Fighting Procrastination

noun- the action of delaying or postponing something.

We have all experienced a time or two when we put off doing something that needed to get done.  It happens to the most organized person all the way to the carefree spirit who lets life happen.

Studies have shown that there are various factors that can lead to someone procrastinating such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  Mental illness can impact our daily life and inhibit the desire to be productive.  If you are reading this post and believe that you may suffer from a mental illness and would like to seek help, I want to provide a resource for you or share it with someone you know who is struggling with mental illness.

Why do we procrastinate?

Putting off necessary tasks could be a result of wanting to feel inspired to do something or seeking the “right time” to tackle important to-dos.  There can be a large list of excuses used to prevent doing something important such as:

  • Not understanding what needs to get done
  • Not knowing how to get something done
  • Afraid of criticism and correction
  • Not wanting to do a task
  • Believing that you work best under pressure
  • Avoiding to prioritize
  • Not caring at all if the task gets done

How to overcome procrastination

There are a few ways that you can take small steps in overcoming procrastination.

  1. Create a to-do list. Jot down your tasks and put the due dates next to them.  If a task seems too large and complex, break it down into small chunks and work in mini sessions until you complete it on time.  Then, friend, pat yourself on the back for FINISHING.
  2. Identify fearful or frustrating emotions. When you are thinking about a task and you notice intruding thoughts flair up, identify the fear or negative thought immediately and address it. This would be a great time for you to journal these feelings or speak into your voice memo on your phone to get the inhibiting thoughts out of your head. Then, commit to spending a few minutes working on the task.  You can do it!
  3. Remove distractions. What are your main distractions? Is it social media or tv? Identify what can easily take your mind from handling business and remove it right then.  And, work a few minutes on the task so you can pat yourself on your back.  Again, you can do it!