Do you always leave everything for tomorrow?
Procrastination, also known as putting tasks off, impacts more than just your to-do list. It can affect your achievements and by extension, your self-confidence and well-being. In this post, we dive into what procrastination is and explore how hypnosis can turn 'later' into 'now.'
“Now” or “tomorrow”: understanding procrastination
Procrastination isn't about being lazy, at least not always. It's a battle between 'now' and 'later,' where 'later' often wins. But why do we procrastinate? It's not simply a time management issue; it's a complex psychological behavior that involves more than just putting off tasks. It's about avoiding certain emotions triggered by doing the task… like boredom, anxiety, or self-doubt.
Procrastination is actually a coping mechanism for dealing with emotions linked to certain tasks. When we procrastinate, we're often avoiding negative emotions. The task we avoid is perceived as overwhelming, difficult, or dull, triggering a 'flight' response. Our brains choose immediate pleasure – like scrolling through social media – over dealing with what we have to do.
However, this short-term relief can lead to long-term stress. The more we put off tasks, the more pressing they become, creating a vicious cycle. Understanding this cycle is the first step towards a more productive mindset.
The mental processes behind procrastination
Procrastination is closely linked to stress, fatigue, lack of concentration, and low self-esteem. Let's break these down:
- Stress: when we're stressed, our bodies are in a 'fight or flight' mode. This means our brain prioritizes immediate survival over long-term goals. That’s why we're more likely to procrastinate on tasks that don't seem immediately crucial.
- Poor sleep: lack of quality sleep affects our brain's executive functions, including decision-making, attention, and self-control. Because our brain is tired, it’s harder to resist the temptation to procrastinate.
- Lack of concentration: brain fatigue can also lead to a lack of concentration. And if you can't focus, it's difficult to get started on tasks. This lack of concentration is often increased by everyday distractions, from social media to personal worries.
- Low self-esteem: sometimes it’s simply because we don’t believe we can do the task. And so, it’s “safer” to just put it off, avoiding the possibility of failure.
Non-procrastinators: the secret to their success
Imagine someone who tackles tasks as soon as they arise. This person, a non-procrastinator, seems to have a superpower when it comes to productivity. But what's their secret? They don’t have more hours in the day; they have a growth mindset and healthy habits. Non-procrastinators share certain traits that allow them to get the job done:
- Strong decision-making: non-procrastinators make decisions quickly and effectively. They don't linger on the 'what ifs.' By making swift decisions, they avoid the build-up of tasks and the stress that comes with it.
- Effective time management: they understand the value of time. Each minute is seen as an opportunity for growth, not something to be filled with distractions.
- High self-confidence: because they believe in their ability to complete tasks successfully, non-procrastinators are driven by their own competence. This motivates them to take on their to-do list confidently.
- Goal-oriented: they keep their eyes on the prize. By focusing on the end goal, they are less likely to get sidetracked.
- Resilience to stress: while they still experience stress of course, they have developed healthy coping mechanisms. Instead of avoiding stressful tasks, they tackle them head-on (which, by the way, often leads to reduced overall stress).
Professionally, not procrastinating usually translates to more achievements. Non-procrastinators often do well in their careers, not because they work harder, but because they work smarter. They're the ones who meet deadlines easily, handle responsibilities effectively, and are often seen as reliable and competent by their colleagues (and superiors!).
In fact, non-procrastinators often climb the ladder faster than others.
But don’t worry if you’re not one of them yet. These traits can be worked on. Hypnosis can help rewire the mind to adopt these habits, making procrastination a thing of the past.