Procrastinators of the world, stand up and raise your hands! Oy!! Look at all of us. It’s kinda nice to know you’re not alone. It would be a helluva lot nicer if we could figure out how to overcome procrastination, though, amirite?
Listen, I’m probably the world’s best and greatest procrastinator. I swear.
It’s so bad, I usually leave packing for a trip until the very day I have to leave. It’s just things like that that I’m constantly putting off until tomorrow. Nothing I’m proud of; trust me on that.
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What is Procrastination?
In plain English, this is what procrastination is:
I have something I need to get done, but I really don’t want to do it right now so I’ll put it off until tomorrow. But then tomorrow comes and you find another excuse.
Procrastination also is a feeling of fear or stuckness. Many times, procrastination will rear its ugly head because we have to do is stressful, scary, we don’t know how to do it or we know the consequences might not be ideal.
We never once think about how to overcome procrastination because it’s kind of like our security blanket. It keeps us from ‘the thing’.
We often find ourselves asking this question:
Why Am I Procrastinating So Much?
The answer? You’re just afraid. I do have to throw in this bit, though, some of us are just plain lazy. Is lazy and procrastinating the same thing? Well, yes and no. The two go hand in hand, but not always.
I mean, let’s face it, some of us are lazy. We just don’t want to do things. Bleh. I’ll do it tomorrow.
Those can be things like:
- putting away laundry
You get the idea. But the hard things? That’s procrastination.
But I got your back here. This blog on how to overcome procrastination will help you so much and get you on track to do the things, all the things, even the hard things.
Wanna Know How to Overcome Procrastination?
You’ve come to the right place.
I think many of us really do want to learn how to overcome procrastination but maybe the thought terrifies us. Like, we’re so used to being the way we are that any little change in our habit can seem overwhelming, even overcoming procrastination.
So we put it off.
But I’ll be honest here, I’ve convinced myself there’s no harm in procrastinating. Things get done regardless of when or how. No harm, no foul, right? However, with that said, I would like to be able just to get stuff done right away and not let it sit for hours, days, and weeks (until the very last second and then panic sets in). I would love to be that person.
Will I be? Can I be?
When Will We Stop Procrastinating?
We can do that tomorrow. Ha!
So let’s take this blog and these tips as examples. The classic procrastinator will say, “oh I’ll try those tips tomorrow”. Sure you will.
We’re addicted to our habit of procrastinating!! We know it’s wrong, but so many of us still think it’s ok. “we still get our sh*t done, all good!” But it’s not all good!! It’s a seriously bad habit that we must get a grip on and stop.
We must overcome procrastination!! But how?
Causes of Procrastination
I think it’s important to first understand what some of the causes of procrastination are before we try to figure out how to overcome procrastination!! We need to know why we do the things we do before we try to break our habits or ‘fix ourselves’.
Here is a small list of the causes of procrastination
- we’re afraid of failure (who isn’t??)
- we’re too lazy (admit it, you are!)
- what we have to do is too time-consuming (it’s gonna take too loooooooong!!!!)
- what we have to do isn’t something that we love to do but have to do (ugh!!!)
- we’re not sure how to do it (help!!)
- we have unreasonable expectations (but but but….)
- we feel overwhelmed (dis tew much!!)
When we have to do things we don’t love, we put those things off for as long as we can, no matter what they are, simply because they don’t bring us joy. We don’t want to do them. Period!!
I hate having to do anything businessy or legal or paperworky type stuff. I will put that sh*t off for forever.
Bad Iva Bad!! I know I know.
Check out these great articles before you go!
- 72 Inspirational Quotes to Help You Reach Your Goals
- 19 Things Mentally Strong People Do
- Feeling Worthless? 10 Things to Start Doing Today
- 45 Women Empowerment Quotes to Lift You Up
How to Overcome Procrastination-7 Solutions!
Let’s take a look at all the reasons I listed above and get to the 7 ways to overcome procrastination and fix this once and for all. Little by little, bit by bit, we will overcome procrastination.
1- We’re afraid of failure
One of the main reasons we procrastinate is because we’re afraid of failure.
People will laugh at us. We’ll look like losers. It will be embarrassing. The list goes on. We put something off until the cows come home just to avoid being a failure.
The very first thing you must remind yourself of is this: no matter what you have to do, you are never a loser or a failure, even if it doesn’t work out the way you want it to.
I want you to eradicate the word failure from your vocabulary completely. Right now!
You absolutely must give yourself a HUGE pat on the back for attempting whatever it was.
Most don’t even make it that far. Let them laugh. They are just jealous. They don’t have half the balls you do to do the things you do. Remember that!!
You had to do something scary. You put it off. You finally did it. It didn’t work. Move on to Plan B and high 5 yourself!! Kudos to you for even trying my friend!!!
2- I’m too lazy
Just admit it, you are. So am I. I mean if you are here reading this right now, obviously you have a procrastination problem (like me) and you need help. Admitting to some of our downfalls is part of us growing.
So we’re lazy. We put it off. Meh. Tomorrow. I’ll tell you, between you and me, laziness is character trait of the weak. Ouch.
Ya I said it. Laziness shows weakness. So how on earth do we stop being lazy? Oy. Check out this article for more help on that (it’s a good one!)
3- It’s gonna take so long!
It’s gonna take too loooooooooooong!! Oh I hear ya on this one. I’d rather chew shards of glass dipped in cyanide then sit at my desk and do paperwork. But I have to and I will ( I promise!)
There’s a great quote that goes something like this:
Don’t worry about how long it will take to achieve your goal. The time will pass anyway.
Yes it sure will take too long. No doubt about it. Whatever it is. Repair all your torn clothes, sort through your junk drawers in your kitchen, start working on your dream.
Whatever it is, just do it.
So listen, you’ve been putting this task off for a hundred years. You’ve been stewing for months over something that will take you an hour or a day. How much sense does that make? And this thing you keep putting off is now a thorn in your side.
That’s gotta hurt, no?
4 – I don’t wanna do it *foot stomp*!!
Sometimes we gotta do things we don’t want to do, we hate doing, we don’t love doing, but it needs to be done. Like boring paperwork or decluttering your house or maybe fixing something that’s broken.
Seriously, who wants to do any of those things? Not me.
Let’s face it, life isn’t all rainbows, lollipops and unicorns. Sometimes it throws us icky stuff that we have to deal with. Be an adult and deal with them already (Iva are you listening?).
Get out your calendar or daily planner and schedule a time to do this thing you don’t want to do and be done with it already!!
I love to write things out on my whiteboard. This way I can’t not see them. They are right in front of me in big bold letters. I will also write a date beside them as to when I need to get them done by. This method works for me a lot.
5- But I don’t know how to do this
We really don’t know how to do this thing. We’ve never done it before. We’re not afraid to do it, we just don’t know how to do it. So we won’t do it. Period.
The not knowing how to do something will trigger a fear emotion in us. We are afraid, we don’t know how, we won’t do it. It all goes back to that fear of failure bullsh*t.
Yup I get this one. Fully. Ironically enough, I don’t really procrastinate about these types of things anymore because I’ve learned to embrace learning new things. It’s not always easy but the rewards are amazing.
I get that you don’t know how to do something so you don’t want to do it. You don’t even know if you’re gonna love it or hate it.
Let me share a personal story with you ( you can laugh at me later if you want).
I bought a scooter when I was living in Guatemala because I really really wanted one. The trouble with that was I had no idea how to drive one.
I was terrified.
It sat in my parking lot for a month collecting bird poop and dead bugs. Finally I had to yell at myself.
Iva, for God’s sake. You finally OWN a scooter. Go ride the damn thing. Figure it out! It can’t be that hard. Sheesh.
So I finally did. On Sundays, I would drive around the parking lot when no one was here, just to get used to handling it. That was over a year ago. I’m no pro at it but I ride now with pride.
Learn how to do the thing and then do it. It just might be your next favourite thing in the whole wide world to do and you’ve been robbing yourself of this pleasure all this time simply because you wouldn’t stop procrastinating on doing it!!
Like me and my scooter. How silly!!!!
6- We have unreasonable expectations
We want everything to go our way. We want everything to be amazing and awesome and mindblowing.
Fact of the matter is, it doesn’t always work out that way. If for any reason, we don’t think we will get these results, we just won’t do that thing. Outstanding perfection is in our blood.
But…that’s not always a good thing. I get that we shouldn’t settle for anything less but when your expectations are beyond belief, well, you’re just shooting yourself in the foot.
It’s easy for me to tell you to lower your expectations but I don’t mean settle for crap either. Don’t not do something because you can’t hit gold. Silver is a damn nice colour too. And remember, most people don’t even make bronze.
Do you get that? You have to be proud of yourself every damn step of the way no matter where your path leads you or where you end up.
7- I feel too overwhelmed!
Yup. I get that. Go back to me and my scooter. Just the thought of sitting on it and turning the key almost made me throw up. True story.
I was so overwhelmed by the whole thing I just didn’t even get on it. Fear does that too. And in order to overcome procrastination facing fear and conquering it so important!!
Now you can see how I solved my whole scooter thing. I just yelled myself into doing it. You can do that if you want. It’s effective, trust me, it is.
Or, you can just take some deep breaths, calm yourself down and remind yourself that no matter how overwhelming or scary this thing is, you can do it. You are brave and courageous.
That’s how it happened for me with ziplining too. Wanna hear another story?
Ziplining is something I’ve always dreamed of doing until the time came where I actually was standing up on a platform with high wire cables attached to my body.
Was I freaking out? Oh hell ya. Totally overwhelmed. Couldn’t breathe. Almost crying.
But I had put this off for so many years and now here I was and it was time. After much coaxing by the tour guide and my friend, off I went into the air screaming laughing and crying the whole way.
Fear and anxiety had stopped me from doing this most exhilarating amazing thing in the whole wide world!
More great articles to check out before you leave:
- 11 Signs You’re Having a Midlife Crisis
- Over 50, Unemployed and Depressed? 10 Tips to Give You Hope
- 35 Examples of Personal Goals You Should Set
- How to Start Over at 50 With Nothing
Listen, procrastination sucks and hits a lot of us. We all have our reasons for procrastinating. Most of them are just excuses not to do the thing.
There’s a saying that goes “eat the frog” which means do something you don’t want to do. I mentioned that earlier in this article too.
It’s hard to battle any type of toxic behaviour whether it be smoking, drinking, overeating, whatever. Procrastination is right up there with them all and overcoming procrastination might not be so easy either.
We’ve been doing it for so long now it’s just a part of us. But remember it’s not impossible. Like anything, we use the power of our mind to overcome and break habits.
I know how to overcome procrastination, but will I?
To be honest, this post has been sitting in drafts for almost a month. I’ve been procrastinating writing it. Why? Because I knew it was gonna take too long and I’ll admit, I’m a lazy writer sometimes. But at least I’m honest.
Today I realized it’s time to get this post written up and help others who deal with procrastination too! You know, so it can be like a group thing.
There are still lots of things I procrastinate about. Like that icky paperwork stuff. Slow but sure, I’ll get there.
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Peace and Love
xo iva xo