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Spotlight on....... procrastination

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Spotlight on....... procrastination

Joseph Clough

This video is all about letting go of procrastination. You may have a big goal, dream or even a project you have to get done, but you just keep putting it off or maybe there is a negative association around doing that thing and it is easier to do something else.  If you are experiencing some form of procrastination and you want to be able to move forward and take action, this video is exactly what you need.

There are a few tips I want to tell you about when it comes to overcoming procrastination and there are many things we can do in the moment to get things done and do what we have to do.

So firstly we need to be conscious of our language.   For example, you may be saying ‘I have to’ or ‘need to’ - when we say these types of things we are coming from a place which is not going to help us. When there is a ‘need to’ or ‘have to do it’ this creates a negative association to the thing we are doing.  So be conscious of our words 'need’, ‘must’ ‘should’ are the types of words to switch around to ‘I want to’, ‘I desire to’, ‘I am going to’.  It makes a lot of difference. 

Become conscious of the type of things you are doing when procrastinating.  Notice your association - what type of feelings are attached to the project or goal?  Are they feelings of ‘it is too hard’ or ‘what if I fail’, ‘what if I succeed’ or ‘what if I am not good enough’?  When you become conscious of your association you can then change your strategy.   When we begin to change our strategy we will then change our results of how we act and react.  So be conscious of what you are doing (your strategy) you then can interrupt it.  So it is important to notice why you are not doing that thing – is it because of anxiety, worry, doubt, or maybe a limiting belief?

If we take revising for an exam for example - when you think about revising it probably doesn't make you feel good because you are focusing on the work itself - if you are focusing on the work you are not going to be motivated, you just see the struggle or the effort you have to put into it.  If you see it that way then you are not going to want to do it because it feels like stress – therefore we have a negative association of the thing being too hard.  So what can we do?  As our attention is focusing on the wrong thing we need to flip it around.    Consider what it would feel like having succeeded at what you need to do and then focus on those feelings instead.  So what would it feel like having completed the job or goal?  You are changing your association to that thing.  Now it doesn't feel as much as a struggle because you are taking away the negative association.    Put your attention on the success of the work.  Get into a state of achievement. 

Tap into the completion feelings which make you feel good and it will swap the ‘need to’ into a ‘want to’.    You feel good about what you want to complete rather than the stress of the up hill battle.  You have got to put your mind one step forward.

If you are in a state of having the feeling that you have achieved the goal, without having actually achieved it yet, you will begin to feel motivated and your unconscious mind thinks that is what it wants to feel like, it will want to get you beyond the goal and into those feelings.

It is important to consider the reason why you want to get the goal done – consider the motivation behind the goal and why you do what you do.    Going back to the example of exams - consider where the success of that exam will take you (eg carer progression), this will give you even more motivation, we then tap into our core values and the feelings of the bigger picture (mission and vision).

Another thing to think about is how long you have been looking at what you have got to do.  You may have been looking at it for so long and you think you will do it there and then, but we get stuck.   So we have to move to a different state and sometimes we have to do something which seems counter productive, but we have to leave the thing and if possible remove yourself from the environment where you have been procrastinating.    Don't move onto facebook or watch a movie, this won’t get us moving, but if we can get outside for a run, walk we are making our mind and body work in a different way.  Get a fresh perspective, step away to get some fresh air, get your body moving and this will get the endorphin's going and help you become more creative.  The best ideas usually come to you when you change your environment. Sometimes you are consciously thinking about the thing which is making you stuck which then keeps you more stuck. 

So lets recap

  • ·       Be conscious -  of the words you use and what you are doing you then have an          opportunity to change it
  • ·       Flip it - focus on the feelings of having achieved the goal - get into a state of achievement
  • ·       Supercharge the goal - Consider why you want to get the goal or project done, consider what you will get back from achieving the goal (money, success, career)
  • ·       Change state - leave the project or environment for while and go for a walk, run.  Get a fresh perspective.