“I’ll do it tomorrow…” 4 Tips for How to Avoid Procrastination and Get Things Done!

procrastinators leaders of tomorrow

“I’ll do it tomorrow…”

4 Tips for How to Avoid Procrastination and Get Things Done!

By

Natasha Sharma M.Sc OACCPP

NKS Therapy

Natasha Sharma is a psychotherapist, doctoral student, author, speaker, and media spokesperson.

Natasha Sharma is a psychotherapist, doctoral student, author, speaker, and media spokesperson.

@NatashaSharma17

A stunningly high number of clients I see in my practice complain about the dreaded P-word: Procrastination. They have ideas, goals, small tasks and large ones, and never seem to complete any of them. When I ask them what gets in the way, the answer is often “I don’t know.” Procrastination – aka the ‘art’ of putting things off until another day – is incredibly common. Not that big of a deal for things that actually can wait, but perfectly annoying when there are things we genuinely need to get done sooner rather than later. It’s a problem that plagues the busy and the not-so-busy, over-achievers and under-achievers, the younger and the older. Why is this?

Human beings are creatures of habit, and our brains have a tendency to favour routine. So any tasks that drastically deviate from our daily routines require more effort from our brains, in the form of conscious self-motivation, organization, and initiation to those very tasks. And, in case you didn’t already know it, our brains don’t like to work! But constant procrastination often leaves us feeling disorganized, unproductive, and downright down on ourselves. And in the worst cases it can lead things to pile up forcing us to do everything at the last minute, which can be overwhelming and incredibly stressful.

Gail Devers Quote

Gail Devers

World Class Olympic Athlete, Woman, Philahthopist, #MOM

@imgaildevers

Here are 4 tips for how to avoid procrastination once and for all:

for how to avoid procrastination once and for all:

  1. Get a good night’s rest – every night! Procrastination is linked to the self-regulatory mechanisms of our bodies, also called executive functioning, which is chaired by the pre-frontal cortex area of our brains. Without adequate rest, this area of the brain simply cannot function at its optimal level, so organizing your time will be more difficult. Granted I said our brains are lazy, but don’t deprive them of a full 8 hours every single night. And if you can handle it, one good, strong cup of coffee in the morning will kick-start your pre-frontal cortex and get you ready for action.
  1. Don’t try to do it all; pick a few things! Picture this: You have a paper to write for a class you’re taking, your taxes are due, you’ve always wanted to learn how to build furniture, learn to speak Swahili, write a book…slow down! If your brain is overwhelmed with too many tasks, it won’t try for any of them! Instead, pick one or two things you really want or need to do and shoot for those to start. Once they are done, pick one or two more, and so on. Research has consistently shown that this method of ‘chunking’ things out helps to get things done faster.
  1. Write things down. This is an oldie but a goodie. Research has also shown that writing things down is more strongly correlated with completion of said things as compared to when we don’t write things down. Why? Accountability. Also, there’s a certain satisfaction in the physical act of deleting an item off of your “to do” list – it can be so gratifying!
  1. Use pleasure as a reward. Still got your pen out? Make a list of things you like in life; things that bring you sheer joy and pleasure. They can be things you do every day or things you occasionally splurge on. Be it an hour at the gym, taking a long hot bath, having a glass of wine, watching a ‘guilty-pleasure’ movie, whatever. Look at your list and use the things on it as rewards for getting something done. Promise yourself that: “After I write half of that report for work, I will watch an hour of TV” and “after I write the rest of the report tomorrow, I will play tennis with Bob.” And then make sure you do reward yourself with something after you finish. This is effectively training your own brain to anticipate rewards for not procrastinating, thereby doing it less and less frequently. Because in addition to being kind of lazy, our brains love to be rewarded!

Put these 4 tips into action and you’ll likely notice a big change in how often you put things off for another day. And in how you feel about yourself. Now if you’ll excuse me, my reward for writing this article is an episode of “Suits.” I’m totally addicted.

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Reboot your #Spirit, #Motivate with Control. Alt. Delete

About a year ago, my first article published was called Control.  Alt.  Delete.  Reboot Your Spirit.  The “hard re-boot” of my internal motherboard was extremely hard and dauntingly scary.  However, it was the best thing I could’ve done.  Through my honesty and willingness to accept myself as less than perfect, using humor and my three-step action plan, I freed myself to live, dream, and hope again.  There are still many frustrating days when I find myself slipping back into old habits and self defeating behaviors.  It happens to the best of us, all the time.  The best thing to do, is refer to a simple action plan with easy steps to remember.  As always, I share my steps with many publications and life coaching clients, thebabyspot.ca being one of the most near and dear to my heart.  Ever authentic, thebabyspot.ca, the Editor in Chief, and her staff, have supported me and lifted me many times…even when I couldn’t find my own voice.  Each day I remember to be grateful for at least three things, my son, my journey, and your support from around the globe.  Thank you.  Each one of you.  You enrich my life and motivate me everyday.  Thank you for all the notes and emails.  Many bring tears to my eyes. I know you’re out there.  Try to remember to enjoy your journey.  Believe that everything ALWAYS works toward the greatest good.  On tough days remember you can always change the way you experience the events in your life. Control.  Alt.  Delete. Reboot your spirit, find humor, and give love.
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www.motivatingothermothers.com

Alexsandra Wright

As mothers and fathers, we find ourselves rolling our “tape” when we are around others. From the work setting to social gatherings, we roll a tape of what we are about and the points that we want to get across to the person listening to us. Many times, our “tape” is embellished to drive a point that we are “nice people, powerful people or respected people.” We do this because we want the listener to gage similar feelings about us. When we roll our tape, we are solidifying that our character, whether real or exaggerated, is presented in the best light to illicit whatever validation we need.   However, once the meeting is over, we have allowed a listener to think something about us that perhaps is not true and we slowly chip away at not only our moral compass, but our character.

Alexsandra Wright has a great three step method to stop this. Like a computer, we have to control, alt and delete.

Control

The answer to being  comfortable in our truth is simple. We have to stop our tape. However, it is the procedure that is hard. Many of us can’t stop rolling out the points we want others to know. Alexsandra asserts that the first step is to CONTROL our words and thoughts.

“Stopping our tape requires us to really listen to what we are saying. Every word. We must take notice which words we use to soothe or validate ourselves, our actions, our feeling and ultimately, our existence.”

Do you find yourself name dropping? Do you want the listener to know about your powerful job or how you are a much stronger person then you really are? Why do you want them to know these things, especially if it just to get a reaction to make you feel good about yourself, garner sympathy, and position yourself as more powerful than another person?  Control yourself from falsely validating.

Alt

Alexsandra’s second step is to Alter your words, thoughts and feelings. She suggests to give yourself some time, whether alone or in a social setting to BE STILL. Think of the words you use to validate yourself. These words will “tingle” a bit according to Alexsandra. Like a slight burn, you know that these words do not feel good and it’s time to give some focus to the problem area. Alexsandra wants you to notice that you are trying to convince someone of something. That someone is not the listener, it’s YOU. Stop right there! Take a deep breath. Instead of saying something in that moment… examine YOUR moment.

Delete

Okay readers, it’s time to purge. Yes, those uncomfortable moments according to Alexsandra are the ones that make us feel that we need to be our biggest and best self. However, seize the opportunity to be your AUTHENTIC self. Say nothing. Be in your moment. Most of all, LET GO of who you think you NEED TO BE and become WHO YOU ARE.

Are you being your authentic self? Leave your story in the comments section below!

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Moms Motivating Other Mothers

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