Tuesday 9 July 2024

Overcoming Procrastination: Strategies for Achieving Your Goals

Image courtesy of Stephanie Ghesquier

The following is an extract from my book: 

Stop Procrastinating And Take Back Control of Your Life

Why Do We Procrastinate?

No one really knows why we procrastinate, not even ourselves, yet we all do it all the time.

Strangely enough, it’s not just the unpleasant things that we procrastinate about, but also the things we say we enjoy doing.

How often have you said you’re going to do something like go for a day out, or go to the cinema, or spend time doing something else you enjoy, only to change your mind at the last minute and binge watch TV instead?

And we do the same with important things we need to do.

As a writer, I often find myself reluctant to sit down and write even though writing is something I enjoy doing. Some days I’ll even think a pile of ironing looks more interesting than the writing I have to do.

No matter what it is, we all procrastinate in our own way for reasons we don’t understand, and probably never will.

According to studies that have been done on this subject, there are three reasons why we procrastinate.

1. Fear. We fear criticism, failure, and starting something. It’s easy to understand being afraid of criticism and failure, yet it’s starting that most of us fear.

2. Laziness. Doing something new is hard. It takes us out of our comfort zone. Not doing something is so much easier than doing something.

3. Lack of Interest. We don’t know how to do something until we start, so have no interest in starting something new, nor in learning the process of doing it. We just can’t be bothered to even think about it.

What is Procrastination?

To procrastinate means to put off, delay, or postpone doing something.

It comes from the16th Century Latin word, “procrastinat” which means “deferred till morning.”

This comes from the verb “procrastinare” with ‘pro’ meaning ‘forward’ and ‘crastinus’ meaning ‘belonging to tomorrow (from ‘cras’ tomorrow).

The word “procrastinate” is similar to the word “prevaricate” meaning to speak or act in an evasive way, in much the way politicians do when speaking with journalists.

In Latin, prevaricate means to ‘walk crookedly’ or ‘deviate.’

If someone prevaricates, they often also procrastinate, which gives rise to confusion with the two words.

Overcome Procrastination

What we’re going to be looking at in this book is how you can stop procrastinating and get back control of your life; not just now, but for the rest of your life.

Procrastination excels at one thing; making you feel bad. It’s a power struggle that goes on in your mind and if you let procrastination win, not only will you suffer mentally and emotionally, but it will also ruin your life.

This is why it’s imperative to stop wasting time and start living up to your full potential. This will not only have a positive impact on your physical and mental health, but it will help improve the life of those around you. It’s win-win all the way and in everything you do.

So how do you begin?

You start by not procrastinating. Quit stalling on things you need to do. It sounds simple and it is because all you need to do is take the first step, and all the others will follow on naturally.

You see, procrastination is all in your mind. There’s nothing physically holding you back from anything. It’s just all in your mind. Every time you’re not doing what you should be doing, it’s because you don’t want to start.

Starting something is always the hardest, yet surprisingly simple, part of doing anything. Once you take that first step and start, it’s easier to keep going. Yet every day you have to overcome the resistance to starting.

Starting any project soon leads to feeling motivated to keep going, because once we’ve invested our time in something, even if it’s only a few minutes, we don’t want to stop and waste our investment.

The motivation you feel to keep going once you start leads to enjoying the process, which leads to achievement, money, satisfaction, education, no more stress over inaction, a better life, and accomplishment.

Once you’ve finished what you needed to do, it also leads to looking at others who’ve done it (or do it) too and see how they do it for more and better ideas so that you can improve and do more.

Starting something that you’ve been putting off, guarantees a feeling of achievement, even if you only commit to doing something for 30 minutes a day, it’s still better than doing nothing at all.

A lot of people think that to do something you don’t want to do (or can’t be bothered to do) takes strong willpower or brute force, or a forced routine. But it takes none of that.

What you need is a commitment to change, a new mindset that you’re going to start doing whatever needs to be done. No excuses. You’ll do it no matter what. But you must WANT to change.

You just need to make a small start, even if it’s a huge project, just doing one little thing makes all the difference. 

Next you need to keep going, no matter what else comes up to try and distract you. 

Finally, you must finish what you start.

Start something. Even if you only commit to doing it for 2 minutes, do it. (Put down your phone)

Keep going. Don’t give up after the first blush. Keep starting again every day.

Finish it. See it through to the end. Finish your task. If something comes up, see to it, then get back to your task and finish it. This is mindset and commitment.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Share Your Comments