The struggle is real with procrastination.
I know 99% of us have struggled with it at one point or another. We often fight against it tooth and nail, in an attempt to push through it. Which usually makes it even worse or leaves us back at square one - staring at a laptop for an hour, making our 5th cup of tea, scrolling through Instagram for the 50th time that day or stuck in the funny animals section of YouTube (cute!)
What I find more helpful...as is the case with many struggles in life...is getting to the root cause of procrastination. Starting from there, we have some leverage in terms of how we can actually deal with it.
Fear of Failure
This one was such a light bulb moment for me. Most of us are procrastinating because we fear the task at hand. Whether it's going to be physically or emotionally challenging, going to set us on a new path for growth or discovery, or even completely change our life. Even if we want to achieve that thing more than anything else, the fear can hold us back.
Ask yourself - What is it you fear in that situation? Change? Failure? Rejection? Get to the bottom of it and address those fears! Acknowledge they're there, but also find purpose in completing that task and the benefit and progress you're going to get from finishing it. Which leads nicely onto the next cause...
Lack of Purpose
Many of us feel pressure to achieve certain goals, or strive for a particular ideal that we've been taught to want by society. Yet, we are not allowing our intuition to lead our goal setting, and instead going off what our parents would want, what we think we should want, what our friends earn, what our favourite celebrity looks like and does at the gym. We thrive off that drive to be accepted, to fit in.
What do you actually want? Because it's very likely, that one of the reasons you're procrastinating is you're fighting a losing battle with your gut instinct and being stubborn about achieving the aforementioned vanity goals you've been taught to want.
If you don't attach meaning or purpose to this task, then you're going to be hard pressed to find any motivation whatsoever to complete it. Motivation to act starts with a solid "why?" Figure out if the direction you're heading in is what you truly, deep down in your gut, want for yourself! It could be that it is, but you just haven't outlined that 'why' in enough detail. This is quick and easy to do in a journal, or on a piece of paper you can read when you're next struggling. But if it isn't, don't be afraid to change course - it's your goals and YOUR life.
Beating Yourself Up
We all have days where we lack energy. We can't focus. We're not in the mood. Sometimes, instead of fighting against it and failing continuously, we need to give into the lack of motivation and show ourselves some grace. Sometimes, stopping procrastination in its tracks looks like stepping away from the task and doing something really fun or fulfilling for a little bit.
Going for a walk, taking a break to make a snack, having a nap, phoning a friend or cuddling your pet. Sometimes, the way back to productivity is through doing something completely "unproductive" and recognising that procrastination might be a sign our brain needs to switch off for a bit.
It might also be time to address how you're showing up for yourself, to fuel your body and brain to tick off that to do list. Are you sleeping well? Do you have a consistent self care practice? Are you eating regularly? Instead of beating yourself up, build yourself back up so you've got a fighting chance.
- How do you deal with procrastination?
- Have you got any top tips to share? Leave them in the comments below!
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