Fight Procrastination Day: Is Shame to Blame for Your Procrastination?
Posted on 6th September 2023 at 12:49
Picture this: you're sitting at your desk, staring at a mountain of work, and yet, you can't seem to summon the energy to get started. Procrastination is a sneaky beast, and it often disguises itself as something else. But is it possible that shame is the puppeteer behind the procrastination curtain?
Let's start by examining procrastination's hold on your business. You've got the business plan, the funding, and the brilliant ideas. However, every time you sit down to take action, you find yourself strangely distracted by other apparently more important tasks and or you feel a sense of shame wash over you. By lunchtime you still having tackled the key task and you are now doubting your abilities and worrying about failing in front of your investors or peers. This shame-induced procrastination keeps you stuck in a never-ending loop of self-doubt.
And it’s not just your business where procrastination can rear its head…
But procrastination doesn't stop there. It also has a habit of creeping into your homelife, especially when you’re juggling lots at work. You go home and there’s that leaky tap you’ve been meaning to fix for weeks. But the thing is, you’re not really sure how to go about doing it. Every time you think about it, shame-induced blocks to action kick in again. The result? That tap continues to sit unfixed, wasting water and money while you’re feeling guilty about it.
It happens to a lot of us. So are there ways to overcome the procrastination that's holding you and your business back? Here’s a few to get you started…
6 Ways to Overcome Procrastination
Enough of these gloomy procrastination stories! Let's shift gears and talk about how to overcome procrastination:
Challenge your negative thoughts. When those shame-filled fearful thoughts start to creep in, put your detective hat on and interrogate them. Are they really true? Spoiler alert: they're usually not. You're not a failure, and you're not going to let everyone down.
Focus on the positive. If things have gone wrong in the past, it can be easy to self shame, talk yourself down or find yourself stuck in analysis paralysis. Instead of dwelling on the doom and gloom, why not think about the positive outcomes. How will you feel when you complete the task? How will others react? Focus on those warm, fuzzy feelings to give you that boost of serotonin to keep yourself motivated.
Break daunting tasks into smaller steps that feel more achievable. I don't know about you, but the longer I put off a task, the bigger it feels. Even the smallest of tasks can feel like a mountain if I put it off for long enough. But, breaking these big tasks down into smaller steps is like turning a colossal mountain into a series of more manageable foothills.
Set deadlines. We all hated them at school, but there’s no denying that having that deadline looming in the distance was a good way to keep those tasks you're procrastinating in the front of your mind. When you’re at procrastination central though, deadlines can become your trusty sidekicks in the fight against procrastination. Knowing that a task has a due date lights a fire under you, making procrastination less appealing.
Set rewards for yourself. Completing a task is a victory, no matter how small - first Tick if off. Reward yourself with something delightful—a piece of chocolate, a dance break, or a cat video. Rewards keep you motivated.
Talk to someone you trust. Sharing your struggles with a trusted friend or family member can work wonders. They offer support, encouragement, and maybe even a pep talk when you need it most. Plus, they might have their own procrastination tales to share!
A few bonus tips for procrastination warriors…
Sadly, procrastination isn’t one of those things which goes away. The temptation is always there. So here are a couple of bonus strategies to help make avoiding the temptation that little bit easier:
Find a study buddy or accountability partner: Whether in business or personal life, having someone to work with or check in with can keep you on track. It's like having a workout buddy but for your to-do list.
Get organised: Chaos breeds procrastination. Create a system for tracking your tasks and deadlines. A to-do list, a calendar, or even an app can help you stay organised and on top of your game.
Take breaks: Don't attempt to work for hours on end. Your brain needs some downtime so remember to take short breaks throughout the day to recharge and avoid burnout. It's like a power-up for your productivity.
Take care of yourself: This might be the most important tip of all. Make sure you're getting enough sleep, eating slow burn nutritious foods, and exercising regularly. When you're physically and mentally well, you'll have the energy and focus to tackle your tasks head-on.
Embrace being outside of your comfort zone: Apparently those who live the longest across the world regularly spend time learning new things. Its good for your brain and can help stave off dementia too.
Tackling procrastination is not easy, and not something you can always do alone. But armed with these strategies and a touch of determination, you can put procrastination back in its place.
So, don your superhero cape and take action today. Fight procrastination with all your might, because the world needs your brilliance, creativity, and determination. Don't let procrastination hold you back any longer. You've got this!
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