How to Stop Procrastinating
We’ve all been there: You have a task that has to get done—cleaning the house, exercising, clearing out the garage— but you always find something more important to do, or you just can’t make yourself do it. If this happens to you often, you might wish you were more disciplined, and even mentally beat yourself up about it.
Procrastination is easier to tackle then you might think. The following tips will share how you can cross those important items off your to-do list and become a more organized, disciplined person:
Reframe your attitude about tasks and “being disciplined” in general. Your thoughts shape your beliefs, which create your reality. So it can be beneficial to examine your thoughts around the activities you are avoiding. Ask yourself: Why am I avoiding this? Why do I think it will be hard or unpleasant? What is my perception of discipline? Often, the story or drama we create in our heads is an inaccurate representation of reality or possible reality.
Do you think of yourself as an “undisciplined” person? How so? Could you let go of that belief about yourself? If you have beliefs that you can’t finish anything you start, you’re lazy, or have no focus or attention span to do anything…these thoughts are sabotaging you, and may be contributing to a negative experience by fulfilling any expectations of failure that you may have.
Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.
– Henry Ford
Get your thoughts into a headspace of success. Change your thoughts of “I can’t” or “I’m not” to “I can” and “I am.” Visualize yourself beginning the task with ease, successfully completing it, and feeling the result of accomplishment. Will you feel proud, happy, or grateful? Take the time to feel and enjoy that moment now. Your body doesn’t know the difference between what’s real or imagined, which is why you can get upset again when you recount a story to a friend about how someone did you wrong as strongly as you had during the actual event! So why not use the power of thought and emotion to support you instead?
Just start! The hardest part is starting a task or chore that you have been avoiding. Try this: tell yourself you are going to do the activity for 10-20 minutes and set an alarm for that time. Having an end point will allow you to see the light at the end of the tunnel. If you stop when the alarm goes off, that’s more than you would have done if you had kept putting it off. If you keep going with your activity after the alarm sounds—either because you’re in the groove or it’s not as challenging as you imagined it would be—excellent!
If you can get into the habit of reframing your thoughts to support you in accomplishing tasks, embodying how great you will feel afterwards, and then taking that first step, you will soon be a more organized person. You can avoid feelings of guilt, worry, and disappointment for not completing tasks, and the time you previously spent procrastinating will be spent accomplishing your goals.