There are a lot of reasons why we procrastinate. We are so busy trying to do it all so we can have it all. And frankly, that is a big myth in itself. Doing it all only leads to overwhelm, exhaustion, and procrastination.
Because there is so much going on in our lives at home, at work, and with our family and friends, most of us are operating with some level of organized or disorganized chaos. We’ve been told that this is normal and expected when you have a career, family, and children. I do believe at times you have to embrace the chaos, but I also think normalizing chaos and a state of upheaval creates an undesirable baseline for how we want to live our lives. I refuse to buy into that narrative.
When we normalize chaos, disorganization, and procrastination, we are actually enabling ourselves and others to stay stuck in the very mechanisms that hold us back from daily freedom and joy. Procrastination is common, and it’s also the cause of a lot of unwanted and unnecessary stress and anxiety in our lives.
The irony is that procrastination is an anxious, fear-based behavior, and the more we do it, the more stress, overwhelm, anxiety, and shame we feel. It can often stem from a fear of not getting something “right” and is heavily tied to perfectionism.
In the end, we all want to feel like we’ve moved enough off our plate so we can truly rest and relax. When procrastination is in full swing, we may be choosing instant gratification over chores, but in reality, we can’t truly enjoy that self-indulgent time because we’re being haunted by our never-ending to-do lists still lurking in the shadows.
Most people think they have a method to their madness. But if you find yourself constantly waiting until the last minute, killing yourself to meet deadlines, canceling or rescheduling commitments, and putting things off until the next day, again and again – then it’s most likely a red flag that something needs a little fine tuning.
We absolutely have the power to take control and shift our tendency to procrastinate. Here are three ways to power through procrastination so you can get more done, and have more time to yourself!
Powering Through Procrastination
Looking at your never-ending to-do list is daunting and is sure to bring up internal hesitations, fears, and possible negative self-talk. Tackle your to-do list with the easiest items first. Pick 2-3 quick and easy tasks to check off your list and get your mind in productivity mode. Even if it’s making your bed, putting in a load of laundry, and getting showered, boom! You are already creating order and getting things done. Fuel yourself with that good energy and celebrate every completed task, big or small.
2. Make it Easy
I have a personal mantra I live by; if it feels hard, make it feel easy. A lot of times we procrastinate on things because they are just downright boring and no fun. We have so many things that we have to do, and not enough time to enjoy our lives, right? So why not delegate or outsource the things you hate doing? From meal prep to cleaning and home organization there is an expert out there just waiting to take something off your plate.
I understand that financially this might not always be an option. An alternative is to try and make the simple mundane tasks like cooking, cleaning, folding laundry, and paying bills more enjoyable. Laundry is my nemesis. In order to power through and get it done, I pop on a Netflix comedy special or listen to a funny podcast while I’m in action. My focus is taken off the dread of doing the task, I get my laugh on, and before I know it, it’s done. How can you liven up some of your daily tasks and have more fun?
3. Focus on the Feeling
So much of our energy goes into resisting things we need to or want to get done. They might be intimidating tasks. Perhaps we have never done them before and we are apprehensive about the outcome. Or maybe they are things we are tired of doing altogether. Either way, shifting your focus to the end result of accomplishment is a positive way to remind yourself of why you want to do that task in the first place. How are you going to feel when it’s done and completed? What will you be able to dedicate your time and attention to when it’s all over? Focusing on the end feeling of accomplishment, being able to check it off your list and move on is a prize in itself, but don’t forget to celebrate yourself and all your effort too.