You Have The Power To Overcome Procrastination

The most destructive effect of procrastination is the feeling of being out of control. Procrastination is a silent enemy that prevents you from doing all the things you know you must do. With the ever increasing demands on our time and attention, increased procrastination easily creeps into our daily routine as ends up being a chronic problem –  even among those individuals that are highly motivated and want to succeed.  Procrastination takes over when you feel overwhelmed by all the “must do’s” in life. Instead of making steady progress, you start taking on too many things and don’t get much done on any of the tasks.
Being out of control takes away the power you have to shape and direct your life. Yes, it’s true that there are many things over which you have no control, but you always have complete control over what happens to you. Being empowered means that you know that you posess the power and this realization gives you the ability to take action. Here are five tips that can help you to reach this realization and become empowered to effectively deal with procrastination and inaction.

Inside, Not Outside

Procrastination is an internal process. Even though it might feel like it’s something that is happening to you, you are, in fact, responsible for it. Knowing this can help put you back in control almost immediately. Just remembering that procrastination IS NOT an external force, but an internal response, will empower you to take charge of the situation and do something about it.

You, And Only You

When procrastination grabs ahold of you, it’s so easy to think “that’s just the way it is” and there is nothing you can to about it. Although it may feel like you have no control over the situation, you actually do. As a matter of fact, this is the reason why you feel completely out of control.  Your mind is playing tricks with you and making you believe that you can’t do anything about it. There are two very important thought patterns you must develop in order to break the cycle of procrastination. First, you CAN overcome procrastination. Second, YOU can overcome procrastination. The two sentences are identical, but the emphasis is different between the two.  No one but YOU CAN stop the vicious cycle of procrastination because you created it.  It is up to you to undo the cycle and move forward!

Mind Over Matter

Most people remain stuck in a repeating pattern of procrastination out of fear. Fundamentally, all forms of procrastination come down to fear. What you don’t face has control over you. To overcome that fear, and the procrastination that can come with it, you must confront and do the very thing you just don’t want to do. The instant you face it, you are fully in charge and it no longer has any control over you. Ironically, fear only exists in your imagination – something that hasn’t happened yet. By default, procrastination is not real – it’s only the way you choose to evaluate things in your mind.

Condition Your Response

Being successful at anything in life relies on consistency. The best and most successful individuals are those who can repeat their greatness on a consistent basis.  How do you get there?  Through conditioning. When you do something over and over it becomes your “normal” and when it’s “normal” you don’t have to think about it – it becomes automatic. If procrastination is your conditioned response to a situation, you will always feel out of control, simply because that’s what you’ve taught yourself to do automatically. It is a matter of reconditioning yourself to have a new response; to teach yourself to respond in a different way.

Be Aware

Procrastination does serve a purpose – but only is you are aware of what it is. It is a fact that we only procrastinate about those things that have a highly perceived value to us. At some level, either subconciously or conciously, you believe that taking action will benefit you. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t bother you, right? It is for this reason that we need to be grateful for procrastination and use it as a roadmap to “know” exactly what you need to act upon. Being aware of this fact, and developing an acute awareness for what you do and fail to do can empower you to be in charge of yourself on a much higher level.

Remember, when you are empowered you are in charge. Even if things seem to go wrong on the surface, underneath it all you know that you have the ultimate power to deal with it effectively. Procrastination is disempowering and it eliminates your ability to take immediate action and deal with any situation. Always keep in mind that you are the one that is ultimately in charge of you.  With these simple tools, procrastination can become a thing of the past.

Susan Karim

Time Management and Personal Effectiveness Coach

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