It’s been said, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.”

Procrastinators have learned the habit of delaying something they must do until the last minute or until it’s past due. Sometimes it’s not a big deal and might even be helpful.

But it can create anxiety and stress, harming one’s career and relationships. 

Imagine suffering from the side effects of chronic procrastination, living under the crushing weight of mounting pressure and frenzied work hours, feeling rushed and unprepared, and plagued by guilt, resentment, and missed opportunities, always under the gun.

Who in their right mind would want to live like that? 

It’s an exhausting lifestyle of overwhelming stress and anxiety, haunting pressure caused by perfectionism, anger, lack of motivation, poor time management skills, and nagging frustration. 

Imagine waking up every day to the crippling fears and regrets of procrastination.

Dealing with Procrastination and Stress

Procrastination creates stress. 

Some people use recreation and physical activity to reduce their stress levels to manage and enjoy life more while dealing with the fallout of procrastination as they learn to stop procrastinating and be more productive. 

Other stress-relieving activities include listening to soul-soothing music, lighting candles, and creating a more relaxing environment.

Putting a stop to procrastination is the best antidote. 

Dealing with Procrastination and Perfectionism

Perfectionism is an underlying cause of procrastination for many people that paralyzes them, keeping them from unlocking their best life.

Perfectionism is faulty thinking.

Use deadlines to put perfectionism in its place.

Without a deadline, you can get trapped in a loop of perfectionistic thinking that delays you indefinitely; you never get off the starting blocks.

Besides using a deadline to snap you out of the doldrums of perfectionistic thinking, give yourself permission to be human! 

No one is perfect. 

An imperfect plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow. So get moving!

If you find yourself stuck in an endless loop of perfectionistic thinking that you know is keeping you from achieving your dreams and goals, realize that progress is a process. 

A commitment to constant and never-ending improvement gets you much farther than a commitment to making sure everything is perfect. You can’t get to the next level without getting through this level first.

Be committed to taking action now and revising along the way. 

Dealing with Procrastination and Poor Time Management Skills

Time management is really about organizing your time effectively. 

It’s hard for a distracted or disorganized mind to organize time effectively because it isn’t clear on what it wants, needs, or should do; the target is always fuzzy or moving.

We an be disorganized internally and/or externally.

A disorganized environment drains energy and can make people avoid doing what they should, making it easy to put things off.  

It’s pretty hard to organize your time and stay on task if your thinking is disorganized and your work/life environment is dirty, disorganized, and cluttered, all of which fuels procrastination.

Time Organization Strategies

 A popular strategy is to organize time into 30-minute chunks, give or take. 

Here’s how it works. Schedule a task you think you can get done in thirty minutes or less., and reward yourself immediately after completing it. 

Choose a reward you’ll look forward to and enjoy. Maybe your reward is taking a 10-minute walk in the fresh air, watching your favorite show after work, or enjoying your favorite snack.

You’re training yourself to become a person who gets stuff done. 

Some tasks will take less time, and some will take an hour or ninety minutes. 

Even if the thirty-minute task is unpleasant or uncomfortable, you’ll stick with it because you can put up with just about anything for thirty minutes, plus you have a well-deserved reward waiting for you at the end. 

If thirty minutes is too long at first, choose something shorter, like ten or fifteen minutes; even five or six minutes might be enough time to get you started and in flow. The goal is to jumpstart yourself into action so that you’re a doer, not a procrastinator. 

If using shorter time chunks, decide how many you must complete before enjoying your reward. If the idea is to reward yourself for every thirty minutes of action taken, you must finish three 10-minute chunks to enjoy your reward; make a game of it.

Dealing with Procrastination and a Lack of Motivation

People procrastinate when they’re not motivated. A lack of motivation can come from a place of helplessness or hopelessness. It’s hard to start when you keep thinking, “What’s the point?”

Although everyone occasionally struggles with burnout and laziness, ongoing low motivation points to deeper issues to address before change can occur. 

If you’re struggling with low motivation, ask yourself, what’s my purpose? What do I want from my life, career, relationships, or marriage that I’m not getting? If I were living my best life, what would be driving me?

By identifying the emotional “clog” that’s gumming up your motivation, you can face the situation, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable it might be, find your “inspiring why,” and push through to the next level.

Being driven by an “inspiring why” decreases procrastination because you’ll do what’s necessary and take imperfect action to get what you need, want, or dream. 

Lastly, don’t underestimate the power of a good coach or counselor to help you identify blocks and get clear. They will hold you accountable, inspiring you to take action toward living the life of your dreams.

Procrastination is paralyzing. It restricts your potential and limits how far you can go. At best, procrastination creates an average, mediocre life. At worst, it creates a life of quiet, fear-driven desperation. 

Every cause has an effect. If you don’t like the effects you’re dealing with, it’s within your power to change the cause. Use one of the strategies in this article to create momentum, and then keep building on it to unlock your best life.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

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