How to Stop Procrastinating When Things Feel Hard or Scary

Today, I didnt let my worry of “sufficient” hold me back from sharing real, valuable recommendations and state of mind shifts to get moving and stop staying stuck.

“Youve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasnt worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” ~ Louise L. Hay

So I dragged my feet and kept passing my work off to “Future Me.”

I imagined starting my own service for years. 10 years, exactly.

Even after spending years and months learning, studying, and getting licensed, when it was no longer a matter of having the abilities, the uncertainty of success sufficed for me to keep kicking the can down the road to begin marketing myself.

Due to the fact that I needed whatever to be best, at one point I recognized that I often put things off.

I would not work on a craft project or cook a brand-new recipe unless I knew it would come out flawless.
Or I would keep tweaking jobs at work as much as the last 2nd and beyond, at the sacrifice of getting more work done.
Or I would agonize over every text and email I sent, typically deciding not to send out any message unless I knew precisely what to state.

While there are a couple of reasons it took so long to start, procrastination is at the top of the list.

Ive since started my own company (and Im enjoying it!), and Ive pulled my best tools together on paper for how to stop hesitating– even though I really hesitated on writing this post (ironic, I understand!).

I did this for whatever, though.

However, as you can see, Ive come a long method from that variation of me.

Its effort to change careers, unpleasant to leave a stable income, and stressful to believe of failure.

I was scared of failing. I hesitated of not being ideal. I hesitated that individuals would believe I was a joke. And I hesitated that I wasnt going to can all the work it required.

We begin telling ourselves stories since when were stuck. Thats where well begin, with this story we inform ourselves about why we procrastinate.

” Tomorrow Sandy” can do the dishes. Shell take care of scheduling that physicians visit. Oh, and sign her up for that difficult conversation I require to have with my mother too.

What We Think Procrastination Is

We have this mistaken belief that procrastination is laziness.

Because that is why we put things off.

On the other hand, laziness is not caring. Its lethargy, inactivity, and an objection to act. Its an “I could, I simply do not wan na” kind of attitude.

When youre hesitating, you feel even more stressed out because you do care about getting the job done. Youre just avoiding tension and having difficulty with motivation.

But procrastination is an active process. You choose to do something else instead of the task that you know you must be doing.

What Procrastination Really Is and Why We Do It

That is how I specify resilience: a determination to experience pain.

Examples of Procrastination.

Procrastination is a stress-avoidance strategy. It is an active process to momentarily prevent discomfort.

So here are some examples:.

Scrolling through Instagram instead of starting on essential tasks.
Postponing work assignments up until the last minute.
Wishing to start a new favorable practice (dieting, exercising, or conserving money), but consistently delaying it while informing yourself that “Ill start quickly”.
Wanting to begin a business but losing time in “research study mode” instead of taking action.
Doing a simple, less essential job that “needs to be done” prior to starting.
Waiting till youre “in the state of mind” to do the task.

We subconsciously are stating, “Present Me is not going to experience this pain, so I will pass it on to Future Me.”

( We do this as though were asking a stranger to do the work for us. Scientists have actually seen on fMRI that when we believe about our future selves, it illuminate the exact same part of the brain as when we think of strangers.).

The really cool news is that by working towards overcoming your procrastination practice, youre constructing your total durability to distress.

Procrastination is tricky. Sometimes its obvious that were doing it. In some cases we do not rather realize it (like when I had to water the plants right then and there instead of writing this article).

5 Steps to Stop Procrastinating.

Now that we understand what it is and why we do it, lets take a look at how to stop.

1. Encourage yourself with compassion instead of criticism.

So consider what you would say to that buddy. It might seem like:.

When talking to ourselves, what actually holds us back from moving forward is the language we use.

This is what we think that drives us to hesitate. I indicate, really, when you check out those thoughts, they simply feel so demotivating, right?

I dont wish to.
It will be tough.
I dont know how to do it.
It might not come out as excellent as I want it to.
Ill probably stop working.
This will be so uninteresting.

If you speak with yourself with compassion, just as you would a buddy, it will feel a lot more encouraging.

I get it, it will be uncomfortable, but youll be done soon and then you can unwind.
It will be much easier when you get begun.
You can do it !!
If it does not come out ideal, a minimum of youll have practiced more.
If you fail, youll have learned so much.

Its achieving the opposite due to the fact that it adds to the stress by making us feel bad.

This negative self-talk has a good intent. It is attempting to save us from pain.

Thoughts like:.

2. Develop a pattern interrupter.

Mel Robbins has an excellent one she calls the 5 Second Rule. When you think “I ought to do this,” before the negative self-talk begins in, count backwards, “5-4-3-2-1-GO” and move.

In order to break the practice and produce a new one, you need to introduce a pattern interrupter.

I discover this useful when Im having a difficult time rising in the morning.

Since that is what procrastination becomes– a practice– and practices are made up of a cue, a regular, and a reward.

If Im having actually difficulty getting motivated to do something challenging like write a post about procrastination, my pattern interrupter is “I can do hard things.” Not only am I interrupting the pattern, Im encouraging myself favorably as well.

The cue is thinking about a task that needs to be done.
The routine is to speak that negative self-talk that results in procrastination.
The reward is less tension. (Not no tension, due to the fact that avoiding the job is still rather stressful due to the fact that we understand it ultimately requires to be done.).

That negative self-talk has just enter into your procrastination habit.

If Im having problem doing a boring and tedious job like my taxes, I use something like “Im ready to be uncomfortable now so that Future Me can be at peace.”.

3. Break down the task.

Among the huge drivers of procrastination is overwhelm. Overwhelm takes place when were taking a look at a project completely scope, either not understanding where to begin or seeming like all the work involved will be too much.

If the next task at hand is too big, or if you dont understand where to start, your very first task really is to either 1) make a list, or 2) determine the smallest thing you can do initially.

The entire home is a mess? I bet you know where that one sock goes!

Honestly, I never ever reversed and went house. Since when I d taken the small, simple step, the next small simple step was achievable.

Another example, I had social stress and anxiety and going to the health club was frustrating to me.

I simply require to put gym clothes in my car, thats it.
I simply require to drive to the health club. Once I get there, I can turn around if I want.
I just need to walk in the door. I can constantly leave.
I just need to get altered in the locker room I can do that.

So I simplified into:.

Which leads me to the next action …

4. Simply devote to five minutes.

There is an 80 percent possibility youll continue working once you put in those 5 minutes, but even if you do not, youre still 5 minutes closer to your goal.

Studies reveal that if we commit to 5 minutes only, 80 percent of us are most likely to continue with the task.

And, youve taken another step to breaking the old practice of not starting.

Five minutes is absolutely nothing. You can do anything for 5 minutes.

Its a huge win-win!

5. Reward yourself or make the job more satisfying.

Bringing in more rewards quicker will fast track producing the brand-new habit of getting started.

Twenty pounds is months and weeks away when youre attempting to lose weight.

To write this post, I place on my softest bathrobe and grabbed my babys tub from when he was an infant to make an Epsom salt foot bath under my desk while I write.
Ill be starting my taxes in the next few weeks, and I already plan to have a glass of white wine and super elegant cheese and crackers while I take a seat to do them.
I conserve listening to very sentimental nineties music for when Im exercising simply so that it makes that time extra special and enjoyable.

Also, making the job itself more pleasant will make it a less tedious job.

Another issue with taking a look at a big task in scope instead of the next five minutes is that the reward is too far or not pleasing enough.

Or, when youre putting off your taxes, if you arent expecting a return then the reward is “not going to jail.”.

What Would Open Up for You If You Stopped Procrastinating?

When the job is total, we invest so much more time preventing the discomfort of a job than we do stepping into what it will be like.

If you were to stop putting things off, what would open up in your life?

Procrastination is an active process to temporarily prevent pain (it is not laziness!).

“Youve been slamming yourself for years and it hasnt worked. And I was scared that I wasnt going to be capable of all the work it entailed.

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By overcoming your procrastination habit, you are constructing your emotional durability.

Its an “I could, I simply do not wan na” kind of mindset.

Commit to just five minutes and youll either keep going to do more, or youll at least be five minutes better to done.

Create a pattern interrupter before the unfavorable self-talk begins weighing you down.

Would you begin your organization since youre no longer scared of experiencing any pain if you “fail”?
Would you just enjoy life more if you werent in a perpetual state of tension since there is a list of things youre postponing?
Would you finally slim down or get in shape and feel good as soon as you push through having the ability to get going?

The Bottom Line.

About Sandy Woznicki.

Reward yourself or make the task more pleasurable so there is less discomfort to prevent.

Notice the unfavorable, demotivating self-talk and motivate yourself with compassion over criticism.

Procrastination is tricky. She assists career-driven females and working mothers master their tension and stress and anxiety, to inspire themselves with generosity rather of criticism, to face lifes challenges with Graceful Resilience, and to start genuinely taking pleasure in life without all that unnecessary concern.

Sandy is a previous anxiety-riddled, insomniac stress-aholic turned coach. She assists career-driven females and working mommies master their tension and anxiety, to motivate themselves with kindness instead of criticism, to deal with lifes obstacles with Graceful Resilience, and to start truly enjoying life without all that unneeded worry. Her coaching and complimentary resources like the Stress Detox Mini Course help females to reclaim control of their lives to live more fully and freely.