Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished. Whether it’s putting off a work project, avoiding daily chores or even postponing your long-held goals, procrastination is an easy pitfall that even the most productive people can fall into. In fact, around 95% of us will procrastinate at one point or another, according to research by psychologist Dr Pier Steels.
While it is a common occurrence, avoiding work that needs to be done can have a serious impact on our health. Research shows that the peaks of anxiety from chronic-procrastination can cause stress-related health problems such as headaches, digestive issues, insomnia and regular illness. Procrastination can also affect your mental health by causing constant anxiety, doubt, negative self-talk, feelings of worthlessness and depression.
So, why do people procrastinate?
There are many reasons why people procrastinate, however the most common are:
- You don’t believe in yourself
- You let perfectionism get in the way
- You avoid the big task because it seems too difficult
- You are experiencing a lack of motivation
- You don’t know how to get started
Many of these reasons translate into one word: fear – for most people the reason they put off their goals is that they are afraid and unsure how to go after them. In these circumstances, it’s important to shift the beliefs around your goals and your abilities to empower you, as opposed to holding you back. These 5 beliefs can help you to avoid procrastination and achieve your goals:
1. Perfection isn’t possible
There is no better time than the present to start working towards your goals. Whether you’re waiting for the perfect moment, the perfect opportunity or you are waiting until you are capable of doing something perfectly, if you wait for the ‘right’ and the perfect moment will always be left waiting. Perfection is neither possible or necessary. Instead, strive to do your best and do it with all that is available to you and all your passion.
2. Action is the only way forward
It is true that in order to achieve your goals you will need a clear idea of what you are aiming for and a plan to get there. However, without taking specific action your ideas will always remain nothing more than that. Action is the only way forward, adopt this as your mantra and you will blitz procrastination.
3. Inspiration isn’t a straight line
Inspiration isn’t a straight line, it often experiences peaks and troughs. We all have days when we would rather snooze our alarm for another hour than get out of bed and go for a run, on these days we have to believe in our ability to dig deep and push forward to achieve our overall goal.
4. There are no guarantees
There is no roadmap to success and there are definitely no guarantees that our endeavours will be without risk. Every attempt at progress is accompanied by a certain chance of failure. However, we have to be prepared to fail, as it is in these times we will learn and grow. The one thing you can be confident of is that failure to take action will not bring you any closer to achieving your goals.
5. Self-love is the root of success
When you hold yourself in high esteem you tend to have more enjoyment, resilience and a more positive attitude toward the future. This is important as there will always be obstacles on the path to success, however, with self-love and self-care, you will have the internal toolkit to navigate even the most tumultuous times.
Procrastination is a slippery slope and it is the fastest way to stop our goals dead in their tracks. Ditch it this year and go after your goals with action, self-belief and kindness.
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