How to Overcome Procrastination

Why do people procrastinate?

Did you know that half of Internet traffic is due to people procrastinating?
An increase of one point on a five point scale 'how much do you procrastinate' , was equal to a reduction in income of $14,703 per year!
Do you know what’s going on when you need to do something, but can’t seem to start?
Find out below, and then book your time to stop.

Procrastination - here's how to stop it!

Stop procrastinating tomorrow!

Procrastination is knowing that you should be doing something, wanting to do it, and you just can't. You either can't start on it, or you can't finish it.

Procrastination can apply to anything. Some people put off things at work, or assignments at college, going to the gym, or even trying to ask for a date. In every case it is something you actually are capable of, but just cannot get yourself to do it.

About 17% of the population are chronic procrastinators. 85% of students procrastinate sometimes, and 50% say they do it all the time.

Most people reckon they would be millionaires if they didn't procrastinate so much.

Procrastination is basically a fear of being criticized. But strangely, most people are not even aware that they are doing that. But something in you is aware that you need to avoid it, so you  find ways to put it off.

Procrastination can seem like a lifetime habit,  but it is not a serious problem. Unless you allow it to go on. Over time, it can affect your productivity, your social life and your health.

It can be fixed. Hypnotherapy is the most successful way out of it.

Procrastination Hypnosis

What is procrastination?

Procrastinators are not lazy. They are not too busy to get things done. They are not lacking in knowledge or intelligence. They are not trying to avoid work. In fact they often desperately want to get on with it. But they can't. And they can't because they are even more desperate to avoid being judged.

Procrastination happens when you have something to do that you are not quite sure about. It may require creativity, it may be new to you, it may be outside your comfort zone. Whatever it is, you are not confident about your ability - and it is going to be judged by someone else.

Every time you think about the task, you get a feeling of uncertainty, a lack of confidence, a fear of failure. So you delay it, put it off, go and do something else, and then you can avoid the feeling of anxiety.

Sometimes you can put if off for a very long time. But you know you have to do it eventually. So you leave it until one minute past the last possible minute. Then you throw yourself into the work, crash something out, and hand it in for inspection.

That way you know, if it is criticized, if you are criticized, you can say 'Of course it isn't great work, I didn't have enough time!' The perfect excuse.

Sometimes it is actually a fear of success. If I do well at this, I will be made to do even more difficult tasks.

Definition of procrastination 

Choosing to do some distraction activity instead of finishing something important, while knowing it is important, and having no good reason not to finish it. Procrastination is always associated with something you have to do on your own, and someone else will be judging you. 

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Tips for ending procrastination

Procrastination has been around for thousands of years, and there is no such shortage of advice on how to get over it. But because all the advice is aimed at the symptoms, not the cause, only a few actually work.

Here are some of the more useful ones.

Use a to-do list. Sometimes you can manage your time better by planning it out in advance. Make a list with 20 minute entries. And then put in all the things you have to do that day. Then you can work on a non-procrastination task for 20 minutes.

Move onto the next task. And move on to the next, and so on. That will make sure that you get some of your procrastination tasks done and eventually you will build up a rhythm.

Set a time limit. You can do this on your phone. Set up a timer that goes off every 17 minutes or so. When you start it running, do something until the timer tells you that the 17 minutes is up.

Then switch on to something else and do that for 17 minutes. Every time you switch to a new task you will find it easier to get on with the things that you should be doing.

Break it down. Look over the whole of your project, and then break it down into sections. Then take these sections and break them down into smaller tasks. Keep doing this until you got your plan tasks down to not more than 15 minutes activities.

Then start on one of the activities and promise yourself that you do it until that activity is finished. Rinse and repeat.

Know your weaknesses. Most of us have favorite things that we do when we are procrastinating. Get to recognise your distraction activities. When you find yourself starting on a distraction, immediately do an anti-distraction activity.

For example if you find yourself searching for new things on the Internet, recognize it for what it is, a distraction activity. And then instantly, immediately, get up and go  run round the block. Or walk up and down two flight of stairs. Something physical.

This lets you break out of the procrastinating activity by substituting something else that will clear your mind.

Reward yourself. When you complete a task that you have been procrastinating about, give yourself a reward. But be careful what you reward yourself with. You don't want to reward yourself with one of your procrastination activities.

Be inventive. You might call a friend. Or make yourself a coffee. Or play one online word game that gives you a win or lose result in a few minutes. Anything that makes you feel good, and is time limited.

Get a partner. Procrastination is usually a solitary thing. Try to get a study buddy. If you can, get someone else involved in your project, someone to work with. That way you can motivate each other and point out when you're procrastinating.

Blame someone else. The purpose is to avoid the feeling of being judged. So why not get them to judge someone else? In your mind, you can come up with some, any, reason why you were not properly taught, or prepared, or notified - any other convenient reason to blame somebody else.

If can convince your mind that you were not taught this stuff properly, then you can write that out at the start of your essay. Then write your essay, knowing that it is not good enough, but  that's not your fault. But you will heroically do your best, under the circumstances.

Your mind will let you get on with it, knowing you are not the one who will get judged. And then, when it is finished, delete the excuse and hand it in anyway.

Reasons for Procrastination

Classic Procrastination is about avoiding criticism. It is a fear of  disapproval, of not being good enough, of failing to measure up, maybe having to tell someone you have failed.

It usually has roots in childhood. At some point, perhaps many times, a parent, a teacher, somebody, told you you weren't good enough. It put the unconscious belief in you that nothing you did was good enough, would ever be good enough.

Every time you did something, when you were hoping for praise, instead what you got was ridiculed, rejected, made to feel stupid and unwanted. And your mind hated it. You wanted to run away, to hide, to stop the horrible words. Your mind will do anything to avoid that feeling again.

So the mind finds ways for you never to be in that situation again.

If you never finish it, or never start it, you can't be criticized, can you? And while the deadline is far away, there is no problem, but as the deadline approaches, the time of judgment approaches, and the fear of the pain of criticism grows and grows until it is unbearable.

At that point the pressure is too much to resist and you slap something together at the last moment. Sometime it is enough to get accepted, but it would be much better to have planned it and started long before the deadline.

Distraction Procrastination

is where you know how to do something, can do it, but are constantly distracted by unnecessary and self indulgent activities. Surfing the Internet, checking online auctions, reading the news and so on all seem to be more important right now, more attractive than doing all the important things that you are supposed to be doing. Its source is a general anxiety about the individual not being good enough.

Distraction procrastination is about rewards. There is instant gratification available from reading Facebook, or checking emails or some other way of wasting time. There is no gratification from doing the ordinary boring routine jobs you are paid to do.

What happens is your mind fixes on the dull stuff and can't find anything interesting in it anymore. And so imagines it to be even more dull. Especially in comparison to what might be happening out in the real world. So you go seeking stimulation and very soon have trained yourself into a behaviour pattern that is hard to shift.

Pervasive Procrastination

is the feeling of 'why bother' that applies to everything. Typically you put off exercising, or can't be bothered cooking. Or maybe you don't want to go out, and would rather just slump in front of the television. This does not apply to one specific activity, but to all activities.

It tends to get worse over time. This is often the result of undiagnosed depression, or dysthymia. It can be treated effectively and quickly. It is not really procrastination, it reflects a loss of interest in life generally.

How to beat Procrastination

Hypnotherapy is very effective for the distraction type of procrastination. A direct suggestion script is used to reduce the attraction of the external time wasters, and to increase personal motivation. It enables the subconscious connection between time and money, and reframes the routine jobs as being rewarding and stimulating and installs better work habits.

Cognitive therapy offers another way of dealing with it. Whatever the symptoms, the basic therapy is also aiming at  correcting the underlying fear. This is normally done in multiple sessions. The person becomes aware of how their mind is representing their problem, and then changes that representation. Changing how the mind represents the problem destroys what is causing the problem. And the procrastination is gone.

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