Avoiding Procrastination

In order to put the brakes on procrastination, we first have to understand what causes it.  People don’t procrastinate because they like stress, or because they want to irritate the people around them.  Hardly!

So why do we procrastinate? 

Because the brain wants to be doing something that it is interested in doing.  And not everything we do is interesting.  While the end result might be of interest, the steps needed to get there are not.  So the brain shuts down, and looks for that thing that is going to stimulate it —  something of interest.

There’s a lack of “big picture” thinking.  We forget or ignore WHY we are doing this, what the purpose is, what the importance of this is. We only see what’s here in front of us, what needs to be done now.

If you’re going to put an end to procrastination, you first have to figure out why it is that you are procrastinating.  What is it that you are avoiding or resisting?

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Why am I avoiding this?
  1. What is it about this task that I am resisting?
  1. How do I get through it?  What do I need to put in place or do?
  1. Why is it important to do this?  What is the purpose?

When we stop and pay attention to what is happening and what we are focusing on, it takes us out of “auto-pilot mode”.  When we procrastinate, our focus is not on the task that needs to be done or why we need to do it.  Instead, we are focused on why we DON’T want to do it.

If the thoughts we have are negative, our actions will be negative.  If the thoughts are positive, our actions are positive.

We have to pay bills.  We think, “I hate paying bills.” Brain shuts down and instead, looks for something more interesting, less overwhelming.  The next thought is, “Let me take a peak at social media and see what’s going on.” Brain is now engaged, only it’s engaged in the wrong place!  The negative thinking around paying bills produced negative action. In order to change the ACTION, you must change the THOUGHTS.  [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]In order to change the thoughts, we must first be mindful, and aware of what those thoughts are.  GET CURIOUS.  When there’s a task that has to be done, immediately question yourself.  “Why don’t I want to do this? What is it about this that I’m avoiding?” etc.   Then, recall the reasons why you want to get it done!  Remind yourself of the “big picture,” the end result, the purpose.

Without this awareness, you’re in auto-pilot mode, and you procrastinate.

Photo credit www.funnymeme.com