“One of the best escapes from the prison of procrastination is to take even the smallest step toward your goal.”
Have you ever heard about time preference? That’s about the natural inclination to enjoy things now rather than later unless there is a reward for delaying the satisfaction of wants. Is this relevant to stop procrastinating? How is that?
There are many reasons why people procrastinate, but behind all of them is time preference. Indeed, procrastinators value the future outcome of doing a task less than doing any other pleasant activity in the present.
We all do this from time to time. Yet, issues arise when this becomes a chronic habit. At this point, procrastination becomes a challenge. More often than not, procrastination has deep roots in self-doubt, lack of confidence, fear of failure, and overthrowing.
That happened to Sophie. Do you remember her? She is a creative writer we talked about when discussing personal development coach. She felt like she couldn’t finish her book and imbued herself in self-doubt.
Yet, she could stop procrastinating, ended up writing her book, and fulfilled her goal. How did she do it? More on that soon, but first let’s talk a bit about the causes of procrastination.
Identify its causes to stop procrastinating
As mentioned earlier, procrastinators delay activities to invest their time in more enjoyable activities. But there are additional reasons that explain why they behave like that. Some of them are:
- Finding a task boring or unpleasant.
- Having poor organizational skills.
- Being overwhelmed by a task.
- Getting more task requests after completing previous tasks.
- Embracing perfectionism.
- Lacking good decision-making skills.
Yet, there are even deeper reasons why people procrastinate as a habit such as a self-doubt, lack of confidence, fear of failure, and overthrowing.
All of them scream there is a misalignment between what we do and who we are. Shifting to a gift mindset will cast them all away.
In the case of Sophie, self-doubt caused her to procrastinate her book.
How can a procrastinator change their mindset?
The causes we just talked about are the most common, but someone may procrastinate for a different reason. To find out, switching to a gift mindset is critical, just like Sophie did.
Apart from that, ‘first aid’ actions help overcome procrastination. Doing both, changing to a gift mindset, and going through those ‘first aid’ activities ensures that anyone can stop procrastinating.
First aid actions to overcome procrastination
There are five actions anyone can do right away to get results quickly. Those are:
- Make decisions ahead of time. It helps to create healthy habits and avoid wasting energy on making decisions every day.
- Write down your plan for the next day. Taking some minutes at the end of each day to create a to-do list for the next day will help to stay focused.
- Commit to the most important tasks or do nothing. Since procrastinators give up unpleasant tasks to do those they enjoy, it works as an ultimatum.
- Break down overwhelming tasks into small doable actions. This way, the overwhelm disappears. After all, a big journey starts with one step, right?
- Get rid of any distractions. The main idea here is to create an environment that invites working and staying focused on the task ahead.
Gift mindset to stop procrastinating
Even though ‘first aid’ actions are pretty useful, they don’t treat the issue from its roots. A gift mindset is required. Having one means that you see yourself from a gift perspective. It means you see yourself as a whole, as a gift someone else needs, and vice versa.
A gift mindset helps you see yourself and others differently. As a result, you start to see your gifts, personal skills, talents, and essence as valuable and worthy. Now it will be easier to move forward with this new holding of who you are.
Inner transformations also help. What is that about? That’s what happens when you switch from the roots of procrastination to a positive perspective about yourself. For example:
- Instead of self-doubt, more self-confidence.
- Instead of fear of rejection, more self-acceptance.
- Instead of fear of failure, exploring, and being curious.
- Instead of overthrowing, create new things with your gifts.
When our mind focuses on the outside, we value doing pleasant tasks today more than doing unpleasant ones unless there’s a reward for delayed satisfaction. Other causes only scratch the surface.
The principal cause of procrastination resides in a misalignment between the inner self and tasks. A change to a gift mindset addresses all these causes making it easier to move forward.
As with Sophie, a personal development coach can help you stop procrastinating if you are struggling with it. I am available for a complimentary call. There, we can talk about this or any issue you may have. Get in touch!