Over a month ago, I had a dear friend ask me to post a video about procrastination. I procrastinated by asking more information from her about her procrastination. Until now, we’ve both been procrastinating about the topic. If you’re anything like us, you procrastinate sometimes.
In fact, according to a study Professor Peter Vishton refers to in the Great Courses Class Outsmart Yourself: Brain-Based Strategies to a Better You, 80-95% of people procrastinate on a regular basis, with 50% of those reporting that they procrastinate consistently and problematically.
So, to stop procrastinating on that video, I’m going to start out by giving you my top tip for stopping the procrastination cycle in your own life. I got this tip from Professor Peter Vishton in the Great Courses class mentioned above.
Top Tip To Stop Procrastination: Do Nothing For 15-12 Minutes
It sounds counter-intuitive, right? Shouldn’t I be telling you to go ahead and get started? Most procrastinating people are not being lazy- they are busy doing something. Its just that the something they are doing is not the task causing them the most anxiety and guilt. They get busy scrolling Facebook, straightening up their desk, writing an email, doing dishes, walking the dog, making that phone call etc. They do less important more immediately gratifying tasks as they avoid doing the more important, anxiety-producing ones.
So, research shows that one of the best things you can do is take 15-20 minutes just to sit quietly and think. Think about what you are going to do. Think about that task you are procrastinating on and how you might want to approach it. Do nothing. Just think.
If you get stressed thinking about the task, let your mind drift to the things that really satisfy in your life:
- The relationships that matter most to you
- The activities that make you feel free and rested
- The blessings you are most thankful for
- The reality that no matter what happens on this project, the sun will still rise (Lord willing) tomorrow (and if it doesn’t, you’ll be in a better place where you never have to think about this task again anyway).
Then, let your mind drift back to what to do next on the task you are procrastinating on. By doing nothing, you will not be working on something different that distracts you. You will likely find much more progress made because you took the time just to sit and focus on that cloud hanging over your head. Try it! I believe you will find that cloud to be less dark and less sinister afterwards.
More on this topic soon!
Enjoy Your Life To The Full
This blog is written to encourage and challenge you to get the most out of this one life you have to live. If you liked this post, you may also like:
- 5 Brain-Based Solutions to Stop Procrastinating
- Why We Procrastinate
- Your Brain On Lists
- Great Courses Course: Outsmart Yourself
- Bigger Problem=Greater Potential
Copyright © 2019 Angela Edmonds. All rights reserved.