Does procrastination have control of you?
I’m sure most of us are familiar with procrastination in our daily lives. Things like putting a report together for work, studying for a test, cleaning the house, laundry, etc. These are things we know have to be done, but we may put off until the last minutes. With this type of daily procrastination, we often discover once we complete the task that it was not near as difficult as we had imagined. We could have saved ourselves hours of stress by just completing what we needed to do. “What overwhelms us is not the work itself. It’s thinking how hard it’s going to be. It’s seeing it get larger every day. It’s putting it off and hoping somehow, through some miracle, it will disappear”.
The halfway me was queen at daily procrastination. In college, I would wait until the last minute on all of my assignments. It would create such stressful situations for me that I had decided I hated college… it was just too stressful. Looking back now, I realize it was me who was creating those situations. I had control of time, and I was choosing to give that power up to procrastination. Here are some things that have helped me overcome daily procrastination:
- Write out everything you need to do on a piece of paper (sometimes just getting things on paper helps relax our minds). Pick the task that is most important and simply begin doing it. Once you complete that item, check it off, and move to the next. You will immediately start to feel more confident and motivated as your list shortens.
- Deadlines: First, set them for completing your tasks. Second, reduce the time limit in which you gave yourself (sometimes we can give ourselves too much time). Parkinson’s Law says “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” The more time you give yourself, the more time it will take you!
- Realize YOU control how you use your time, so use it wisely! Once you give up control of time you are giving power to stress.
- Don’t turn on the T.V. or partake in social activities until you have completed the things you need to do. Just remember, if you haven’t completed what you need to do, it will follow you around in the back of your mind, and you probably won’t be able to enjoy the activity anyways.
- Take a second and visualize (not daydream!) how it will feel and what you will do once you complete the things on your to-do-list. Think about the feeling of freedom to go out with your friends, or watch an episode of your favorite T.V. show completely relaxed.
Daily procrastination is something most of us can relate to because we are so familiar with it. But what happens when procrastination starts to trickle down and affect areas of our life we are not even aware of? What happens when it gets its ugly arms around what we want for our lives?
How fear feeds procrastination
Have you ever had a vision, goal, or dream of doing something, but the thought of taking action scared you? It is human nature to fear what we don’t know. Our brain will work hard to try and keep us from things we fear. If we let it, that fear will feed procrastination, and we will never take action. My idea of starting a blog was not something I had to do. It had no deadline, and it was something that scared me. This was a perfect excuse to procrastinate taking a step in the right direction. So how was I able to beat the procrastination that was convincing me to stay in my usual “safe” world?
Well, we fear things we don’t know; therefore, LEARN! I was fearful of starting a blog because I had never done it before, I didn’t have a clue where to start. I began to search, to read, and to take in as much information as I could. The blogging community is amazing, and there is a ton of excellent information out there. The more I learned about it, the more confident I felt about taking action. We can apply this to any area of our lives. If we fear something, learn about it; feed yourself with knowledge, not procrastination.
The Same is True for My Life
For so long I had procrastinated taking action with creating the life I wanted because I feared my lack of potential. It was so comfortable and “safe” for me to go to my 9-5 job every day because it was familiar. The fear that I had fed my procrastination, and I didn’t take any action.
So how did I start to beat it? I started taking the time to learn about myself. The more I learned, the more potential I saw. That’s why I believe so much in dedicating time to developing ourselves. To continue to learn, search, and grow. If you feel as though fear feeds your procrastination and holds you back from taking action on a goal, dream, or vision, I encourage you to learn! You are worth the time, and there is something wonderful you have to offer the world. Don’t let fear feed procrastination, learn!
Take one small step today,