You are in your bed, sad and unmotivated, while repeating these exact words to yourself: “Procrastination is ruining my life.”
Has it ever happened to you? To me, yes, so I know very well what it feels like.
You are unable to get things done, you delay each of your tasks, and you’re messing around with your coworkers or your closest friends, to name a few effects of procrastinating.
Happiness seems like a distant memory, and you regret every decision you took so far.
So, what can you do besides crying on you?
In this guide, I will explain when procrastination is destroying your life and what to do about it, with practical and effective advice that allowed me to break out of this vicious cycle.
- Start by recognizing our capability of achieving results and take small steps towards breaking the cycle of procrastination.
- Introduce healthy habits such as daily exercise, setting achievable goals, and getting enough sleep to combat chronic procrastination.
- Use specific productivity tools and apps to track progress & minimize distractions.
- Mindfulness can help us become aware of underlying fears, while forgiving ourselves for not succeeding is vital to staying productive.
When procrastination is ruining your life?
Procrastination can destroy your life, but sometimes it isn’t easy to notice it in time.
Just think that we waste over 55 days a year, according to recent facts on procrastination.
Here you can find the most common examples of when this behavior is becoming a severe problem, and you need to take action to regain control of your life.
You can’t meet deadlines
Living with procrastination can take a heavy toll, especially when meeting deadlines, due to the correlation between procrastinating and time management.
Maybe you’re a student, and you can never finish an assignment in time.
Allowing yourself to be constantly late and always finding an excuse for that leads to broken relationships with people, losing your credibility, and ruining your reputation over time.
That’s why you need to understand the systems that keep you procrastinating and come up with methods for breaking through them.
Tackling the problem head-on by recognizing root causes, such as perfectionism, also becomes a fruitful first step when looking at how to stop procrastination.
You feel stressed and anxious
Procrastination often hurts our mental health.
It leads to feelings of unnecessary stress and anxiety due to trying to the inability to focus on essential tasks, feeling overwhelmed with the amount of responsibilities we take on, or avoiding tasks altogether.
To manage these negative emotions, you must first cultivate awareness around your thoughts and feelings through mindfulness techniques such as breathing exercises and meditation, working on your mindset.
You also need to think about how you’re prioritizing things in your life; make sure that you’re not wasting time so that you don’t always have to cut back to the last minute and work under stress.
Creating to-do lists and using the Eisenhower matrix will be emotionally beneficial for you and the best way to get started.
It’s ruining your relationships
Missing deadlines because of procrastination leads to tension, anger, or disappointment with friends, family, and colleagues at work.
You arrive late for appointments or at work, you cannot finish your work on time, and you begin to lose credibility in the eyes of those around you.
And I can assure you that this sucks.
You feel like everyone is avoiding you or that no one thinks more highly of you, but you don’t understand why.
This obviously damages your self-esteem, leading you to procrastinate even more.
You procrastinate every day
There are those days when we feel particularly lazy and unmotivated when we tend to procrastinate, and it’s perfectly normal.
The problem is that for many people, procrastinating becomes almost like an addiction, and they always make excuses for not working hard and for putting off their commitments until tomorrow.
How do you think you will be able to achieve personal goals if you always put it off for another day?
Yes, you must overcome laziness and act to escape this trap.
You feel weak
Another common sign that procrastination is destroying your life is when you feel perpetually tired and weak.
This is due to the connection between our self-worth and achievements; if we are not meeting the expectations we have set for ourselves, it is natural to feel emotional distress that ties into a sense of overwhelming helplessness.
Another critical question: are you going to bed at a decent time?
Lack of sleep is another primary reason you feel weak; not even the strongest coffee in the world can save you if you don’t get enough rest!
Breaking the Cycle: What to Do When You Keep Procrastinating
So, procrastination has done enough damage so far: now it’s time to get up and believe in yourself, taking back control of your life.
Here are some tips to get out of this dangerous vicious circle.
Start even if you don’t feel ready
You need to push yourself out of your comfort zone.
I know that can seem stressful and hard, but you need to start doing things even when you don’t feel ready because it’s just a psychological deception.
First thing first, you need to break down larger projects or goals into smaller achievable tasks rather than attempting single giant steps that can become overwhelming quickly.
To do this in the smartest way, you should start with a analyzing your life from your personal prospective.
Yes, you can conduct a life audit even if it’s not January 1st!
You can change your life whenever you want.
Make sure to control your doubts before starting by listing all the possible reasons why you shouldn’t begin to, as well as any solutions for those problems.
Remind yourself frequently of short-term advantages when tackling challenging projects despite not feeling ready, pushing through fear, and taking responsibility for your life while holding on to hope for better results once you complete the project.
Help yourself with specific procrastination apps
Starting an effective habit-breaking process involves taking the proper steps and accessing apps tailored to your particular needs.
There are several productive procrastination prevention apps that can help you set long-term goals, eliminate distractions, or analyze triggers so as to figure out why you do certain things.
All these applications feature a range of explicitly customized features for combating procrastination, such as in-built reminders and notifications and daily and weekly progress scoreboards.
Introduce healthy habits in your daily routine
My favorite productivity advice is to wake up and train: the best way to kick ass from the beginning of your day!
Also, maintaining a healthy diet can ensure better productivity and more motivation and improve your health.
This is what I usually do as healthy habits:
– I start each morning with an energizing activity such as stretching or a brisk walk, which helps me release endorphins and feel more productive.
– I make a list of what I have to do during the day, always based on the Eisenhower Matrix
– I always try to get adequate sleep, like 7 / 8 hours per night. Getting little sleep can seriously affect your performance, especially if you need a lot of sleep like me.
I also found positive procrastination affirmations are very effective in keeping you motivated, so I suggest you start implementing them.
Become aware of your capability to achieve results
Accomplishing tasks is a powerful motivation essential to breaking free from procrastination.
You need to become conscious that you can indeed achieve any goal with some hard work and dedication, no matter how intimidating it may seem at first.
Becoming aware of your self-sufficiency increases motivation and pushes you out of your comfort zone.
And once you develop this awareness, you will be able to tackle harder tasks that you never thought you would be able to complete.
But the only way to do it is to start with small goals and slowly get out of your comfort zone.
Create to-do lists
As mentioned before, to help you stay organized, break tasks into smaller goals and assign each one a relative priority and timeline to optimize your workload.
This technique will allow you to concentrate on essential tasks while also keeping yourself motivated as short-term objectives are achieved.
Additionally, tracking your progress with written reminders of completed tasks throughout the day can help compound the shift away from procrastination towards higher levels of achievement and self-satisfaction.
Eliminate or minimize distractions
If you struggle with procrastination, you know very well how easy is to find the opportunity to watch some videos or check your social media when you have to finish an important task.
Distractions can be anything that takes away our focus and attention and interrupts our workflow.
Common distractions include notifications, emails, files on your device, being distracted by the phone, TV programs, and more.
My first tip is to put aside your phone or other devices that may distract you when working and turn off push notifications on apps that could break your concentration.
Then, set a study or workspace: dedicate an area where you won’t be distracted by visuals like artwork or time wasters like toys.
If studying or working at home, wearing noise-canceling headphones can block out sound from the outside world and provide auditory isolation to stay focused on the task at hand without being distracted by conversations in the background or music playing in the neighborhood.
Besides, having someone who helps you along this path, such as an accountability partner, can greatly help you combat procrastination and prevent falling into temptation ( which is very easy!)
After reading this article, it is clear that freeing yourself from the grip of procrastination isn’t an easy task.
However, there are practical steps to combat chronic procrastination and reclaim your life.
To start breaking the cycle, recognize small wins and transform yourself from a procrastinator to a producer by becoming aware of your capability of achieving results.
Creating healthy habits in daily routines can help with time management and eliminate or minimize distractions.
Mindfulness will help you become aware of underlying fears like fear of failure or rejection while making sure you forgive yourself for not succeeding and look for better ways rather than accepting constant failure.