Everyone wants to overcome procrastination -- stalling on projects, wasting time, scolding yourself for being just being plain lazy. But it may not be laziness at all.
We can stall because of fear. Yes, fear. Fear of of not doing things -- exactly as we think we ‘should’. Perfectionism.
If that’s your reason, you can be waiting for the ‘perfect time’ or when you're in the mood –which only adds to more anxiety, and then more avoiding. Procrastination!!
To get out of this, you have to change the scenario from ‘perfect' to 'good enough' and stop being so critical.
Fear is a factor that prevents us from accomplishing a task – and like ‘fear of failure’, there is also ‘fear of success’. A former client, who spent forever getting out his website, kept agonizing about how he wanted to get it done, but always found an excuse to hold him back. The reason? He feared that if his site was up, he’d get so many orders, he wouldn’t be able to produce. How did he know that would happen? The site wasn't even up yet.
People who put things off can be dreamers. The dreams add so much pressure, that they become stagnant, putting obstacles in their path.
When you notice yourself starting to fantasize – stop. Just get the job done and you’ll see what happens. You’ll handle things as they come -- as they say in AA 'one day at a time'.
So if you can relate to putting things off, open up your note-pad or get a pen and paper because here are some tips to overcome procrastination.
Write down what you think causes you to avoid issues. Are you being nagged by someone – and you hate that? Do you think the job will be difficult? No time? (that’s not an excuse :)). You need to develop an action plan, challenge yourself and change what you believe. You also have to convince yourself that you are worthy of what you desire.
• The fear of taking action - the root cause. It is ironic that the cure for procrastination is the very reason that causes the fear in the first place – perfectionism. This is the base of
as well as other addictive behavior -- all or nothing thinking
• Start small – Doing a little is better than doing nothing at all. The more you do the more confidence you get and the fear starts to go away.
• Stressing out – DON’T. This is easier said than done – particularly when you’ve been putting something off and you ‘should’ be doing it. Talk positively to yourself. Set time out to relax and get sufficient sleep so you don’t give yourself more anxiety. If you need to ask for help, ask.
• Get Organized. – Set a schedule and stick to it. Be realistic. I had a client that had so much on his to-do list that it was absolutely impossible to get everything done. If you cram too much into your schedule and fail, it will cause more anxiety – which leads to more procrastination. Set priorities for the day – what you don’t finish should be prioritized for the following day.
• Break up your tasks - Stress arises because of cramming too much into your schedule. Breaking tasks into smaller errands will help.
• Take Breaks – You don’t want to burn out. If you’re working obsessively to get things done you’ve given yourself little time to process the information. Allow yourself a 15 minute break every hr. or 90 min. – and if you’re at the computer, get out of your chair. If you’re cleaning the basement or whatever, walk out of the room for awhile and then go back to work.
• Do it now – not later, not tomorrow – now!! The more you put things off the more stress you create. Tell yourself you’ve delayed things long enough, so it’s time to get to it. Start with the small stuff, the easy things. Do something – anything – and congratulate yourself for what you did. Don’t criticize yourself for what you didn’t do.
Deadlines -- set a deadline for the task you want to do, but be realistic. Look at all the other things that you have on your plate as well. Look at your deadline as an opportunity to be organized, get the job done and you'll relieve your stress.
It’s particularly important to overcome procrastination when you have addictive behavior. Why?
Because all addictive behavior provides escape from other stresses. When we put things off, it gives us additional stress, and then consciously or subconsciously we’ll do whatever provides us relief from that stress: eat, drink, gamble or whatever -- Wasting time becomes a habit and there’s no easy way to break a habit. Overcome procrastination by doing the tips, keep changing your behavior and
Beverley -- My story in a short version is this, my fiance and I have been together for a little over 7 months and during that time she has gone to two unsuccessful rehabs. She is currently in doing wonderfully. Yesterday, I got a call from her counselor telling me not to speak to her for the duration of her stay. I don't understand this. I have done nothing wrong other than to pay over $20k to support her.
I have not seen here for almost 60 days though I have written letters, sent cards, flowers and I get nothing in return.
My question is this normal? I am almost at a point to throw in the towel but I believe in her and love her with all of my heart.
To answer your question -- Yes, this is normal.
While your fiance is in treatment, it was determined that the two of you are in a
This is not healthy for either of you, but particularly unhealthy for her because she will relapse again.
Your fiance has to learn to be independent and work on her sobriety. Until she becomes emotionally stronger, she is not ready for a relationship. She has to take care of herself, but you have to do this as well. Somewhere down the road, you might rekindle your love, but at this time, this relationship is unhealthy for both of you.