Breaking the habit of procrastination is very hard. There are many men and women who have big dreams for their lives, only to be let down because they’re plagued with procrastination. This one seemingly harmless habit can prevent you from achieving both small goals and large ones.
At first, you might just think it’s a negative personality trait – one that you simply have to accept. But if you start being vigilant about the situation, you’ll quickly see that this is a pattern of behavior and thoughts that can be overcome and changed.
Procrastination is not only delaying a project or task. It’s a saboteur waiting in the wings to derail you every time you hope to make progress on one of your goals.
Breaking the habit of procrastination is something anyone can do, and once you understand how to disrupt the pattern and learn to adhere to your intended schedule, you’ll never have to encounter this issue again.
In order to beat procrastination at its own game, you have to work on it from the inside out. Start with what’s in your mind – what you’re telling yourself about how it is that you operate.
The seeds you have planted in your head about procrastination and how you align yourself with it are like weeds that have to be rooted out and destroyed. Become aware of how many times you’ve told yourself or others that you’re a procrastinator.
Some people develop a habit of joking or bragging about their procrastination habit, as if it’s something everyone can relate to, and they often do. Labeling yourself as a procrastinator is a self-demeaning method of putting yourself and your ability to succeed down.
Make a rule that you’ll refrain from joking about this habit from here on out. No more memes. No more jokes or casual conversations where you shrug off your lack of progress because of this problem.
Instead of simply saying, “I’ve been procrastinating,” you’ll make a decision to say, “I chose to be on Facebook instead of work.” You have to start putting it bluntly for yourself so that you can see just how damaging the choices that you’re making can be.
Weed out any negativity in general about yourself and how you lack a certain success in some specific area. You want all of your internal and external dialogue to be positive – like the go getter you know you can be when you try.
From now on, you’re not a procrastinator. You’re an action taker. You’re someone who goes after what they want and that includes time off. There should be no shame in having freedom to enjoy life – you just need it to be acceptable and balanced.
Being overwhelmed is one the main barriers to breaking the habit of procrastination. It's one of the biggest reasons why people procrastinate. They’re really dealing with sheer overwhelm. The goals they’ve set are so high that they put themselves in a pressure cooker trying to get too many tasks done in one day.
You might be overestimating your ability to accomplish certain things. For example, if you’re a writer of content, then you might be aiming for too many pages per day. This might be based on your previous abilities.
For example, maybe you’re capable of writing 40 pages per day when pushing your limits. So in your mind, you give yourself a quota of half that – just 20 pages per day. But in reality, the easy writing schedule that would be doable is 10 or fewer pages.
You have to get real about what it is you can accomplish. Overestimating your workload won’t impress anyone. All it does is set you up for failure. This is mentally defeating when you struggle to live up to the minimums you’ve set too high.
When breaking the habit of procrastination, you need to interrupt the pattern of overestimation to prevent procrastination from occurring. If you’re looking at a mountain of tasks to do, chances are, you’ll avoid even looking at them because it’s so harrowing to you.
You want to be able to look at your daily schedule with a positive, doable mindset. You don’t want to be intimidated. So when you create a schedule, make sure you do it with the least bit of pressure.
Remember, you can always add more to your to-do list at the end of each day. It sounds much better to say, “I got everything done, so I’m going to do some of tomorrow’s tasks” than it does to say, “I couldn’t get it all done, so I have to bump some of this to tomorrow.”
If you get more than expected completed, then you’ll end your day on a high note, feeling productive and accomplished. If you failed to complete everything, it will make you feel disappointed and defeated, causing you to worry about your lack of abilities after hours.
An activity to try when breaking the habit of procrastination is to make a list of everything you need to get done that day – but only things that absolutely must get done. Don’t add anything you’d like to get done. Have a separate list for those items.
Then, list everything in order of importance, with the most pressing items at the top. When you work, each time you mark off an item at the top of your list, it will decrease the amount of pressure you’re putting on yourself.
Read Part II On Overcoming Procrastination: Breaking The Stronghold Of Procrastination.
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