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Breaking the Habit of Procrastination

eft goals self-help stress tapping Jan 31, 2024

Procrastination is a common challenge that affects various aspects of our lives, from work and school assignments to household tasks like paying bills or completing home projects.  The reasons we procrastinate vary based on our individual priorities, preferences, and circumstances. 

Here are some common causes:

  • Lack of Motivation: Tasks may seem uninteresting or lack personal relevance.
  • Fear of Failure: We are concerned about performing poorly and not meeting expectations.
  • Task Difficulty: The task feels beyond our skill and paralyzes us with overwhelm.
  • Perfectionism: The conditions for completing the task are not “perfect.”
  • Lack of Focus: We have difficulty staying focused on this task.
  • Short Term Rewards: It takes too long to reap the benefits of completing this task.
  • Task Aversion: The task is unpleasant or emotionally challenging.

 Sometimes dreaded tasks really don’t take that long to complete.  We spend so much more time agonizing over the task when it could have easily been done in a short time. 

When our kids were young, we moved into a house with wallpaper in the kitchen.  I decided to take it off and paint the walls.  Because the paper was difficult to remove and I only worked on it sporadically, it took me six months to complete that task.  After this experience, the thought of tackling the wallpaper border in my bedroom felt overwhelming, so I put it off.

Fast forward eight years, and I decided to get started on that project.  Thirty minutes later it was finished.  Yes, you read that right – it took half an hour.  That experience left a lasting impression on me.  Now, when faced with a procrastinated task, especially one I anticipate repeating, I set my phone’s stopwatch and note the actual time required.  I’m often surprised by how little time it takes to do that task.   I am less likely to procrastinate doing something if it can be done in a short amount of time or if it can be broken down into smaller chunks.

In her book You Are a Badass, author Jen Sincero offers 5 tips to help stop procrastinating:

  • Done is Better Than Perfect: Start the task without waiting for ideal conditions and complete the task before it’s “perfect.”
  • Notice Where You Stop: Identify strategies to overcome obstacles, such as hiring a coach or eliminating distractions.
  • Make a Bet: Create accountability by betting with someone or making a donation if deadlines are missed.
  • Own It and Work With It: If you’re a last-minute person, embrace it rather than dwelling in anxiety.
  • Love Yourself: Love yourself no matter what task you haven’t accomplished.

 Here are a few other tips to help you get started on that task you’re putting off:

  • Break tasks into smaller steps to make them seem less overwhelming and more achievable.
  • Set a timer to work on the task for x minutes. Repeat sessions until it’s complete.
  • Visualize success and imagine how you’ll feel when it’s done.
  • Start with the easiest task to build momentum.
  • Develop a routine that incorporates tiny habits to help you move toward your goal.
  • Try EFT Tapping. Tap along with my Procrastination video on YouTube.

What step will you take to move closer to completing a task you are procrastinating?