EP 27: Push Through Procrastination

Growth & Grace Podcast Episode #27

EP 27: Push Through Procrastination

Why we often delay doing what we know we have to do.

  • Identify ways you might be putting things off. Do you find yourself in these situations?

    • Realizing you didn't leave yourself enough time to finish a task by the deadline

    • Feeling inadequately preparing for meetings

    • Trying to force yourself to do a task

    • Being stressed about time as you rush to appointments

    • Trying to hide that you haven't been working on a task

    • Producing lower quality work than you're capable of

    • Telling yourself, "I'll take care of that later."

    • Waiting to feel more inspired or motivated so that you can do a task.

    • Finding ways to waste time instead of doing what you need to do

    • Relying on last-minute pressure to complete a task

  • What drives procrastination?

    • Fear that it will be unpleasant. When we think about doing something, our minds automatically think of the unenjoyable parts of it.

    • Fear of not doing a good job. We rarely know for sure how something we will work on will turn out, and that uncertainty can give rise to fear or doing it badly.

    • Permission-giving thoughts. Sometimes we tell ourselves we deserve a break or that we will work 'better' if we put it off. I work better under pressure…the reality is that you don't really work better under pressure…you just actually WORK when you're under pressure. You're the same you!

    • Negative reinforcement: every time we put off a task we think we will be unpleasant, we experience a feeling of relief. The brain interprets that relief as a reward, ad we're more likely to repeat an action that led to reward. In this way, our procrastination is reinforced.

  • Beating Procrastination

    • Think: Much of our procrastination comes from how we think about the task and our willing and ability to complete it. Changes in thinking can weaken procrastination's pull.

      • Notice permission giving thoughts.

      • Remind yourself why you don't want to procrastinate.

      • Decide to start.

      • Acknowledge that you probably wont' feel like doing it later either.

      • Challenge beliefs about having to do something perfectly

    • Act: The more we rely on sheer willpower to pus through procrastination, the less likely we'll break its grip. Simple changes in our actions can greatly improve our chances of being productive.

      • Use external reminders

      • Create a distraction free zone

      • Use a calendar

      • Break down a big task list into manageable subtasks

      • Just get started

      • Finish a task, even if it's hard

      • Commit to starting a task imperfectly

      • Work next to others who are working

      • Use shorter, uninterrupted work sessions

      • Figure out how to do things

      • Give yourself small rewards

      • Track your progress

    • Mindfulness

      • Accept discomfort

      • Come into the present

      • Return to your intended focus

      • Notice and acknowledge how to work your best

  • Making your to do list work for you

    • Have a single list

    • Use It consistently

    • Put items in your calendar for specific times

    • Remove items you'll never get to

    • Update your list regularly

    • Prioritize items on the list