Are you finding it hard to get in the groove of some of the more important tasks in your daily routine?
Have you reflected on the underlying reasons why you are procrastinating?
Identified the root causes?
It may be any number of highly valid reasons:
Had a stressful week and can't focus your mind?
Low on energy due to poor sleep or nutrition, clouding your thoughts and motivation?
Overloaded with tasks or commitments stretching your thoughts and planning thin?
These all seem like very legitimate reasons to put off the big things you have been meaning to do. And they are to a degree. You are still getting things done. The problem lies in the quality and type of work you do when procrastinating.
Procrastination usually means we’re not doing the meaningful work we want to do in the world. So, it’s worth figuring out ways to alleviate the thought-less train and redirect our energies to that which is most important.
Here are just a few things you can do to recover your mental fortitude, to seek out and accomplish important tasks.
Stop. Breathe. And ask yourself: “Am I tired? Do I need to take care of myself?”
Often procrastination is simply because you haven’t been getting good rest, or you've been doing so much that you're tiring yourself out.
When this is the case, the answer is to get some rest. Take a nap. Sleep in. Disconnect, and read a paper book. Go for a slow walk, not for exercise but to get a mental breather. Meditate. Do some yoga.
The main ideas are to sleep, disconnect, get away from everything, and perhaps meditate. Reflect, contemplate, find stillness and quietude. In doing so you gain clarity and revitalise the mind to tackle mental tasks anew. Once you’re refreshed (and it might just mean a 20-minute nap and a short meditation), you will find mindful focus again.
=============================================================================================Make a SMALL commitment
What has been shown to be useful during deep bouts of procrastination is making a commitment to a friend that you would do a bunch of work at a specific time. And if you didn’t do that work, you suffer a consequence that is agreed to by you and your friend.
When you make a sacred commitment to someone you respect, you’ll elevate the act from something you want to shrink from, to a vow that you want to uphold. Then doing the work will be something you want to do!
Make the action you commit to doing small. That will make it easier to get started, and you’ll be able to launch into your commitment without too much trouble.
=============================================================================================Create a space
A big part of the problem with constant procrastination is that we are in an environment that is conducive to distraction, to doing small tasks (like checking messages, answering emails, seeing how many likes you got on Facebook, etc.).
You might set yourself to doing the work, but then decide to just check one thing really quick. And that leads to checking another. And before you know it, a whole day has gone by. It’s hard to focus when you’re in an environment like this.
So, the smallest first step you need to do is create the space. Turn off WIFI, set up an Internet blocker, unplug your router, or get somewhere where there is no Internet. With an environment like this, you will be able to focus much better.
For other people, that might mean finding a space where you’ll do nothing but the work you’re going to do — a practice space for martial arts or music, for example, or a reading space with no electronic devices, or a painting studio in your garage.
Create the space, clear everything away, then get to it.
============================================================================================= Find the JOY in the activity
When we think of the work as something huge and difficult, stressful and overwhelming, or full of fear … it’s hard not to procrastinate.
So, a switch in mindset would be hugely beneficial. If you love doing it, you won’t procrastinate!
The trick is to find the joy in the activity. Don’t just do it like it’s a chore to be gotten over with, or some ordeal you need to make it through. Instead, see it as a treasured activity that you get to do. Something that is a privilege to do, because not everyone gets to do this kind of work.
What an amazing thing it is to be alive, doing this activity right now, in the miracle of existence and of this moment! What a breathtaking thing, if only we don’t take it for granted, and fully appreciate the fleeting joyful beauty of this moment.
So, in each moment, appreciate the profound power of what you’re doing, be fully immersed in it, fully mindful of the sensations of the experience and see if there isn’t the thrill of joy to be found in every motion, every breath.
Your brain will start to program itself to dive into this joyful activity, and you will be awake to the world.
What can you do right now to start making the positive change?
Try just ONE of the above when you're feeling side-tracked and see the difference it makes in just a few weeks,