The Procrastination Cycle. At some point, it is something that affects the majority of us. “I’ll do it tomorrow”. “Let me plan this out better before going ahead”. “I’m too tired right now”. “I don’t have time”. Do any of these statements resonate with you? The more times we push the task away, the bigger the task seems to become and the more stressed we get. Let’s break the cycle and become more productive.
The Procrastination Cycle In Action
Here’s an example of the procrastination cycle in action. You can fit your own particular situation in the equation and you get the idea.
In the Spring…I need to clean out my closet. get rid of winter clothes I didn’t wear or don’t fit. I need to make room for all the fun and cute summer clothes I’ll be getting! I’ll work on that this weekend.
The weekend comes…Oh its too nice to be indoors this weekend! I’ll have time to clean the closet another day when I don’t have other plans. A rainy day project comes to mind.
The summer comes…The rainy days went by. The closet is unchanged. I’ve bought lots of new clothes and crammed them in the closet. It’s such a mess in there! I can’t find anything and it’s a battle to get my clothes every day. I will close the door and it will go away.
The fall comes…I hate my closet! I can’t find anything! Stuff falling on the floor and lost in the abyss! I have nothing to wear. I don’t like what I have and some stuff doesn’t fit. I’m going to have to get some new clothes. They have a sale going on at the mall right now.
Can you relate? Do you have a task you are constantly putting off and the task keeps increasing in size over time? What may have been a 20-minute job is now more like an hour or two. You are so mad and disgusted with yourself! Not to worry friends. You too can break the procrastination cycle.
If nothing changes, nothing changes
Courtney C. Stevens-The Lies About Truth
One of my favorite quotes ever and fits so well with those of us who battle with procrastination. If you don’t change it, it won’t change. As a matter of fact, as seen in the example above, it will most likely just get worse.
Breaking The Procrastination Cycle
Set a Goal
What do you want to accomplish? Be specific e.g. I want an organized closet where everything is easily seen and accessible. I will keep my seasonal clothes in separate areas with the current season within easy reach. Clothes that fit me and that I
The Why Factor
Ask yourself why you want to achieve this goal. How will it make my life better? e.g. It will be easy to choose my clothes if they are within easy reach and visible. I will get more wear out of clothes that fit me and that I like. It will be easy to maintain a more organized closet.
Setup a Plan
Knowing what the plan of action is will help to begin the process. If the goal you have is large, it will be beneficial to develop smaller tasks to make it more manageable and allow yourself to see progress taking place over time. Set a date and time and mark it on your calendar (online or wall calendar-or both!). Depending on the goal you have, it could take a few days or even more to complete. Just concentrate on completing the smaller tasks. e.g. I will empty out my closet (1 hr). I will sort through my clothes and accessories and decide what I’m keeping and what will go in the garage sale or for donation. (2 hrs). I will return the remaining clothes and accessories to my closet-organized by season with the current season within closest reach. (1 hr).
Develop a To-Do List
Are you a list person? If so, this will be right up your alley! Divide each of these smaller tasks into an individual to-do list. You won’t miss anything along the way and you’ll love the idea of checking off what has been completed. Accomplishing something does give you a lot of satisfaction. e.g. I will empty out my closet–To-do list items: put spring/summer clothes on the bed, put fall/winter clothes on the chair, put accessories on the table, etc.
So the day has come, and its time to get to the task at hand. You have a plan and your to-do list of what you need to do. Create an environment that is conducive to working. Play some music that gets you motivated to get things done. This could be a rock anthem or maybe some light background music that works for more focused concentration. Put your phone on airplane mode. Avoid the email and notification distractions. Put yourself on a timer. You’ve allowed yourself an hour to get this task completed-set your timer and go! A real stimulator to get things done. Despite your flurry of work, remember to take breaks-meal breaks and breaks for the brain are important for regaining your energy and focus. Remember to take care of yourself. If possible, enlist some help! The job may be completed even sooner!
Like I said before, “if nothing changes, nothing changes”. Just starting is the hardest part of the process. It may not be the job you want, but the results will prove your life will be better when the job is completed and the stress is gone. Setting up a better system to make your life easier is a no-brainer. Just imagine the satisfaction it will give you! Your efforts will be well worth it. I’ve known people who have taken before and after pictures, showing proof of the changes they’ve made to better their lives. It is obvious the amount of work they put into it and how much better they are for it. You can bet their stress level is WAY DOWN too! Don’t let procrastination rule the day for you. Be strong. Meet it head on and you will always win. You’ll be better off in the long-run!
For any future articles on procrastination or other topics, be sure to sign up for my newsletter! You will receive this weekly with news of my upcoming blog topics for the coming up and anything new happening on the journey. Just sign up below. No tricks. No spam. I promise! Thanks for joining me!
After years of weight issues, I have finally found the formula of combining healthy food choices, regular exercise and positive behavior change to lose weight for good. Coupled with, exploring self-development, being productive and living simply, I am now maintaining a healthy lifestyle and in a good place. I enjoy writing articles to help my readers to become the best they can be!