Procrastination is not the same as laziness, although some use these terms alternately to mean inactivity. When you procrastinate, you put off doing something you should be doing today for tomorrow because you are focused on another task. Laziness, on the other hand, is the unwillingness to do anything about a given task.
So, procrastination doesn’t happen only to lazy people. It can happen to any of us—yes, even the most diligent or productive person may have had an encounter with it at one point in his or her life. It makes us think, “Can procrastination be beaten at all?”
The short answer? Yes!
Steps to Overcoming Procrastination
Like any other habit, overcoming procrastination is something we can do. It is a habit we can change—even if it’s deeply rooted.
It is important to note that procrastination can also be the outcome of depression or a more serious mental and/or emotional problem. If you believe that procrastination is holding you back, feel free to contact me and get any questions answered. I have helped many people with this problem through my energy work.
However, here are some tips that might be helpful for you.
Know the Signs
You cannot solve a problem that you don’t know about. So, the first thing you must do is to know the signs of procrastination. It may vary from person to person, but it can be one of the following:
- You’re a busybody—you just want to keep yourself busy, but you don’t really have an end-result in mind.
- You keep putting off a task you know to be important simply because you feel you have enough time to accomplish it, especially those with deadlines.
- Your mood is not right so you decide it’s not the right time to finish that task—your mood has to be right first.
- The less important tasks are taking up so much of your time than the high priority one because they are more enjoyable and easier to do.
If you see these signs, then you know you are procrastinating. Add to this list of signs when you notice yourself diverting your attention from your priorities to do stuff that are not exactly moving you forward.
Set a Goal and Follow Through
Now that you know what procrastination looks like (the signs), it will be easier for you to set your goal to overcoming procrastination—specifically, why you should do it and what you can do to accomplish it in a given timeframe—and then follow through by creating an action plan. Your action plan must be specific and realistic.
If You Fall, Pick Yourself Up
No living human being has ever perfected ‘not procrastinating’. Overcoming procrastination doesn’t mean not messing up one way or the other. It simply means that procrastination isn’t a habit anymore.
When you find yourself giving in to procrastination, pick yourself up and correct the action. Punishing yourself for failing to fight it can lead to deeper problems. So, forgive yourself, then get up and go do what you should have done. It’s how you turn the situation around and kick procrastination out the door.
Little Rewards Go a Long Way
When you finish a project, big or small, give yourself a treat! You may also write down your projects and on the opposite side of each, write the rewards that you get each time you complete one. This is one way of motivating yourself—call it a way to ‘trick your brain’ because, whether we like it or not, sometimes the brain goes lax if it thinks there’s nothing rewarding about finishing a certain task.