How can we stop and overcome procrastination?

how to stop procrastination
In this article, Sydney Life Coach, Tina Monk, discusses the difference between just being lazy and procrastination and how you can recognise, and stop, procrastination.

Procrastination reflects struggles with self-control

Having trouble persuading yourself to do the things you should do, or would like to do? Procrastination is a challenge we have all faced at one point or another. Procrastination reflects struggles with self-control. When you procrastinate instead of working on important tasks, you can often find yourself performing meaningless activities.

Procrastination is one of the major impediments blocking you from making the right decisions and living the dream life you’ve imagined.

People regret more the things they haven’t done than the things they have done. Moreover, feelings of regret and guilt, resulting from missed opportunities, tend to stay with people much longer. That is why learning how to overcome procrastination is one of the most important skills you can learn.

When you procrastinate, you might feel better in the short term, but you will suffer in the long term. We need to understand that procrastination has a price!

There are three forms of procrastination. 20% of people are chronic procrastinators, whose behaviour cuts across all domains of life. Next are the thrill-seekers, who wait until the last minute just to feel a euphoric rush. Lastly, we have the avoiders who put off tasks because of their fear of failure, or even fear of success; in either case, they are highly concerned with what others think of them.

Is procrastination the same as being lazy?

Although procrastination is often confused with laziness, they are very different.  While procrastination is a living process where you choose to do something else instead of an important task, laziness suggests apathy, inactivity and an unwillingness to act.

Common causes of procrastination

Procrastination is built on emotional issues such as depression, stress, anxiety, low self-esteem and irrational beliefs. Procrastination can be a common problem for many people with anxiety-related conditions, including panic disorder.

Many people with anxiety are also perfectionists. Your demand to be perfect may be contributing to your struggle with procrastination. You may be unknowingly using perfectionism as a way to procrastinate getting your work done.

Generally, people who procrastinate have poor distress tolerance. When faced with a task that stirs their negative emotions, they freeze and retreat rather than work through their feelings to pave a way forward.

How does procrastination affect time management?

Procrastination is a threat to your professional productivity, and it impacts time management throughout the workday.

Procrastination is not a time management issue; it is an emotional management issue. If you can separate procrastination from a perceived inability to complete a task, you will be able to give yourself the breathing space you need to get back on track and stop beating yourself up because of procrastination.

Before you move on to tactics to address how to stop procrastinating, you need to address the psychological reasons behind your procrastination. When we learn the reason why we procrastinate, we can learn how to overcome it.

How to overcome procrastination

You need to learn about self-discipline, motivation, time management, and you need to change your daily routine, your habits, thinking patterns and your mental models.

First of all, you need to figure out what your goals are and make sure that they’re clearly defined, possible to accomplish, and significant enough to allow you to achieve meaningful progress.

Figure out when, how, and why you procrastinate, by examining situations where your tendency to postpone things is preventing you from achieving your goals.

Create a plan of action based on relevant anti-procrastination techniques, while taking into account both your goals and the nature of your procrastination.

Implement your plan and monitor your progress, while making sure to refine your approach by figuring out which techniques work for you and how you can implement them most effectively.

Sydney Career Coaching offers qualified and experienced career counselling and coaching, executive coaching, and life and personal coaching. Together, we can overcome procrastination and improve your health, wellbeing and relationships.

Sydney Life Coach services can help people of all ages and stages of life, who yearn for more but are struggling to do it alone.  Personal life coaching is for those who would benefit from a trusted life coach, confidante and mentor who will encourage and help clients achieve sought after goals.

If you have ever wanted to achieve more in your life than you thought possible, in just about any area you can think of, then life coaching could be for you.

Complimentary life coaching session

Take advantage of our complimentary career coaching session to determine whether coaching is for you.  We provide career coaching advice throughout Australia remotely, over the telephone and in person at Neutral Bay on Sydney’s North Shore.

Sydney life coach, Tina Monk’s education and professional development has focused mostly on how to understand people and bring out the best in them. Tina has been coaching  for 20 years and continues to develop as a coach. Her approach is said to be caring with a bit of  ‘tough love’ thrown in!  Call or text Tina directly at 0413 000 010.