Thursday, October 3, 2013

How to Stop Procrastinating


Procrastination is inevitable- it is totally normal for people to not want to start a project immediately. Sometimes we put things off until the last minute and hopefully, it is forgivable and not too detrimental to our jobs/goals when we do procrastinate. Still, some people are chronic procrastinators who always put things off until the very last minute. If you are a chronic procrastinator or would like to avoid the onset of chronic procrastination, this article is for you.

Why Do We Procrastinate?
There are many reasons to procrastinate and listing those reasons would be a valid excuse to procrastinate for some people. Yet the two most common and fundamental reasons I find are that people either don't want to do something or are afraid/unsure of how to approach it. 

You Honestly Don't Want to Do It
Sometimes we really don't want to do something. For example, some people really hate doing chores because they find them so mundane, so they will put off doing chores until they can no longer handle the consequences. Some people will allow the trash to pile up until their room smells like rotten fish and they can no longer differentiate their desk from their floor from their closet. Mundane chores like this are honestly things people really do have to do. People avoid these chores out of pure laziness and/or lack of consideration and/or lack of hygienic standards. To stop being so lazy regarding mundane chores, take the cold turkey approach and hype yourself up with motivation and clear out your room. Once you clean your room and reacquaint yourself with what a proper floor actually looks like, you'll probably want to keep it looking like a nice clean floor. Promise yourself that you'll spend at least 5 minutes a day putting things away- just five minutes. Amaze yourself with the results. If you're too unmotivated to take the cold turkey approach, promise yourself you'll spend 5 minutes a day putting things away or that you'll put away 5 items every day. 

These small steps are applicable to all mundane things you have to do- even homework. There are some subjects we really don't care about that we just have to get through. We could care less about taking away some deep insight regarding the topic because we honestly have better things to become fascinated with- apply the minimum daily rule for those topics. The point is that you spend a certain small amount of time everyday working on that task so that nothing piles up and that you don't become overwhelmed or bored. You might just actually find a spark of interest if you approach anything in life this way.

Sometimes You Just Hate It
In a soul searching kind of way, sometimes we procrastinate because we're conflicted. We don't care about what we need to do- it goes against our inner truth. We will procrastinate when we have to do something that isn't true or authentic to us because part of us knows that we aren't meant to pursue such goals. If this is the case, really let your intuition and subconscious speak to you. Examine your beliefs and thoughts- this is a huge topic that will be saved for its own post. But if this is the reason you procrastinate, explore the issue thoroughly!

You're Not Sure of What to Do
Sometimes we procrastinate because we honestly have no clue where to start, so we put starting off until some magical idea dawns upon us. The thing is that those magical ideas really start flowing in once you focus on the task and let your mind explore all of the possible ways. Most of us don't do this- we even procrastinate the thinking surrounding our task. If you let yourself really focus on and think about the task with an open and calm mind, letting your imagination, logic, and intuition work together regarding the project at hand, you will definitely have an idea of how to start and where to take things.

You Are Not Comfortable Enough
Stress is a huge distraction. If you're not comfortable, you won't perform well because you will function at a less than optimal rate and  you will also be distracted by the consequences of that sub-par functioning. This stress and lower functioning can be caused by any imbalances in your emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual life. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. Don't get into any crazy drama before taking on important tasks (don't get into crazy drama at all, really) and maintain consistent routines to lower stress and promote health in all areas of your life.

You Are Too Comfortable
Your environment might be promoting total relaxation and/or hedonism. Take a shower, release the bag of Hot Cheetos from your hand, turn off Netflix. Remember the balance mentioned in the section above? Yup, that is exactly what you need to focus on. If you want to start a project, help yourself by allowing yourself to be in an environment conducive to your goals.

It Is A Simple Choice
Honestly, procrastination is easily resolved. You either get up or you don't, you do it or you don't do it. You just have to decide to, and deciding to is all up to you. If you lack motivation and will power, you need to explore that issue. That issue will also be elaborated upon in a future post. Take things in baby steps if you know big changes aren't sustainable for you or if you know you won't adapt well! Know thyself and get it done.