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  • Writer's pictureNick Howell

Beating Procrastination - Top Tips

Updated: Apr 7, 2023

"noun, The act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention" - Dictionary.com

With my cup of coffee in hand, I sat down this week to write this blog. A pause followed. In reality, I was only thinking about picking up my children's toys off the floor of my study, so I did just that. Now, it would make sense I thought to pick up the toys in the rest of the house, so I did. The vacuum cleaner came out to finish the job properly.


Back to my desk with another cup of coffee. I then made sure my desk drawers were tidy. My phone pinged, I checked those red circles on my apps, it feels better you see when I’ve made sure everything on the phone is up to date. That also included reading a news article about why T-Rex had short front arms, it’s extremely useful information to know! It has always puzzled me why dinosaur arms were so short! I love dinosaurs!


While avoiding my third cup of coffee, I'm writing my blog, remembering the topic at hand, and giving myself some self-advice regarding procrastination.


When you procrastinate or are a recovering one like me, it's natural to feel frustrated and overwhelmed by your lack of progress from time to time. But when the lack of progress starts to impact your well-being and happiness, it can be a sign that you’re struggling with procrastination.


The act of procrastinating is characterised by the avoidance of tasks. We tell ourselves that we can put them off, for "later". Either later never arrives or we panic, pull out all the stops and rush to do it by any means necessary.


Our 'inner-self' in the moment looks instead for safer tasks, more enjoyable tasks, or reasons not to do things that we perceive as more difficult, scary, ambiguous, or even boring. Not the most comfortable way of living!


We can look at procrastination in two forms:


Deadline Procrastination


This is where we have a deadline to work towards. Tasks are put off to the last moment, time is used instead on those easier-to-do tasks. Tasks with more fun and importance in the present moment. We then panic and somehow pull out all the stops to get the task done. Maybe not the way we wanted, but done nonetheless.


Long-Term Procrastination


This can be the most damaging and connected to those bigger life goals. For example: changing our career, learning a new skill, relocating home, becoming healthier, kicking that habit, seeing more of our friends and family.


These types of goals do not necessarily come with a set deadline and therefore we don’t get to a stage where the panic sets in which help us get the job done. Instead, these bigger goals can fester.


This can make us frustrated, stressed, anxious, and unhappy; we want them to happen, but we procrastinate over making progress. Procrastination can have a big effect on how we see the quality and happiness of our lives and the gap between what we are achieving and what we want to achieve.


"You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."

Martin Luther King, Jr.



There is good news, firstly you are here reading this and are aware of the topic. Secondly, there are toolsets that can be learned and practiced to help you.


If you think you suffer from excessive procrastination, follow the link below and I can send you a free copy of my procrastination worksheet with twelve tips that may just help you beat the dreaded procrastination monster.


By sharing your email you will also receive my blogs, and articles on other subjects that may help you in different areas of your life, including special offers.


Drop me a message to let me know how you get on with your workbook, I'd love to know what works for you!



Nick is a Life, Personal Development, Career & Leadership Coach based in Norfolk, England. Through his work with individuals and businesses, he helps unlock potential. Helping his clients achieve success and happiness in their personal lives and careers - www.nickhowellcoaching.com

 

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