Do you know what means the word procrastination? As English isn´t my native language, it was a new word to me not that long ago. But, ones it was described I directly understood and recognised I have been applying it much of my life and to a lesser extend still do.
Procrastination is defined in Wikipedia as: the action of DELAYING or POSTPONING something. In other words, pushing something ahead. I´d like to at to that the something to be done is important or high up on the (mental) to do list. However, there is always a very important reason why you are not doing the thing and you may invent 1000 of other things to do first. At the same time, if really the action to be taken is important, then pushing it ahead is adding a second problem: not feeling satisfied about yourself. This second problem commonly is even worse than the possible consequences of using your time first for the action.
But, if it is so important, then why push it ahead? There can be many reasons that will be different for each person and in each specific situation. You may recognise that it could be because the thing that is on top of your to do list isn´t something you actually like to do or it may be that you are worried about the consequences it may have if you do it. I mean, imagine that the thing you have to do is finished, wouldn´t that create the time for a next thing to appear in the chain of end-less requests that you don´t like?
Have you ever looked at the procrastination as a tool to help you and protect you? If you recognise you are procrastinating already you have gone a big step ahead, because you can be thankful for this action. How about in stead of walking away and invent 10´s of things that are nicer to do, dive into what it actually is that you are worried about?
Is it that you do not like the feelings you have when you do that specific activity? For example, do you not like doing the dishes or write a complicated email. Or is it because of the consequences it may have? To stick to the example of the dishes, do you happen to brake the plates or glasses or burn your hands in the hot water? Or is it more, that after the dishes you´d normally have to clean the floor and that is really something you don´t like? And with the email is it that you stumble over the words and are worried about all the little comments in your head, or are you worried about the possible consequences of the reaction it may give ones you have send it out?
But, then again, have you asked yourself if you feel better by leaving the dishes, or wait with the email? Does the pushing further ahead solve the problem? Or does it only mean adding this feeling of discomfort for not doing what may feel as most important to you or others.
There are different ways how you can get along with the procrastination. One thing is to work on your feeling of guild for not doing the thing, because in many situations nothing really happens if you do the thing later on. But, if you do it later on, than it is more comfortable to do that with full acceptance of pushing it and enjoy the thing you do in between. The other thing is to work on what it is you are really worried about.
One of the tools I use myself is tapping. By tapping on the EFT points, I get in a more comfortable state and can put things in another perspective. Also suggestions to resolve issue x come up a lot easier.
You can do the tapping (watch this video on to discover the tapping points and this video to practice tapping in silence).
Another useful tool, is to make a list of things to do in the day. But not a long list of end-less things that can not be done, but a short list of say 3 “project-lines” with each 5 actions. If you make that list in the morning and look to it a few times in the day and cross out the things you did, you may recognise it is not so hard. For me more over it helps to do the small, but important things, that I forget when I just go with daily routine.
Another useful tool is to write down the main things that occupy my mind, things that are really important and cross out the ones that within the next 3 months I can not do anything about to solve. For the other things, reflect on what I can do to get further ahead with them and do those things as a main priority for the to-do lists in the next months. This helps focusing. By focusing on these things and crossing out the ones you can not do anything about, you create mental space allowing also space for other things.
One of my best friends is a very good example of somebody that really avoids procrastination. He keeps his to do list active continuously and enjoys the crossing out. I don´t know if he likes to do the things or the crossing out, but it helps to progress very fast. Give it a try, or push it for tomorrow 😉.