I recently talked to my son about procrastination. He was trying to better understand why he sometimes procrastinates. As I explained, we have all possibly done this, at sometime in our lives. As you know, procrastination is the act of delaying or putting off tasks that can be completed today, apparently it is a common behavioural tendency that affects many people.
Often when we do this, it can lead to avoidable stress and self-criticism. Such as some of the following feelings:
· Guilt and Shame: Avoiding important tasks can lead to feelings of guiltand shame, as you know you should be completing the task(s).
· Anxiety and Stress: Procrastination often causes increased anxiety and stress as the impending deadline or consequences loom over you.
· Frustration: The knowledge that you are delaying necessary actions can be frustrating, especially when you know that you are capable of completing the task.
· Overwhelm: Putting off tasks can lead to a sense of overwhelm, especially if the list of pending tasks keeps growing.
· Loss of Confidence: Procrastination can erode self-confidence, as you might start doubting your abilities to manage and complete important tasks effectively.
· Regret: After procrastinating and realising the consequences, you may experience regret for not starting earlier.
Yet we often know that when we complete the task, we often feel good and their can be a sense of relief or even joy, at finally getting the job done.
So here is some hints and tips on how you can avoid procrastination, as these often work for me.
· Break tasks into smaller steps: Dividing a daunting task into smaller, manageable steps can make it feel less overwhelming and easier to tackle.
· Practice self-compassion: Treat yourself with kindness and understanding, acknowledging that everyone faces challenges and occasional setbacks.
· Focus on progress, not perfection: Embrace the idea that progress is more important than perfection. Allow yourself to learn and grow through the process.
· Use positive affirmations: Encourage yourself with positive self-talk and affirmations to boost your confidence and motivation.
· Don’t overcommit yourself and set yourself up for failure. Set realistic expectations and timelines.
· Visualise success: Imagine yourself successfully completing the task and experiencing the positive outcomes that result.
· Celebrate small victories: Acknowledge and celebrate each step of progress, no matter how small, to build momentum and maintain motivation.
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