08 Dec Sick of feeling Stuck?….
5 ways to beat procrastination and start making decisions you feel confident about.
- Recognise the cycle of procrastination
Seeing Procrastination as a Cycle shows us that procrastination is like a vicious negative spiral that we get stuck in. The good thing about a cycle, is that usually we can reverse it from a negative cycle to a more positive cycle.
Once you accept you are in a procrastination cycle and realise that procrastination is a habit, you can start to find ways to address the issue more fully.
Start by recognising it as a problem. Be motivational towards yourself rather than critical. Put into action practical strategies to stop procrastinating
- Look at how you make excuses and avoid decisions and accept these are part of procrastination
Procrastination excuses usually involve some grain of truth about the current situation we are facing. Using these excuses, we conclude we are better off postponing a task, decision or goal to another time. These excuses make us feel that our procrastination is justified, reasonable, acceptable and OK. As such, these excuses play a big role in leading us to procrastinate, putting off decisions until a ‘better’ time. We need to learn how to dismiss the excuses in order to start moving forward with tasks at work and at home.
Here are some common procrastination excuses – Do any resonate with you?
|The Truth||Unhelpful Conclusion||Helpful Conclusion|
|I’m really tired||I’m better off doing it after I have rested||But I can still make a small start right now|
|I will miss out on the fun happening now||I can always wait till nothing much is happening||I will miss out on the fun happening now, but if I get some of it done, I can reward myself with other fun later|
|I don’t have everything I need||I will wait till I do||I don’t have everything I need but I can still try to make a start on some bits of the task|
|I have plenty of time||So I don’t have to start it now||I have plenty of time but better to get on top of it now than leave it to the last minute|
|I have other things to do||I will do it once those things are finished||But they are not more important and can be done after this
These unhelpful conclusions follow the unrealistic notion that tomorrow will somehow miraculously be a better time to get productive and follow through with things. However, often if we wait for a time when we feel rested, motivated, inspired, have no distractions, have everything we possibly need, have more time, have finished all the other things that we could possibly be doing…we will be waiting a very long time for just the right conditions to come together to get started on a task or goal.
Accept that the conclusions we make to put things off are usually the product of procrastination and potentially fear of failure. The best thing to do is be curious and see what happens when you take action. Start this by working out what you need to do:
- Write a To Do List and Prioritise Effectively
- Write a ‘To Do’ list of tasks and goals you need to work on. This could be a list for the day, the week, the month, or longer, depending on what makes most sense for your circumstances. Use a format that fits in with your life – a phone app, spreadsheet, notebook, calendar or diary are good starting points.
- Prioritise the list of tasks, numbering them from most important to least important. Grade each task, by breaking the task into all the small steps or ‘chunks’ that are involved in achieving the task.
- Accurately estimate how much time each step of each task or goal will take. To manage your time availability, so that you know when you can do your tasks and goals, use a timetable to either schedule your week. At the beginning of your week write into your timetable your existing commitments and routine, and then plan into your timetable specific times in your week for doing specific tasks and goals you have been putting off.
- How to get going and start making decisions.
When contemplating how to do a task, there are numerous ways you can approach any given task to make it easier. When joining our BraintrainersUK Masterclass Training you will go into depth on ways to support yourself and others to overcome the procrastination. As a starting point why not use a tried and tested method you can use today – the idea of time limiting the task – here are 2 options:
Just 5-Minutes: plan to spend just 5 minutes on the task. This is such a small amount of time, so you will feel you can tolerate just 5 minutes. At the end of the 5 minutes, reassess and see if you can spend just another 5 minutes on the task, and so on.
Set Time Limits: set a specific amount of time to work on a task (e.g., 30 minutes), and stick to just that, rather than extending things even if you feel you can.
- Build in rewards
Reward yourself after something has been achieved or as a well earned break from a task. The more you reward yourself for small achievements, the less you will feel like you are missing out or being deprived, hence you will procrastinate less. Use visualisation as a way of imagining what it will feel like to have made a decision, started a task or when a task has been completed. This sense of wellbeing will help motivate you to start.
The Brain Trainers UK – We have over 20 years each of experience working in mental health, and can work with you individually or through one of our CBT based courses that focus on understanding the problem but also giving you lifelong tools to manage your own negative thinking styles and unhelpful behaviours that feed the perfectionism.
Find out how we can help through a free consultation. Book a discovery call today with Carrie or Kim.
Kim and Carrie
+44 (0) 7510 223561 – +44(0) 07549 857216
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