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6 Easy Ways to Stop Procrastinating

07 Aug

 

It’s hard to believe, but summer is winding down, and before you know it, it will be time to exchange beach chairs for backpacks and get back to work, school, or any personal goals that await you. Yet, an old nemesis, procrastination, is always lurking in the shadows.

Nearly all of us procrastinate some of the time, and some of us do it nearly all of the time. The good news is that there are lots of things you can do to stay focused and get things done! Here are 6 simple things from Traci Stein’s Wellness Report, Freeing Ourselves from Procrastination.

  • Reconnect to the original reasons for the goal
    • Ask yourself what made you want to complete this task in the first place? Frame your reasons in the positive (e.g. “I want to lose weight to be healthy and have more energy” vs. “I want to lose weight because I hate my body right now”). Partner with your “inner ally” rather than empowering the “inner critic.”
  • Analyze the chain of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that got you off track
    • Thinking, “No way I can do this” can leave you feeling anxious or hopeless, leading you to avoid doing what you need to. Understanding this chain can help you respond differently and stay on track.
  • Break the goal into smaller, achievable tasks
    • Doing so makes working toward goals less daunting and reduces anxiety. It also provides an opportunity for achieving many smaller successes.
  • Imagine success
    • Really immerse yourself in the feelings of having already completed something. Feel free to use a previous example to help you recall the felt experience of checking something off your list, crossing the finish line, or otherwise achieving a goal. Guided imagery and hypnosis are especially powerful tools for making success a mental, and eventually literal, reality.
  • Get moving
    • It’s impossible to feel paralyzed by indecision or anxiety when you’re exercising. Plus, the research shows that regular exercise increases blood flow to the brain, leads to the development of new neurons, and increases the connections between existing ones. Exercise also helps keep worry in check.
  • Practice Mindfulness
    • All things are achieved in this very moment. Mindfulness helps you to remain centered in the now and observe potential inner and outer distractions -- without getting caught up in them – so you can bring your focus back to what you’re working on.

Procrastination is a big problem for a lot of people, but luckily there is quite a bit we can do to change old patterns, develop new skills, and get stuff done!


Did you enjoy this? Click here to view the original, full-length report, or sample Dr. Traci Stein's Guided Self-Hypnosis to Help Free Yourself from Procrastination

Traci Stein

Traci Stein, PhD, MPH, is a practicing psychotherapist and Columbia-trained
clinical psychologist, ASCH-certified in clinical hypnotherapy. She has combined integrative therapies, including hypnosis, with conventional medical and psychotherapy practice. Her passionate commitment to mind-body healing has spanned two decades.