How to beat Procrastination in 2016
So it’s been a while since my last post.
And every week when I have “write a blog” on my to-do list, it somehow always seems to be pushed to the bottom and off to the next week.
So what’s been holding me back from writing?
I think I have felt a sense of guilt. I haven’t written in so long, what should my first post be? And should I just ignore the fact that I haven’t written a blog in months? There is a part of me that holds shame and judgement about the fact that I haven’t written a blog post in so long, and so it makes writing one seem that much harder.
Which is why I feel that this post is so important.
The Procrastination Trap
With hectic schedules and high demands, of course the to-do list can feel never ending.
And we know that only so much can be done in one day, one week, one month, one year.
Yet, the more we have to do that doesn’t get done, the worse we feel.
Which is a trap because the worse we feel about our productivity- our ability to get things done successfully– the less likely we are to manage our time efficiently and get things done.
Time management is very similar to other self disciplines. For example, if you want to lose 10 pounds, but the thought of getting a gym membership and going to the gym after work can feel daunting. And yet, you feel worse every day that you don’t do it. So instead, you find yourself in the fast food drive through after work, telling yourself that tomorrow is going to be better.
The more tasks or goals are put off, the more overwhelming and daunting they can become, which creates a vicious cycle where you can feel stuck, and alas, resort to whats comfortable- telling yourself that tomorrow or next week or next year will be different.
Why do we Procrastinate?
There are many reasons people put stuff off or procrastinate.
When the task seems vague or highly demanding of your skill, and you aren’t confident in your ability to get it done, it makes sense to keep putting it off.
Or if the task is not something you enjoy, like folding laundry, it makes sense to put other, more enjoyable, things first.
How to beat procrastination
- Set your priorities: each week or each day make a list of the top things that need to be done. Now, reorganize that list based on priority. Number each item based on what is most important or timely to get done today down to what could wait for tomorrow or next week.
- Set the time: Based on the list of things that need to be done, schedule your time accordingly. Whether its household chores, making phone calls, getting work done, setting a goal for your job, going to the gym- it will never get done if there is no time set aside for that task. Look ahead at your schedule for the week, and mark in time where these most important tasks can get done (and then do them during that time, limiting distractions!)
- Be intentional: Especially as the new year kicks off, it can be easy to overwhelm yourself with a list of goals and resolutions. This can feel so overwhelming, no wonder resolutions hardly last. Focus more on the intention of why you want to do the goal you set. For example, my intention when writing blogs is to be more transparent and authentic as a therapist and reach more people. This is a helpful reminder for the days when the task itself seems daunting.
- Be gentle: Have some compassion and understanding for yourself that we ALL have a tendency to procrastinate at times, no one is perfect!