Overcoming procrastination involves more than just forcing yourself to take action.
There are deeper beliefs and fears that need to be dealt with if you want to successfully overcome a pattern of procrastination.
Delving into these beliefs and fears can be difficult, but it will pay off in dividends as you learn to stop procrastination in your day to day life.
Reasons for Procrastination
Overcoming procrastination is sometimes portrayed as just a matter of steeling up your will power and taking action. Just do it, get it done, end of story.
Or is it?
Most easy solutions assume that you are just being lazy, or you just don't have a good enough reason to act. But sometimes we don't take action even when we have very good reasons to do so.
Why do we sometimes put off important or necessary actions? With procrastination, there is often some deeper issue that is responsible for your delay. Once the pressure to act gets high enough, you may finally get around to it- but unless you deal the source of your procrastination, the resistance to act will continue to hinder you whenever a similar situation arises. Overcoming procrastination involves examining some of your core beliefs, and coming face to face with your fears.
Exploring how these beliefs and fears operate in your life are important keys to maintaining your self motivation. Until you deal with the deeper reasons for procrastination, your attempts to increase your self motivation will dissipate as you fail to consistently take action.
The Psychology of Procrastination
Usually the act of procrastination is a defense, a way to protect yourself. Often when you procrastinate, you are afraid that taking action will have some negative consequence.
You may think you are going to fail, or that something will go wrong, and you put off the behavior to try to avoid such a negative consequence.
You may put off calling someone because you are afraid of how they will react when you call.
You may put off studying for a test because you are afraid you might not be able to learn everything, or perform well during the test.
You may put off finishing a project because you fear your efforts may not be good enough.
These fears are often overblown or irrational, but they can impede your ability to act. Develop better self awareness when you start procrastinating, think about what you are really afraid of happening, and evaluate whether that fear is realistic or even plausible.
The Key to Overcoming Procrastination
The real key to overcoming procrastination tendencies is to focus on the process rather than on the outcomes, and view mistakes, failure, and other people's reactions as feedback that can help you to improve your efforts. While the emphasis is usually placed on the final product of your actions, the real enjoyment, learning, and development comes from your efforts, the process you take to get to the outcome.
Success will come once you have mastered the process of acting in the moment.
Overcoming procrastination requires the ability to focus on what you can do in the moment, and re-framing mistakes and failures as feedback you can use to improve your efforts. If things don't turn out as you expected, you can evaluate what happened and make changes for your next attempt.
Shift your focus from the outcome to your immediate efforts.
There are common fears that may confront you as you work on dealing with procrastination; learning more about the specific reasons for procrastination can help you better end it once and for all.
Your overall self motivation will significantly increase as you understand and overcome the deeper procrastination reasons and learn to take action in spite of your fears. Defeating procrastination is essential to really achieve your long term goals and aspirations.
Find out more about the
underlying causes of procrastination,
including some specific fears and beliefs that are major contributors to procrastination.
Find out the difference between procrastination and
and how to effectively deal with laziness.
Here are some specific strategies to help you learn
how to stop procrastination.
How Do You Deal With Procrastination?
Do you have any particular techniques or strategies for overcoming procrastination in your life?
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