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  • Writer's picturefabmolly

Procrastination: why we do it and how to eliminate it.



Why do we procrastinate? Surprisingly the reason that we procrastinate has nothing to do with not wanting to work. It is actually a form of stress relief.


When people are stressed about things, it is like carrying a weight on your shoulders. We procrastinate in order to lift some of that weight/burden by placing our mind elsewhere. Finding anything else to do, scrolling facebook, whatever it is, it’s an escape from stress.

So what can we do about it? The first thing is to identify what it is that is causing you stress. Ask yourself, “what am I afraid of or what is it that is bothering me?” Knowing what you are avoiding and or are afraid of is huge! It allows you to identify the trigger for your procrastination. The second thing you should do is give yourself a break. Acknowledge your fear or your burden and then move on. By gracing yourself with forgiveness and empathy you will be more inclined to move forward. The third thing you need to do is to make a list of “micro-actions.” Identify small, easy action steps that will get the ball rolling. And finally and most importantly is to START.


Starting is the hardest part so you must establish a starting ritual. Number one is to give yourself a short time frame to work on. Set yourself up to just do five minutes of solid action steps. Then implement the 5-Second rule (counting backward 5-4-3-2-1) and start! By counting backward your unconscious mind is unable to sabotage you getting started. Small steps in the right direction for short periods of time feel great! They give you a sense of accomplishment and diminish the fear you had initially. Once you start you realize that your fear wasn’t as bad as you thought and you become more likely to start more easily the next time you have work to do.


Don’t think “too big.” Focus on small, doable action steps and then get them done. Compounding small steps over time is what will bring you to achieving your goal and overcome the habit of procrastination. Hopefully in getting the job started and ideally finished will also eliminate some of the stress that was contributing to your procrastination, to begin with.

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