Feeling stuck in a rut and don’t know where to start to make changes to your life? You are not alone! As a life coach, this is the most common issue I come across. In particular, I often have clients who feel stuck in a negative cycle of procrastination. So, what exactly is procrastination and what causes it?
In a nutshell, procrastination is when we put off doing something we know we need to do because the thought of doing it causes some degree of discomfort. This discomfort can range from mild apathy for the task or real fear or dread of doing the task. Unfortunately, however, the longer we put off doing this thing we dread, the more the discomfort associated with it increases, often to the extent that the task is abandoned completely or even if we do get round to doing it, vital opportunities have been lost through the inaction.
So, how do we deal with procrastination to ensure we are maximising our opportunities to succeed? The most important thing to consider is not to wait until we feel ‘ready’ and motivated to do the task. If we know we need to do it then we just need to do it, the sooner the better! The irony about procrastination is that when we actually do what we have been dreading, it isn’t usually as bad as we thought it would be and the feel good factor of having done somethingproduces a nature feeling of motivation to continue with the task which, in itself creates a natural momentum. Taking action also increases our levels of confidence and self-esteem which reduces our chances of procrastinating in the future!
So, next time you find yourself procrastinating on a task, try these simple steps to help break the cycle of inaction.
Identify what it is you have been putting off and decide you are going to take immediate action, however much you don’t feel like doing it!
Break the goal into smaller steps
Start with the simplest, easiest step. This should be something that takes no more than 30 mins and is easily achievable.
Once you have taken the first step you will naturally kick start a feeling of momentum and you will start to feel more motivated to take the next steps needed
Take the next steps one at a time, making sure each is easily achievable