Earlier this week I wrote and entry about reasons we procrastinate and negative consequences. As promised this entry contains tips for ways to stop procrastinating. In writing this I thought of what helps me when I am tempted to revert back to procrastination. Believe me, I am tempted as procrastinating seems like the better option when I’m overwhelmed. However, I know this is not the truth and I am a true believer that procrastination creates a ton of unnecesary stress, even if it feels good in the moment. Who needs more stress? If you struggle with putting things on the back burner until the last minute, here are a few tips to get you headed in a different direction.
I have to admit, I used to live by the motto: “Why do today what I can put off until tomorrow?” Honestly, I still find myself thinking this way from time to time. American aphorist Mason Cooley stated, “procrastination makes easy things hard, hard things harder”. So why do we procrastinate?
For those of us who procrastinate, we may often find that in doing so, we create unnecessary obstacles. We find ourselves racing to meet deadlines, trying to find resources at the last minute, and struggling to complete tasks. Many of us hold the belief that we work better under pressure. While this belief may be true in some cases, it often creates more stress.
We have all experienced a moment where we have been approached by a friend, co-worker, or maybe even a spouse and asked to do something we really didn’t feel like doing. We’ve also had those moments where instead of saying no, we’ve smiled and responded with the dreaded “yes”. So why do we have difficulties telling others no when we don’t feel like doing something?
The Golden Rule Effect
Many of us were instructed at a very young age to “do unto others as you would have them to do unto you”. Sometimes we may avoid telling someone no because we would want them to tell us yes.
Fear of a Missed Opportunity
Let’s be honest, we all have some time where we just don’t feel like it. The “it” may be going to work, tackling a project, completing chores, helping the kids with homework, or just getting out of the bed. Whatever the “it” is, sometimes we just don’t feel like doing it.
I’ve been in this slump lately. I’ve noticed that often when I’m unmotivated, I’m usually overwhelmed. Being overwhelmed is just one reason for being unmotivated. Not sleeping well can often be a reason for lack of motivation. Other reasons include, but are not limited to: stress, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, feel of failure, or just disinterest in the task at hand.
It should be noted that if you experience lack of motivation for an extended period of time with no or infrequent breaks, you may wish to talk to your physician as it could be a sign of other conditions.
Whatever your reason for your lack of motivation, there are ways to get it back. These simple solutions may get you motivated in no time.