4 Steps to Overcome the Procrastination Habit and Reward Yourself

Over time we develop habits to deal with many areas of our lives. What we think, what we do, how we do it, or if we do it are all indicators of our habits. All repetitive activities seem to generate a pattern.

==>What about the “procrastination” habit?

Procrastination is about avoiding doing a task that you need to do and putting the activity off until tomorrow.

There is usually a reason why we procrastinate. It can be complex – feeling overwhelmed, fear of failure, not knowing what to do, easily distracted, and not motivated as it’s not essential.

When you create a “procrastination” habit, you reduce your ability to function effectively. This habit is controlling you and can be a hard habit to break. If you believe that procrastination is an issue in your life, what would it look like to no longer choose to resist doing something?

Use the 4-step process below to help you stop resisting what is essential for you to do…one small step at a time.

Step 1: Evaluation

Generally, most of us don’t procrastinate with everything we do; instead, we have selected areas that we are more apprehensive about and resist handling them effectively. The resistance could be in the form of just not doing it or doing the activity at the very last moment when the pressure is on.

Take the time to do some honest self-assessment around the areas of procrastination in your life. Remember, you probably don’t procrastinate around everything you do, so create a list of those areas you resist and how you go about it. For example, you resist completing a report at work (your issue) and wait until the last moment (how you procrastinate). Look to see if there are any themes in your procrastination, as it will help you better understand what is motivating you to procrastinate.

As you create this list, eliminate the need to judge yourself. It’s an assessment, not judgment,

  • You procrastinate because you are fearful of your performance
  • You have not judged correctly how much time an activity will take
  • Too many activities on your To-Do lists
  • Get overwhelmed by the project and don’t know how to break it down.

Step 2: Selection

Overcoming the procrastination habit takes time. It’s best to start slow. Choose a small action to complete as it is then manageable. Keep it simple so you are successful in your quest to decrease your need to procrastinate.

For example, what if you procrastinate around paying the bills? What could you put in place to help you handle this issue more effectively? Here is a simple system to handle the bill-paying process:

**When bills come in, where do they go? Choose one place to put the bills immediately.

**How often do you pay the bills? Choose a weekly, every two weeks, or monthly system and use this system to pay the bills.

**Select a day/time that you regularly sit down to pay your bills. Put this time in your calendar. Choose a time that you can perform the work. Choosing Saturday afternoon may not be realistic if you have children, whereas Monday at 8:00 pm could be perfect.

Are you trying to do too much?

  • Select 3 “must do’s” each day and tackle them first.
  • If you have more time, add two more tasks and complete them.
  • Over time, you will see a list of activities that keep being pushed forward to another day. Now is the time to evaluate whether they are essential to you or you need to let them go. If they are crucial, can you delegate some of your tasks to someone who would be willing to assist you?

Step 3: Share It

Tell others what you are trying to do and ask for their support. Think about how they can best support you. When I reach out to others, I find that I receive some great ideas that help me be more effective with my commitment. Maybe you can find another “procrastinator” and buddy up to support each other in change.

Step 4: Celebrate

Reward yourself for accomplishing what you set out to do. Know before you start how you will reward yourself. As soon as you complete your small goal, celebrate by rewarding yourself.

Make sure the reward is something you like to do. Time is always an issue for most people, so your reward needs to be realistic and something you can do in an hour. Take a bubble bath, buy a new book, call a friend to share the good news, or make time to read your favorite magazine.

Final Thoughts

There isn’t a tomorrow, only a today. Choose what important to you today. Remember, small steps are lovely and bring more energy into your life. It’s your journey in creating more joy in your life.

Women’s Group Topics

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t procrastinate on something in their life.    Be each other’s buddies in creating small steps towards releasing the need to procrastinate.

Be well,

“To fully enjoy the ‘richness’ of our lives, we need to stop long enough to visit with ourselves.”
(Pat Brill)


Other Topics You May Be Interested In
How to Handle All the Paper in Your Life
The Benefits of Journaling
What Is Your Most Valuable Asset in Life?



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