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Understanding and Overcoming Procrastination

woman sitting at a table with laptop, thinking

Why Do We Procrastinate?

There are a lot of reasons we procrastinate. A big one is that when we start on a task or project, our thoughts can go from, “I can totally do this” to “It’s going to take forever and I’m doing it wrong,” in a matter of seconds.

Another reason is that we feel guilty about making a mistake, so we don’t want to continue with the task until we can fix it, but then it never gets fixed.

There are also instances when we have difficulty with the task at hand and have an idea in our head about what needs to be done, but don’t know how to accomplish those tasks.

We don’t have the knowledge or experience necessary to complete what we’re working on and it eats up our time. We spend hours reading up about how to do something rather than actually doing it and feel like a failure when we can’t complete the task at hand. We end up staring at screens for hours on end, feeling overwhelmed, and frustrated because we aren't making progress.

Putting off starting a project is often more appealing than facing the possibility of failure and subsequent embarrassment. Most of us have experienced the all-too-familiar habit of putting things off until the eleventh hour, causing us to feel completely out of control of the situation.

When we finally get around to starting, it can be difficult and require a lot of work and time because of Analysis Paralysis.

We don’t know where to start or how to begin, plus our brains are telling us that the task is going to take forever, so we put it off. When we do finally start, we don’t want to continue with the task because of all the negative thoughts that are going through our heads and that’s why starting is such a big problem for us.

mature woman reading

What Is the Root Cause of Procrastination?

The root of procrastination is a fear of failure. As a result, we avoid the thing that feeds the fear–new challenges and tasks.

People who procrastinate end up telling themselves a story about why they’re unsuccessful or unworthy. Imagine all those thoughts as being excuses — a way of protecting your ego from feeling hurt because you have failed again after only putting in a minimal amount of effort.

Ask yourself, what are you honestly afraid of? The answer is the first step to understanding and overcoming procrastination. It will show you where you have been putting your focus and energy. You cannot get past your fear until you are aware of it.

What Are the Effects of Procrastination?

woman working on her laptop

The biggest effect of procrastinating is that it creates more stress. When you put off something until the last minute, you usually end up having to work harder at it and do more work in less time — and that can lead to burnout.

When you work on something instead of procrastinating, you can feel proud of yourself because you have achieved a goal. You can feel more successful and confident.

What Is the Solution to Overcoming Procrastination?

It is important for you to analyze your thought patterns and identify any negative thoughts that hinder your progress. By being aware of them, you can regain control over your actions and behaviors, no longer allowing these unhealthy thoughts to dictate who you are.

To overcome procrastinating, try writing down the things that get in the way of starting a task. Then evaluate your list and see how you can remove those things that stand in the way of you finishing what you need to do.

Practice taking action toward something, even if it is just a small step forward. These small steps will build momentum that will give you more confidence and energy to complete other tasks you may be putting off.

If there is something that you need to do and continue to put it off, make sure that you set a goal for yourself and stick with it. Don’t give up — even if you have failed repeatedly. It’s not about being perfect; it’s about taking small steps and being persistent and consistent.

To help you with your struggle with procrastination, here are a few book recommendations that can assist you in overcoming this habit:

  • "Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything" WRITTEN BY BJ Fogg PhD. This helpful, step-by-step guide will help you design habits and make them stick through positive emotion and celebrating small successes.

  • Another helpful read is "The Procrastination Cure, WRITTEN BY Damon Zahariades, This book teaches you how to take quick action, make fast decisions, and get more done in less time.

  • Conquer Procrastination WRITTEN BY Natalie Bardo. This essential guide is full of simple, evidence-based strategies to help you set goals, manage time and tap into motivation.

Understanding and Overcoming Procrastination-Conclusion

In conclusion, understanding and overcoming procrastination requires a change in mindset and taking the first step toward getting started. By recognizing the underlying reasons for our procrastination habits and addressing them head-on, we can begin to break free from this detrimental cycle.

It is essential to shift our focus from perfectionism and fear of failure to progress and personal growth. Remember that taking small steps every day can lead to significant accomplishments in the long run.

A huge part of your journey is motivation. You can learn how to build motivation in my next post and discover practical techniques to boost your drive.

So, let's make a commitment today to overcome procrastination by changing our mindset and taking action toward our goals. Don't wait any longer-you'll be surprised at what you can achieve once you start!

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