One of the most destructive effects of procrastination is the fact that it makes you feel out of control. Procrastination is like an “invisible force” that keeps you from doing the very things you know you must do. With the increasing demands on our time and attention, there seems to be an increase in procrastination as a chronic problem, especially amongst those people that want to succeed the most. Procrastination usually sets in when you feel overwhelmed by all the ‘have to’s’ in life, and instead of making steady progress, you take on too much without ever getting any of it done.
Feeling out of control takes away all your power to shape and direct your own life. It is true that there are many things over which you have no control, but you always have full control over what really happens to you – and what really happens to you is a mental process independent of the circumstances and events of the outside world. Being empowered means that you realize that you already have the power and this realization also gives you the ability to take action. Here are five empowering procrastination tips that can help you to reach this realization and become empowered to effectively deal with procrastination and inaction.
1. It is all inside
Procrastination is an internal process, and although it might feel like it is happening to you, you are in actual fact responsible for it. This procrastination tip can help to put you back in control almost immediately. The simple realisation that it is you that are doing it to you, gives you the power to do something about it.
2. It is all you
When procrastination drags you down, it is all too easy to think that it just is, and that you cannot do anything about it. Although it feels like you have no control, you actually do. In fact this is why you feel out of control – because you believe that you cannot do anything about it. There are two very important beliefs you need to develop to help you break free from procrastination. The first is that you can overcome procrastination and the second is that you can overcome procrastination. No one else can do it for you and because you created it, you can un-create it.
3. It is all in your head
The reason why most people remain stuck in patterns of procrastination is because of fear. At the most fundamental level, all forms of procrastination come down to fear. What you do not face, controls you. To overcome the fear, and the procrastination that comes with it, you need to confront and do the very things you do not want to do. The instant you do, you take charge, and it no longer has any control over you. The ironic thing is that fear only exists in your imagination – it is always something that has not happened yet. Procrastination is not real – it is only the way you evaluate things in your mind.
4. It is all about conditioning
The way you get consistent is through conditioning. Your nervous system operates through conditioning. When you do something over and over again, it becomes “normal”. And when it is normal, you do not have to think about it – it becomes automatic. The challenge is that this principle works both ways: whether your conditioned responses support you or whether it pulls you down, your nervous system does not make that distinction. If procrastination is your conditioned response, you will always feel out of control, simply because that is what you have “learned” to do automatically. You simply need to “recondition” yourself to a new response; to teach yourself to respond in a different way.
5. It is all about awareness
Procrastination does serve a purpose – and a very important one as such, but only if you are aware of the benefits. We only procrastinate about those things that have value to us. At some level, either directly or indirectly, you believe that taking action will benefit you. If it did not, it would not bother you, right? Be grateful for procrastination and use it as a guide to “know” what you need to act upon. Being aware of this fact, and developing an awareness for what you do and fail to do, can empower you to be in charge of yourself on a much higher level.
When you are empowered, you are in charge. Even if things seem to go wrong on the surface, underneath you know that you have the power to deal with it effectively. Procrastination is disempowering, and it takes away your ability to take immediate action and deal with any situation.