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Laziness & Procrastination

Why We Procrastinate And How To Fix It

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This article is about Why we procrastinate and how to fix it.

If someone asks me: “What is the superpower that you would like to have?” I would immediately answer: The ability to not procrastinate at all!

Without a doubt, procrastination is a worldwide issue. Most of people suffer from it. The only wall, or obstacle between you and your desired outcome, is called PROCRASTINATION.

procrastination quotes

So, how why we procrastinate in the first place? What is the psychology behind procrastination? Is procrastination something normal or not? And finally how to fix it?

I’m going to try to answer these questions in this post, first to have an overview on procrastination as whole, so you can easily apply the tactics that I’m going to show you to deal with it in a proper way.

But, first let’s talk about what procrasintaion REALLY is…

Procrastination Is Emotional Not Logical

I think the most incredible discovery that I made for myself, even for some might a bit unrealistic, is simply knowing that procrastination is an emotional concern.

In most cases, just with a bit of awareness, you procrastinate on some stuff, because merely you don’t feel good by thinking about them.

It’s great knowing the tactics, and the strategies that are from the realm of the logic or the “thinking brain”, but always you have to know that your “feeling brain” is always taking the lead.

I think when you feed your feeling brain with the right ingredients, like:

  • knowing how to manage stress,
  • getting along with the tirbulations of life,
  • enjoying your life, accepting how it is, and practicing surrender,
  • being mentally healthy and emotionally stable,

it’s going to be a lot easier to take action in those mammoth tasks, and stop postponing them. That’s the must-know thing to know in order to succeed in eliminating procrastination, that unfortunately a lot of people don’t talk about it.

Basically, the way how you feel about something dictates wether you will procrastinate or not.

Why We Don’t Procrastinate On Having Fun?

Simply because it’s fun! I know it might be silly to ask a question like this, but when can derive from it others questions like: how we can have fun or enjoy doing those things?

I’m not going to delve in the answers, but if you are interested, you can checkout this article:

What I want to point out to, is that emotions, and feelings play a major role on the ability to take action. So, when you energy level is stable, your mood is stable, gess what, you don’t need willpower, because there’s no fricition between your feeling brain and your thinking brain.

Struggling with procrastination? Click down below to download “The Procrastination Killer” for FREE where I’m sharing 6 of my best strategies to beat procrastination FOR GOOD, and get highly productive.

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Procrastination is a Habit

Being productive is habit and the same for procrastination. But, first let’s define what is a habit?

According to britannica.com, a habit is: “... any regularly repeated behaviour that requires little or no thought and is learned rather than innate. A habit—which can be part of any activity, ranging from eating and sleeping to thinking and reacting—is developed through reinforcement and repetition….”

The way how you think, and react to internal and external forces is also part of the habit definition, and procrastination is a form a reaction to your emotions.

There’s this quote that I really like in regards to habits:

How you do anything is how you do everything.

T. Harv Eker

The most common shortcommings is we focus only on the big things, and we ignore the little things that we do daily.

I believe if you want to be habitualy prodcutive, look at the little things, and see yourself if you procrastinate on them, and fix those first. Here are some tiny habits to consider to think of:

  • Making your bed every morning
  • Folding your clothes
  • Washing your feets before bed
  • Cleaning the dishes
  • And so on….

Your brain And procrastination…

What is happening in our brains whenever we feel the urge to postpone or delay a task? REALLY a great question!

Of course the brain is utterly complex and there are many things that are involved in it that produces this feeling of procrastinating, but I’m going to keep things simple, and I apologize for it.

Actually what’s happening is your limbic system (set of structures in your brain responsible of emotions good or bad, and memory) and the prefrontal cortex (the front part of the brain responsible of taking decisions, planning, logic thinking) are in battle when this unpleasant feeling arises, and we all know that the limbic system is powerful, actually it takes over the prefrontal cortex and wins.

But thanks to the malleability of the brain. Which means that you can educate and discipline your prefrontal cortex, to deal with the attacks coming from the limbic system , or interfere them.

And you can do that, by applying the strategies, tactics and tips that we are going to go over next in this post. But, before that let’s talk about the real reasons why we tend to procrastinate.

Why We Do Procrastinate

Why we procrastinate and how to fix it for good? I'm going to go in-depth on the meain reasons why we procrastinate and how to fix them once and for all.

Without a doubt, there are several reasons why many of us procrastinate, but I’m going to lay out only the things that I oberseverd in myself, and also the common things that many of us share when it comes to procrastination.

Reason #1: Unstable Mood

It’s something that I just talked about above and that is critically important in your ability to take action.

Anxiety, stress, depression, all of those mental illnesses are directly impacting your mood, and making it unstable and fickle, which impacts hugely your productivity as well.

If you can dedicate a big part of your time into learning how to be in the present moment, do the research needed to comprehend how the brain works, and mostly learn how to embrace life, that will make a huge shift in your mood quality.

Reason #2: Perfectionism

A common issue that leads to putting things off, and procrastinating is this need to do things perfectly.

I’ve been, in this trap for a long period of time, in executing on everything that I’m currently doing from writing posts, to making YouTube videos, and that was a regret for me.

There’s no such thing as making stuff perfectly. Excellence must be a goal, but perfectionism is just an illusion of the mind.

Just take whatever the goal you want to achieve, and just start with it. Embrace the mistakes, be OK with them, and learn from them. You main goal should be improving yourself by 1% every single day.

Reason #3: Lack Of Intrest

Not being intrested or not having any of it, is also considered as a big cause of procrastination.

I faced that times and times again. When you begin something new, novelty comes in, the rush of dopamine gets activated, you feel motivated, and after a while of doing the thing, your intrest fades away, and you are no longer motivated anymore.

That’s why you need to have a purpose behind the goal or the task that will get you going when you are experiencing hard times to be productive.

And the type of purpose that you need is to be others oriented not self oriented. Think about how your work, big or small, will have an impact in others wether now, or in the future. I think that’s so fasinating to keep going, and having unlimited reservoir of energy no matter what you face.

Reason #4: High And Unrealistic Expectation

That’s a common problem when you set goals for yourself, and that exacerbated with the arriving of social media.

Everyone is flexing, and bragging, showing always the shiny part of life, and hunkering down what you must have and do to achieve what was brought up to you.

What happens! We set our standards, and expectations, that we became too little in front the goals, so they become frightening.

Reason #5: Fear

The fear of doing something new, or as it’s known as in the self-help world, “getting out of the comfort zone” is also a big issue leading to putting things off, and procrastinating.

The natural reaction of the mind when its face to something new is to run away, and it’s expressed in a form of nervousness, fear, and not wanting to do the thing. It’s a protective mechanism to keep you safe because for the mind is a threat.

It might be absurd for some, or you might say I already know this, yeah I also know this, but are we truly aware of it?

Because the spark of desire comes from being aware of the problem first, then you can come up with right solutions along the way to fix it partly, or completely. 

Assess yourself over those 5 reasons, and be honest with yourself, what is the number one thing that is making you to postepone things, or not having the desire to do it?

Clarity is power. If you don’t know what is preventing you, the cause or the issue, it’s impossible to find the cure. So, take time for it, before you move on to the next step.

So now, let’s jump over some practical tips that I use to fight procrastination whenever I’m hit with it.

How To Fix The Habit Of Procrastination

Heads-up: Procrastination it’s not something that will go forever. No matter how far you go with the strategies, procrastination will always be in the corner. Always remember, struggle and pain serve for a purpose.

You might be familiar with the upcoming tips, but it’s good to go over stuff again to refresh you mind, and let it as a reminder to go back on track.

Enough talking, let’s begin…

Tactic #1: Something is better than nothing

That’s my mantra when I’m not in the mood, or simply I don’t want to do the task for whatever reason. Remember all it’s emotional based, not logical.

  • You don’t want to write this giant essay? Start with writing 3 or 5 sentences.
  • You want to read but somehow is still tough to do? Start vy reading one paragraph.
  • You have to go to the gym, but you don’t feel like it? Only do some push ups, or stretching exercises.

The same concept that is also put forth by Mark Manson, that he called “The do something principle”.

Basically for anything that it looks like a monster, or a giant mountain, simply break it down, or make it as a small version, easy to attack even if you feel at your lowest point.

Plus, one great thing about “the do something principle” is that it is the cause and the effect of motivation.

procrastination quotes

For example, writing emails to the subscribers in my email list still feels like a chore, and honestly I don’t want to do it. So, what I do is I access to my email provider account, I create a newsletter, and simply I start writing what I do know about the subject.

Of course, it’s still a bit painful, but it is reduced in a way to easily overtaking it to keep going, and activate the domino-effect that will help me to do more things later on.

Tactic #2: Create an environment of inevitability

Simply it means that you develop and design an environment where it’s going to be too costly if you don’t act on the task.

Probably you are already familiar with the yearly plans that are proposed when you want to subscribe to a service for example.

First I used to hesitate on going all in in the thing, and I had a bit of fear, but I found it that It could be a great motivator to use that thing no matter what because I already put a lot of money up front, and there will be consequences if I don’t take action.

For example, Instead of paying monthly for going to the gym, pay once for the whole year and buy all the equipments that you need. I know it could a bit expensive, but at the same time it’s an opportunity to leverage that in order to force yourself to go to the gym.

There is no going back.

The idea is the more you make the exit painful, the less likely you are going to procrastinate. Basically, you leverage the protection mechanism of your brain to your favor.

Tactic #3: Don’t Give Yourself a Story

Ironacillay, the more you think about how good you are, the harder it gets to do the thing.

And less you care about that thing, the easier it gets to kick it.

I know It’s backward but it works.

That’s also I noticed with leaning, and honying my english. English is my third language, and I’m living in Morroco, enligh is not that important, so I have to speak with myself, and write stuff like this blog in order to maintain it.

So, if I think about how I should speak, or trying to be fancy with it, the odds go down hill, and it’s a bit challenging to do it.

But if I just do it, and accepct how words come out from my mouth, I’m surprised with the results. I get the thing I want.

No matter where you’re at, don’t see it as the pinnacle or even don’t give yourself this title. You will be impressed with the outcome.

Struggling with procrastination? Click down below to download “The Procrastination Killer” for FREE where I’m sharing 6 of my best strategies to beat procrastination FOR GOOD, and get highly productive.

procrastination killer