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Why do we procrastinate? and tips to help you overcome it!

Updated: Mar 17, 2022

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#procrastination is not a new thing; infact humans have been procrastinating for many many years, and more often than not you don't even know you're doing it. So, what is the reason why do we do it?


I could go into detail, however to keep things simple and to stop you procrastinating anymore, Behavioral #psychology research has revealed something called “time inconsistency.” This research helps us to explain why we procrastinate even though we set our good intentions to achieve something. Time inconsistency refers to what the human brain rewards the most. And, yes you guest it, the human brain prefers those immediate rewards to your present self rather than your future self.


Take a moment to visualise yourself split into two; the first one being your present self and your second on being your future self.

When you set yourself a #goal you are setting these goal(s) and making plans for your future self. This could be anything from saving money, losing weight, planning for a family holiday or buying a new car. Now, researchers have found that when you think about your #futureself, it is easy for your #brain to see the taking action with the long-term benefits in #mind and values those long-term #rewards. Whereas, your present self doesn't care about your future self, it just wants those immediate rewards. Now unfortunately your present self is the only one that can take action towards your goals that you set yourself. Remember, that you have split yourself into two and that's where the conflict can start to come in. You have set your goal (future self) now you have to take action (present self).


Next, you need to make a decision either go for it or not! This is where those #thoughts come in, flight or fight mode, #fears, #limitingbeliefs and you are no longer now making that choice for your future self. You are in the present moment, and when you are in the present moment your brain is in present self mode.


Research has suggested that your present self really likes instant rewards, not those long-term benefits that your future can envisage. So, this is the point where your present self and your future self are continue to battle with each other. For example, your future self can see the long-term benefits of saving or acheiving that goal(s), whereas your present self would see more value in treating yourself to something in the present moment to get those immediate benefits or rewards.


How many times have gone to bed thinking you are ready to start making those changes, feeling really motivated, feeling inspired? Then, when you wake up in the morning you find that you can't be bothered and you then start repeating the same old cycle and patterns. The reason for this is because your brain values those long term rewards/benefits only when they are in the future, and when it comes to the present moment it values that immediate satisfaction.


So, you may have already realised that procrastination is just a habit, and a habit is a deeply ingrained pattern of behaviour that you are probably not going to break overnight, it takes time and consistency, working on those limiting beliefs and habits. The question is ARE YOU READY TO MAKE CHANGES AND CREATE A NEW HABIT?


YES!!! Then the following steps and tips below will help you to overcome procrastination. Now, every is different and some steps might work for you, some might not. The key is to be consistent and test out what works for you and find out what doesn't.


1. Being aware that you are procrastinating!

The first step is being aware. If you put off a task because you have had something more important pop up then the chances are you are not procrastinating. However, if you are distracting yourself so you don't have to do that task then you are more than likely procrastinating!


Things like having a task on your to do list that has been there a long time, reading something over and over, starting something and going off and doing something else or waiting for the right time. These are just some of the ways in which we procrastinate.


2. WHY are you procrastinating?

So now that you are aware you are procrastinating, you need to understand the reason(s) why you are procrastinating. When you know the why, then you can begin to work on it and correct with it.


Are you avoiding a certain task that you have set yourself because you find it tedious, repetitive, boring? If you do, what steps can you take to make it more enjoyable?


Do you lack in organising? If you do, try using a to-do list to prioritise your list, but also have an achievement list. I find these two lists work hand in hand.


Are you overwhelmed by your task(s) or goal(s) that you have set yourself? Try breaking them down into more manageable steps.


TIPS:-

  • Release and surrender yourself from any procrastinating in the past.

  • Do the task as they arise, commit to them, and not put them off for another day,

  • Do a To-Do list and an achievement list,

  • Remove yourself from any distractions,

  • Reward yourself,

  • Spend time with people who inspire you,

  • Ask someone to hold you accountable,

  • Reframe what you say to yourself. Rather than saying to yourself things like "need to" and "have to," which can be disempowering, try saying, "I choose to," which will tell your brain that you own this task, and can make you feel more in control,

  • Unpleasant tasks Try doing these first thing in the morning, then enjoy your day doing the rest of your tasks,

  • Dont overwhelm yourself, break your long term goals down into smaller more manageable chunks and reward yourself for each small step you take towards it.


When you procrastinate, you waste time that you could be investing into something more meaningful. If you can overcome this, you will be able to accomplish more and in doing so better utilize the potential that life has to offer you.


If you want further help with your procrastination then click the button below to book your FREE 30 min Soul Alignment Call



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