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Overcoming procrastination



Procrastination is often confused with laziness, but they are very different. When we procrastinate, we CHOOSE to do something other than the task we know we should be doing.  Laziness suggests apathy or unwillingness to do it.   


A little procrastination is fine but if we procrastinate as a habit, it causes a feeling of guilt, demotivation and loss of interest.


So how to get to grips with it?  I am glad you asked! 


Be kind to yourself

95% of us procrastinate – so allow yourself a little self-forgiveness! It will go a long way and will help you feel more positive, reducing the chances of procrastination in the future. 

 

Rephrase your internal voice

Stop using the words “need to” and “have to”  - they suggest you have no choice.  Saying “I choose to” instead says you have ownership of the task and you have control.


Deal with the worst things first! 

Getting the least pleasant tasks out of the way early gives you an early win and you can reward yourself by concentrating next on something you find more enjoyable.  


Commit  

Put your energy and focus on doing, rather than avoiding. Note down the tasks you need to do, remembering to make them small enough to be manageable rather than huge tasks (overwhelming!) and specify a time for doing them. This will help you to proactively tackle your work.


Reward

When (not if) you complete a difficult task on time, reward yourself with a treat.  Mark the moment and notice how good it feels to finish things!


Ask someone to check on you

Accountability works!  I always ask my coaching clients if they would like me to check in with them between sessions – some will find it helpful,  others will not need it because they are super motivated and/or have another person who checks in on them.


Minimise distractions

Cut out the noise of email and social media for a while, and avoid sitting anywhere near a television while you work!   Put your voicemail on and let the people around you know that if you seem focused, it’s because you are and for a reason, you are not ignoring them.



I hope you find these ideas useful; get in touch if you would like any more support to overcome this common habit.

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