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Procrastination – Hitting the Wall

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Procrastination – Hitting the Wall

It’s only January, and I have had an entire day of procrastination.

Seriously, I sat in front of my computer for three hours, and have no idea what I did. I know social media took up a fair chunk of it and not productive social media either.

Not able to pull my thoughts together to be productive I put on my joggers and hat and headed out for a run. I’m one of those people that love to exercise and find that exercise clears my mind and gives me that wonderful endorphin high; those feel-good hormones.

An hour or so later, back at my desk and nothing. I did not have the resolve to get anything achieved. Another hour on and I had drifted off task, and social media was where my attention had again landed.

In this age of fast internet connections, we can binge watch an entire series of shows, so that’s exactly what I did next. I watched a few hours of Tidelanders, the strangest show but it certainly had me fixated. Then I was tired, so I had a late afternoon nap, then time to prepare dinner – where was my day? Gone to procrastination, social media and Netflix.

Why do we procrastinate?

Dr Google states:

  • A fear of failure.
  • Excessive perfectionism.
  • Low energy levels.
  • A lack of focus.

This morning I kept researching why my yesterday was such a waste because this morning I felt so motivated whereas yesterday was a wipeout.

There it was, ‘brain fatigue’.

I had not been kind to myself. Leading up to yesterday I had been in catch-up mode with my work, plus fitting in the important time with family and friends. I’d been trying to be everything to everyone, exactly what I had promised myself I would stop doing. I’d had an unexpected few days in hospital which had put me behind work wise. The perfectionist in me had surfaced, I couldn’t let anyone down, could not be seen to be unable to cope.

How to overcome procrastination.

Strategies for overcoming procrastination definitely vary depending on why it happens in the first place.  The first thing is to step back and figure out what’s going on. For me, I was ‘brain fatigued’ and hadn’t realised.

  • Is there something you put off to the last moment all the time?
  • What are your thought patterns around it?
  • Are you feeling overwhelmed?

Timing.

Many of us are inherently more productive at certain times of the day. Identify when yours is and schedule the big tasks for then. However, that’s what I had planned yesterday, as morning is my most productive time. I had planned to get a few big tasks done first off. Usually, this would have been no problem what so ever, but, I had not looked after my mental health and sleep prior.

Overwhelm.

If it’s a huge project break it down into smaller sub-tasks. Small manageable tasks give you the on-going sense of achievement as you complete each task.

Easily distracted.

Turn off the notifications, put your phone on silent and away from eyesight and shut down the open tabs on your computer.

Multitasking.

Just don’t do it. Focus on the task at hand and just get it done. Many studies have shown that multitasking actually slows down productivity and lessens the quality of the work.

Hitting the wall.

Even the best of us have days when it is hard to get all our tasks completed. Unless it is an urgent deadline, cut your losses and take a break. Have a good, honest look at your self-care. Are you getting a sound seven hours sleep a night, exercising, giving your mind and body good nutrition and are you enjoying non-work-related activities?

If you do have a deadline you’re struggling with, take five minutes to walk outside and get some sunlight. Try working in short spurts of thirty, forty or fifty minutes then take that five minutes for a walk and drink of water.

Use your alarm and get into the rhythm of this timing. You may be pleasantly surprised how effective this method of working is to use all the time.

For me – I must make small changes to ensure I don’t burn out; make these changes sustainable and be kind to myself.

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