Read on for some good ideas to get you moving again, when you are stuck in a rut of procrastination.
Procrastination: Where Does it Come From?
The roots of your particular brand of procrastination are going to be unique to you in their particulars. But I would bet that for many, many people, the well-spring of procrastination is to be found in self-criticism and an accompanying lack of self-confidence.
There are also lots and lots of illusions associated with procrastination … perhaps the biggest one being, “If I ignore it, it will go away.”
Has that ever worked on the dirty dishes? Not to my knowledge … 😉
Procrastination and Dirty Dishes
Speaking of dirty dishes, I recently read a blog post titled “Self-hack: enjoying doing the dishes” by Assaf Lavie on his Super Fun Time Happy Blog that offers up a term you may remember from Psychology 101 – operant conditioning – as a way of overcoming procrastination.
Basically, what he is talking about is using rewards to overcome procrastination. (The actual theory speaks to rewards and punishments – but I would focus on rewards, as negative conditioning just feeds the critical voice that keeps you stuck).
… for many, many people, the well-spring of procrastination is to be found in self-criticism and an accompanying lack of self-confidence. Tweet This!
So the idea here, for overcoming procrastination, is pairing a task you avoid (like doing the dishes) with an activity you enjoy and can do simultaneously (like listening to podcasts). Not all tasks lend themselves to this tactic – for example, if you’re avoiding something that requires full focus and attention, a podcast in the background isn’t going to help. But for many of the simple, daily tasks that we tend to put off, paring fun with work can help keep you moving.
For more complex tasks that you avoid, I’d suggest breaking the task up into smaller chunks wherever possible. Then devise rewards that you can give yourself after you complete each chunk. The rewards needn’t be elaborate, either. Quite often, a simple validation is all that you need!
Procrastination and Those Critical Voices
But the reality is that no cure is going to work forever … unless you begin to get at the roots of the problem. That’s where your power lies. So, I offer you a time tool that goes straight to the heart of self-criticism.
“‘These Critical Voices Are Driving Me Crazy!’ How to Use Positive Self-Talk to Save Your Sanity and Your Time!” gives you a powerful (and empowering) antidote to the destructiveness of self-criticism! With practical exercises, checklists and tips this Exercise and Guide Book helps you recognize the critical voices you carry inside. And not only that – it gives you a step-by-step path to take back your power and counter those negative messages with clear, positive messages of your own. Click this link to get started … and deal with your procrastination right at its very core!