Procrastination is a behavior which is defined by deferment of actions or tasks to a later time. Psychologists often cite procrastination as a mechanism for coping with the anxiety associated with starting or completing any task or decision.
For an individual, procrastination can result in stress, a sense of guilt, the loss of personal productivity, the creation of crisis and the disapproval of others for not fulfilling one's responsibilities or commitments. These combined feelings can promote further procrastination. While it is normal for people to procrastinate to some degree, it becomes a problem when it impedes normal functioning
I have procrastinated a great deal in my life. Whether it was about exercise, eating right, organizing, making a call, or a work deadline, I have procrastinated.
I found out that after I procrastinated doing a project, I had made a mountain out of a molehill. It was not the monster I had created it to be. I was amazed that it took me so long to get the task done that I was putting off doing. In reality it took very little time and effort compared to the time and effort I gave the procrastination.
When you procrastinate, take the first step of what you need to get done without thinking about the next step. Sometimes a task or a project will appear overwhelming when you look at the entirety of it. If you can scale down your view of it and start with one small action, you’ll find that it won’t feel as daunting as it did when you looked at the big picture.
For instance; when I lived in the mountains it was an annual event in the fall to have three cords of wood delivered to my home for the winter months. After the truck had dumped the wood into huge piles in my yard, it was up to me to stack each piece of wood into orderly rows against the garage wall.
Looking at these enormous piles of wood I felt exhausted at the task before me. As I began to pick up each piece and stack them in an organized fashion, the piles became smaller and smaller until in no time at all they were all in neat and tidy rows. It was not the ordeal I had made it out to be.
So when you are procrastinating on doing a project or a task, think of it as a pile of wood. If you just pick up one piece at a time, deal with one piece at a time, soon your project will be finished. Rather than focusing on the pile of wood, focus on one piece of wood at a time. You will wonder why you kept putting it off when the procrastination was more stressful than getting the job done.
Mindfulness tips for Procrastination:
Practice taking the first step into the thing you are procrastinating. Choose to think about it in a way that is controllable, as opposed to an overwhelming chore. Remember it is always a choice to think the way you want. Choose to think about it as a manageable task, not the horrible monster that you made it out to be.
Deal with it in small increments of time, rather than calculating the full scope of what might be needed.
For instance, you might be overweight and feel it will be too hard, and take too long to lose the weight, so you keep putting off changing your diet and starting an exercise program.
Just think about today. Eat right today. Exercise today. Don't think about the weeks and months ahead. Taking care of today without the thought of tomorrow, makes the task seem easier. When tomorrow comes, think about it then...one day at a time.