessive drinking, reducing caffeine intake where possible, and exercising regularly outside the home environment. Find ways to make tasks enjoyable, with rewards or incentives, and track progress. Consider employing accountability partners, too.

Finally, remember that even though perfectionism isn’t conducive to prosperity, it does not mean we cannot achieve great things. So don’t try to mentally beat yourself up when everything does not go smoothly quite contrary, try to stay positive, even in the face of setbacks, so that the momentum of the task at hand can be strengthened. Remember, failure is not the final event; eventually, the learning curve will kick in as long as persistence remains an active ingredient. Procrastination will dissipate…”

Disclaimer: The information provided on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other qualified health-care professional. No action should be taken solely on the contents of this information. The contents of the website are provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Guest Post by Stephanie Hampton