Procrastination is, hands down, our favorite form of self-sabotage.–Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby
Procrastination can be a sticky problem to overcome because you avoid taking action at all costs, which leaves you feeling even more frightened or intimidated – which causes you to procrastinate even more! Eventually you find yourself caught in a vicious circle; wanting to make changes but feeling powerless to do so.
The good news is that once you do begin moving forward, it seems much easier to keep the momentum going. But how do you motivate yourself to begin moving forward at all?
Try one or more of these strategies:
1) Pump yourself up.
Sometimes simple mind games can be enough to get you moving. Procrastination usually comes along with a mental conversation that might sound something like this: “I really don’t want to perform that task or activity right now. Maybe I should fold some laundry or go to the store. No, I really should get this done, but I feel intimidated. Maybe I should put it off until I feel ready to handle it.” Essentially you argue with yourself – but usually on a subconscious level.
However, you can use this same mental dialogue in a more conscious, empowering way too! Try engaging in some self talk like this, “You know you can do this! You’re stronger than any procrastination habit; just get moving, no more excuses! You’ll feel so great when you finally start making progress! It won’t seem so bad once you get going.”
2) Give yourself a reward.
Bribery can also work well if you’re having trouble pumping yourself up. Promise yourself something nice like a new outfit, book, or gadget if you make a specific amount of progress on your task. You can also choose less expensive rewards like treating yourself to favorite foods or taking some time off once you’ve completed the task. Just be sure you follow through on your promise or you’ll have a harder time bribing yourself next time.
3) Focus on the satisfaction.
If nothing else works, focus intently on the feeling of satisfaction you’ll gain when the job is done! Most often when you procrastinate you’re focusing on the negative aspects of the task you don’t want to do, like how hard it will be, how unpleasant or boring, and so on. By focusing more on the positive gains, you’ll feel more inclined to take action so you can enjoy the feeling of accomplishment.
These motivational tactics and others are only effective if you’re willing to give them a fair chance to work. When it comes right down to it, YOU have to be the one to decide to get moving – no matter what it takes to do so.
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