6th September 2017
Are you avoiding important tasks at home, at work or while studying?
Finding it hard to get started?
Or feeling ‘stuck’?
At any age or stage of life, procrastination can be both a source and a consequence of stress. It’s also associated with frustration and self-criticism.
The longer you delay – whether it’s writing an academic assignment, submitting a tax return, making a medical appointment or sorting out your paperwork – the more daunting the deed becomes.
And as the clock ticks or the deadline looms, paralysis can give way to panic. So how to break the cycle and get more done?
Over the last 20 years, I’ve worked with teenagers and adults from diverse backgrounds, helping them to develop time management and organising skills. And while the challenges facing every individual are unique, I’ve learned to recognise some common themes.
Procrastination isn’t a personality trait; it’s a habit that builds up over time and can be shifted
Trying to analyse why you procrastinate is fascinating but doesn’t boost motivation. On the contrary, it’s a diversion that can perpetuate the problem.
The key to overcoming procrastination is to review and then reframe the excuses we use when we describe what we’re not doing. Shift the story and you can start to shift the habit, too.
A quick clarification: the term ‘excuse’ in my book doesn’t imply judgement. It reflects the idea that you’ve adopted one perspective. My invitation is to explore other interpretations and question the assumptions you’re making about the situation and about yourself. We can’t change all the circumstances of our lives but we can change the conversations that we have with others and with ourselves.
To find out more about Juliet, visit her website.