Get It Done!
The irony of writing an article about procrastination is that in the past hour, I have been distracted by Whatsapp, Facebook, and the urge to open my fridge and hope for something yummy to miraculously appear.
Of course, all of these distractions have meant that what should be completed an hour ago will now take another couple of hours to finish. Can you relate to this behaviour, asks Trevor Banerjee.
hat I’ve just described is the process of putting off
impending tasks to a later time by doing something that is less urgent or important, but instantly gratifying. Or, in other words, procrastination is the self-created gap between our intentions and our actions. It is the cause of much anxiety, frustration, and unhappiness
in our lives. Talk about masochistic behaviour, right?
But the first step towards solving a problem is to understand it. And
although technology and our five-second attention span pop culture does play in this counter-productive habit, there is more to procrastination that meets the eye.
There are Three core reasons for procrastination:
Disconnect Between the activity and the Goal
Why do we do most tasks in our life? Usually because performing those tasks will lead us to our goals. However, it’s when we choose incorrect goals, or ones that are inconsistent with our core values, that we invariably avoid the actions that we need to take to achieve them. Take
a child who loves to dance (and is good at it) but is studying to be a doctor, not
because he is passionate about it, but because that’s what his parents want. What do you think are the chances of his procrastinating on his studies? According to research, the chances are quite high.
Lack of an action plan
Someone once told me that goals are nothing more than dreams with an action plan. But the problem with most people who procrastinate is that they are usually stuck in the dream phase. So by having clarity around what it is that you want
to achieve and breaking it down by the week, day and (sometimes) even the hour, we stop seeing the activity as one big unsurmountable dream, but rather as
SO here are SOMe SiMpLe STepS ThaT can heLp yOu Break away frOM ThiS viciOuS cycLe:
create your goals
Choose to do things that you are really passionate about, that genuinely get your excited. And tie the activity to the ideal outcome that you want to achieve from the exercise.
A bite-sized goals that are achievable.
Our Self Limiting Beliefs
This is probably the biggest reason why most of us develop this debilitating habit. Even if we do work on the things that we are passionate about and have a clear action plan, our self-inflicted fears get the better of us and in order to cope, we
put the activity off. Having beliefs like ‘not being good enough’ or ‘not being worthy enough’ lead to all types of fears, doubts, concerns, lack of confidence, low self- esteem and other negative thoughts.
And what do we do when we are afraid of something? We run away from it.
Now why is procrastination so harmful? Well, the weight of constant deferment takes a serious toll on our spirit and creates a kind of ‘negative loop’ in our life, which in turn reinforces the limiting beliefs that we had in the first place. We eventually live a life where we are being driven by our negative consequences. By always under-achieving and failing to reach our true potential we further entrench an unhealthy self-image which eventually leads to regret and self-loathing.
Break it down
Map out your goal. Even if is something as simple as doing the groceries, having a list makes life so much easier. Once you are clear about the outcome you wish for, create a plan that articulates a deadline and breaks down the once-big goal into smaller doable steps. Not only does this take the complexity out of it, but every time you achieve a small goal, you are able to reinforce a self-affirming belief in yourself, thus creating a ‘positive loop’ in your life. Recognise and challenge your limiting beliefs.
You can be your best friend or your worst enemy, the difference is in the words you use with yourself. The next time you have a task to complete, make a note of the things that you say to yourself. If you were talking to your best friend, would you would say these things to them? If the answer is no, then well done, you have probably recognised
a limiting belief that you have probably been saying to yourself for years! And now that you know—replace this belief with one that is positive, constructive and self-loving.