This one’s for the procrastinators

Take action to procrastination

Three ways to break the cycle, and get sh*t done.

Yep, sure - I’m on it. I just need to quickly clean the oven, balance my accounts, walk the dog, shave my beard, plan my next birthday party and spend three hours in an insta hole. Sound familiar? 

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Start with why

According to life coach, Marty Nemko - figuring out the cause of your task-dodging behaviours is the first step. Maybe you avoid things that are too difficult, or too boring? Are you potentially freaked out by success, or by failing? 

Once you have an idea of why you’re procrastinating, you can think about ways to address the cause - rather than the symptom. For example, if you’re bored by a task, like cleaning your flat - get a cleaner. Even if you’re not a high-roller, the freed up time and headspace is well worth the investment. Or, if your issue is that the task is too hard - can you outsource it, or learn a new skill to make it less daunting? 

At some point though, cause or not - we all procrastinate on things that need to get done. Here’s a handful of hacks to help you get on with it.

Three mental hacks to stop procrastinating

  1. Think of future you.

    If the you in a couple of hours’ time would thank current you for doing something - do yourself a favour and do it. A good point to remind yourself to do this is when you realise you’ve veered (or are deciding to veer) off course. 

  2. Make it a ritual.

    For truly grisly tasks (I’m looking at you, expenses), schedule a manageable chunk of time to do it, like an hour every week. That way, you’re chipping away at it and it won’t feel like a behemoth to be avoided at all costs. 

  3. The tomato technique

    This is technically called the pomodoro method - but I find that distracting and it makes me hungry. Anyway. Basically, you set a timer for 20 minutes and work on your task until the alarm goes off. Then, you get five minutes of play time to do whatever you want. Then start again and repeat until your task is done. You can obvs adjust the timings to suit you, but it works on the basis that you get rewarded for uninterrupted work time. 


FOR THE NERDY: Procrastination causes and cures [Source: Psychology Today]

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