Let’s chat about procrastination. We’re all guilty of it! Whether your personality type is the thrill-seeker type that waits until the last minute to get that rush or you’re an avoider that puts off tasks because of fear and what people may think of you OR you might be a decisional procrastinator who struggles to make decisions! Whichever type of procrastinator you are, there are costs which in turn, can affect our health. This type of stress and internal trouble it causes could potentially lead to more serious issues like insomnia, gastrointestinal and immune system problems, while also potentially affecting our relationships.
Luckily, there are some things we can all do to help fight procrastination leading to productivity, success and far less stress!
Here are some things that have helped me battle procrastination (because I was procrastination queen before!)
Don’t just work with one big list – I love a list and ticking things off. Makes me feel accomplished and gives me a little endorphin rush when I can tick something off my ‘to do’ list. But do you know what I found with this? When looking at it, it seemed all too overwhelming and I would always choose the easiest and most trivial things to do first, leaving the hardest and most important things to do last – these were my actual needle movers and if I wasn’t doing these then the needle wasn’t moving. This is why now I’ll have a weekly list in my diary and I choose 3 things every day that I can achieve. Working on only 3 things a day is much more realistic than trying to get through a whole list of things without a plan of attack. This is ACHIEVABLE and I am much more productive and accomplished when I set and write my 3 daily ‘wins’ in the morning after my meditation and goal setting.
Now I mentioned my weekly list, but what you need to know is that I also have monthly lists and yearly lists! Yep, I have a list of goals I want to achieve within the year and at the start of every month I also write down my goals and the things I’d like to achieve that month. This helps me stay motivated and on track as I know life can get in the way. It’s so easy to get caught up and all of a sudden a year has gone by and you’re stuck in the same place as you were when you first set the goals. Having these bigger, future lists also helps me prioritise in a timely way. (If you want to read more in-depth on goal setting visit my earlier blog post by clicking this link https://elev8lifeholistic.com/smart-goal-setting-for-2019/)
With my ‘3 daily wins’ I always start with the hardest task as I have the most brain power at the beginning of the day. And if I have trouble getting started and feel that procrastination coming on I remind myself of all the rewards/benefits/happy future or success it will bring me once I have finished the task. Now, I know some tasks can’t be finished in a day but just starting a bigger task can be counted as a win! Just take the first step.
I also know that no one can just sit down and focus consistently alllll day, our brains just don’t work like that. Science knows that our brains go through cycles with peaks and valleys and to optimise our output, we have to honour these cycles by balancing focused time with integration and relaxation. This is why I also suggest doing a power hour where you are free from all distraction and you work in concentrated chunks of time (i.e. 20 minute intervals) with short periods of rest in between. This really helps the brain and bod perform optimally.
Alrighty then! That’s all my advice for now, on overcoming procrastination and becoming a productivity queen or king!
Now go do it! And remember, procrastination is the thief of all time and dreams.