Why procrastinate (And how to stop) - Part Two

Here we are at the second part of our journey on procrastination: in the last article, we saw what are the six main causes that lead us to indefinitely postpone what seems “insurmountable”, or too “long and boring” to be carried out.

Today, with you, however, I want to make some considerations on what we can do, in practice, to stop procrastinating, and start acting consequently to what daily life puts in front of us. Are you ready?

1) Don't think, but act

Let’s start immediately with a bang, as they say, and let’s put in place the first thing that leads us towards our goal, that is “stop making ourselves too many problems”, and start taking real action. I understand that, if you don’t have the habit of doing it, it can be difficult, especially at first, but try to consider this …

How many times have you given up doing a certain thing, or completing a certain project, because you thought too much about what “would have happened if …” … So many, right? Have you ever said, once the “critical” moment has passed, inside you “Damn … What if instead of doing this, I had done it the other way? What could have changed? ” … And maybe, the result would have been totally different …

As I suggested you do in this article, learn to carefully evaluate whose opinions to listen to, and whose, on the other hand, to ignore, whoever they are, because in these cases, our liver is what, strange to say, is always right …

By this what I mean: if you “feel” inside you that doing a certain thing, is right, and can lead you towards “positive growth”, do it, without thinking too much about it. You will see that, when you start, acting will soon become more than an established habit.

2) Don't make a mountain out of a stone

A solution can be found to everything, even to the most “tragic” things: the only thing to which, for now, there is no solution is the moment in which we will end up six feet underground (at least for the moment, in the future we will never know what might happen) …

Seriously, we often tend to make of a problem that may arise in front of us during a certain job, or the carrying out of a certain task, something greater than what it actually is, and this leads us to postpone, most of the times to infinity, that particular action.

Let’s stop for a moment, take a deep breath, free our minds, and then think about the “stone”: in most cases, that “mountain” that seems insurmountable to us is, in reality, a clod of ground a little higher and, to overcome it, it is enough to raise the foot with which we are walking a little more, and simply climb over it.

3) Focus on the first step (hard things first)

Whatever project you decide to undertake, the essential thing is to take the first step, move from where you are in that particular moment, and move on, “no matter what” …

We have already seen in this article how, despite talking about another topic, it is important to focus on a single action at a time: in this case, we specify the concept even more, and make sure, first, to deal with the “most difficult” things that we must complete, in order to create a path that is “downhill”, “easier” to complete, compared to what it may seem at the beginning.

By doing so, it will become less likely to want to postpone that particular project, precisely because we have thought and realized the most difficult things first, and subsequently we will also be able to “enjoy” the fruits of what has already been completed.

4) Face your fears

This fourth point is a bit of a summary of the first three, in terms of content, but I think it is still important, if not essential, in our case, to put it in a separate paragraph …

Confronting our fears is something that is not at all easy to do, but that can lead to truly important benefits for each of us. Being blocked by the fear, of any kind, only increases the number of excuses we make between us, and what we plan to accomplish: the best way to deal with it? By acting, one step at a time, without making of any problem, something of insurmountable …

That’s why I told you that this would have been a bit of the “sum” of what has been said so far. Often, our fears are like walls of paper: looking at them they seem who knows what then, in reality, a breath is enough, and they collapse like nothing, making us understand how much, in reality, we were unnecessarily worried about that particular thing. “One step at a time”, and everything takes on the right importance.

5) Don't take "prisoners"

This is perhaps the most important point of the whole article you are reading: being able to not procrastinate, means “Recognizing with yourself the reasons for which you are referring, making sure that the latter do not remain suspended, for any reason“.

Here it is necessary that you are able to analyze yourself, and to really go in depth, to understand what are the real reasons that stop you: it will not be an easy thing nor, much less, in the short term, it will be a gradual thing, which however will bring you great benefits, especially because, once made the first time, you will be able to repeat it, if the need arises in the future.

The question to ask to yourself is this “Why am I putting off this thing?” … Mind you, don’t stop at the first answer that comes to your mind (it will never be the true one), but be like the small children, when bombarding their parents with a constant barrage of questions when they want to know a certain thing: I ensure you that the results will amaze you, literally.

6) Make a decision (and create the corresponding contingency plan)

We have reached the penultimate point that I want to talk to you about today … Make a decision, and create an eventual plan “B” … What do I mean by that?

In the previous points, we have seen how important it is to face your fears, and to ensure that you do not leave unanswered questions, in order to have a clear enough mind to DECIDE (I wrote it deliberately in capital letters, as it means “to cut away “, leave no room for other choices, other than the one we have just made) what is the best thing to do: in the hope that the decision you will make will be to stop procrastinating, and do what you have to do, it is important that you also have a plan “B”, in case things go just completely wrong.

What will you do if things go wrong? What choice do you have, in case you need to procrastinate further? Can you afford to do it? Or, on the contrary, will you necessarily have to complete what you have started, and maybe even in a short time (for whatever reason)?

When you prepare your emergency plan, these are the questions you will have to ask yourself, to understand where, and above all how, you can go to “parry” the blow, in case of need.

7) Be kind to the "future" You

Reward yourself … Whatever the case may be … Give yourself a pat on the back, and make sure you recognize the “future you” even if you have tried (REALLY) to change things, or an attitude, or a way of being, whatever. The best thing you can do when you complete something, or even make a decision, which will lead to positive consequences for you in the future, is to acknowledge that you have taken a step towards the person you really are.

I know it may seem like the classic pappardella dished to “bite the fish on the hook”, but do a little reasoning with me: when was the last time you were recognized for any merit, even for a single bullshit (absurd hypothesis, but pass it to me as an example, having tidied up the dishes in the kitchen after a meal with friends)? I bet it didn’t happen quite that often, did it?

As we saw in the last article, the lack of self-confidence is one of the main causes of procrastination, and the more we do not “recognize” even the small merits to ourselves, the more our self-confidence diminishes, with all its consequences: that’s why it becomes important to be ourselves, if it is not others who do it, to tell us “Damn, I realized this … Congratulations” … It will do more than you think …

Well, for today, too, we’ve come to the end of this procrastination miniseries, and I think I’ve given you plenty of things to think about, both in case you need to figure out how not to, or you need to stop. In the next articles, we will go more and more into practice, and we will start talking not only about personal growth, but also about other topics, always related … Namasté …

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