Another Powerful thing you can do to stop Procrastinating
Procrastination is something manty of us struggle with; it causes wasted time, increased stress, and compromised performance. If you are familiar with our Fitfish community, you will know that I’m passionate about helping people overcome the kinds of habits that can stand in the way of mental, physical and spiritual health. And so in a recent blog I shared ONE powerful thing you can do to help stop you procrastinating. In this video and blog, to continue that theme, I’ll share some more powerful techniques to help you conquer procrastination and become more productive. I explore the concept of temptation bundling and suggest ways to make tasks more pleasurable, ultimately eliminating procrastination from your life.
The Pain of Procrastination: We all procrastinate for different reasons, often to avoid some form of discomfort or pain. For instance, mundane administrative tasks or challenging undertakings may bore us, making them easy targets for procrastination. Reflect on what pain you’re trying to avoid with your current procrastination. Is it physical pain, fear of failure, or the apprehension of tackling something unfamiliar? Identifying the underlying pain is crucial in addressing the issue head-on.
Making the Pain of Procrastination Greater: Last time, I talked about the strategy of making the pain of not doing a task greater than the pain of doing it. Many of us tend to leave things until the last minute, relying on the pressure of impending deadlines to motivate us, but this approach often leads to increased stress and compromised results. I explored setting false deadlines, using accountability tools, and the impact of letting others down as effective ways to shift the balance of pain. By holding yourself accountable and considering the repercussions of not completing a task, you can find the motivation to take action.
Embracing Accountability: Accountability plays a significant role in combating procrastination. By involving others and making commitments, you create a sense of responsibility beyond yourself. For instance, right now I am procrastinating over some admin tasks I need to do in my role as PTFA chair, so I’ve created some accountability to get things done. By openly communicating my intentions to my committee members, I increase my commitment and motivation to fulfil my responsibilities. Consider incorporating accountability into your own life by sharing your goals and deadlines with someone you trust.
Temptation Bundling – A Pleasurable Approach: While focusing on avoiding pain can be effective, it’s just as important to make tasks more pleasurable. Our brains have a natural bias toward immediate rewards and struggle to see future benefits. This time inconsistency often stops us from seeing the pleasure and satisfaction that completing a task can bring. However, we can use a technique called temptation bundling to bridge this gap.
Temptation bundling involves combining a task you’re avoiding with something enjoyable. For example, if you’ve been procrastinating on ironing, promise yourself that you’ll watch your favourite show or listen to your favourite podcast while doing it. By linking a desirable activity with the task at hand, you create a positive association and increase the motivation to get started.
Break It Down and Celebrate Progress: Another effective strategy is breaking tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks. When a task feels overwhelming, it’s easy to put it off. However, by breaking it down into bite-sized portions, you reduce the initial resistance and make progress more attainable. Commit to just a few minutes of focused work or set a goal to complete a specific subsection of the task. Celebrate each milestone along the way to create a positive feedback loop that encourages further action.
So, procrastination can be a formidable foe, but with the right mindset and strategies, you can overcome it. By understanding the pain you’re trying to avoid and making the pain of not doing the task greater, you can motivate yourself to take action. Additionally, temptation bundling allows you to make tasks more pleasurable by combining them with enjoyable activities. Remember to break tasks down into smaller chunks and celebrate your progress to stay motivated!
Let us know in the comments below if you find these techniques helpful! We cover a whole range of techniques that can help us break out of other unhealthy habits in our Healthy Whole and Free course – now available to join at any time. It’s delivered to your inbox in bite-size chunks, you get a weekly video with a couple of things to do every week for 6-months, along with some live teaching and coaching elements and a Facebook group for support and encouragement. Find out more and sign up here!