Fight Procrastination Day

Did you know September 6 is Fight Procrastination Day, but only if we get round to it. I have written in the past about the perils of procrastination. It can have many causes. Perhaps it’s the daunting nature of the task or simply because you’re not feeling up to it. Regardless, procrastination can be a major problem; straining mental and physical health.

The way to overcome this varies from person to person. And some have taken extreme measures. For example, Victor Hugo (French Romantic writer and politician) resorted to working naked in his room to focus on his work. For him this was the best way to cut out distractions and meant that he had no choice but to stay indoors. His clothes were held by an assistant and only returned at a later time, he had little choice but to work. And ironically he said, “Perseverance, secret of all triumphs”.

So if you are inclined to procrastination, what do you do? Firstly, have a prioritised To-Do list. This give you a view of the tasks and makes sure nothing is forgotten.

How do you feel about the task? Rephrasing your internal dialog can help. If you need to do something this suggests you have no choice. This can result in self-sabotage or feelings of disempowerment. Instead, say that ‘I choose to’ do something. Think of the long term benefits and meaning or relevance of doing the task. Also, try these…

  • Keep distractions to a minimum – turn off the phone, social media, etc.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of peer / social pressure or not wanting to disappoint someone.
  • When you have completed something promptly and on time, give yourself a small reward. Remember the feeling of having accomplished something – pride, relief, etc.
  • Try to act in the moment and tackle tasks as they come up rather than letting them build up.
  • Organise the work so your do a mix of nice tasks and less interesting or unpleasant tasks.
  • Think about when are you at your best? When do you have most energy or focus? Tackle your hardest or the most complex tasks at your peak time.
  • Set yourself deadlines to do specific tasks.
  • If you feel overwhelmed or disheartened break the task down into smaller, more manageable chucks.
  • Use technology. There are many task / time management applications depending on what you are doing. Becoming better at scheduling and project planning will have many benefits.

If you procrastinate or struggle to focus on key tasks then Hypnotherapy can help. It can help with exploring the root cause of a problem, breaking habits, improve will power and support. If you feel this could be for you, then contact me.