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Procrastination Central

Procrastination, or historically (pre the internet) known as habitual hesitation. One of the first things I learned when diving deeper into this topic is that procrastination is a human condition. About 95% of people admit to putting off work, according to Piers Steel, author of The Procrastination Equation. And even he would argue that the remaining 5% are lying. So procrastination, is an emotional reaction to something we don’t want to do, so the more averse you find a task, the more likely you are to procrastinate. Research has shown that a clear set of seven triggers are most commonly found to make a task seem more averse. Bring to mind something you’re putting off right now — you’ll probably find that task has many, if not all, of these characteristics; Boring Frustrating Difficult Ambiguous Unstructured Not intrinsically rewarding (i.e., you don’t find the process fun) Lacking in personal meaning So much of this explains why my husband hates housework and simply finds other things to do before it!

However, the big one that stood out to me was "Difficult", and let me tell you why. Procrastination researcher and Carleton University psychology professor Timothy A. Pychyl, PhD says when one of the biggest triggers to procrastination is usually self-doubt. A fear of failure. Most delayers betray a tendency for self-defeat, but they can arrive at this point primarily from a negative state (fear of failure, not feeling like the thing will be good enough, or perfectionism). You know what you ought to do and you’re not able to bring yourself to do it. Procrastination is the gap between intention and action. How to overcome and prevent Procrastination? • Self Forgiveness - Studies show that self-forgiveness can help you to feel more positive about yourself and reduce the likelihood of procrastination in the future. • Remove Distractions - This is a big one for me, before I sit down to do the task, I remove all distractions. I bring in everything I could need so I don't need to leave the room including water and snacks. I leave my phone in the other room, close all the open tabs on my laptop and sometimes even switch the WiFi off if I don't need it for my work. • Manageable Steps - we often avoid tasks because they seem too big or we think they'll take up too much time, so break them out, start with a really small manageable goal and timeframe and do that repeatedly till its done. • Schedule the time in advance - block it in your diary, weeks ahead, know that on that day that is the task you need to do for 10, 20 minutes or 1hour etc. The same way you would schedule a play date or a coffee. • Celebrate the small wins - no matter how small! If you've been putting something off for EVER and you've finally sat and scheduled and completed 10 minutes worth, giving yourself a friggin high 5. You will feel awesome and proud. Lastly, and again the ones I can relate to the most;

  • Remember your WHY - if you procrastinate against your goals, you are wasting time. I remind myself why I am doing what I am, to create the life I desire, and by procrastinating I am preventing myself from getting there. By getting the job done, I am one step closer. Stay focused on your end goal, while taking those small steps to get there. The feelings your WHY will invoke are worthy of putting your phone in a drawer and getting shit done.

  • Get ACCOUNTABLE - oh my lord, if I need to do something for myself? Procrastination Central. If I need to do it for someone else? I'll have it done yesterday. Or I know someone is going to come looking for me and remind me of a deadline? Done yesterday. Accountability coaches and partners and designed to keep you on track, manage your excuses and remind you why you're here. They will get you to your goal with love, guidence and honesty. So, implement these steps, have a kind word with yourself, and get the job done. Then you get to celebrate! It's worth it just to celebrate yourself right? Go make yourself proud.

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