For a very long time, I dubbed myself a professional procrastinator. I had no issues putting things off until the last minute, because frankly, why would I do them if I didn’t have to just yet. This mindset got me all the way through college and my first few years of working my ‘real’ jobs. It wasn’t until I realized that I had anxiety that this habit was just adding fuel to my fire. I sat back one day and realized that as all my deadlines approached, my anxiety would get worse and by doing nothing about it, I felt incredibly bad about myself. This negative cycle lasted until just a few years ago when I pinpointed this as a trigger for me. It took a long time to break this habit and even now, sometimes I still struggle with it; but I am comfortable enough with the balance I’ve created that it no longer affects me or my anxiety.
Here are a few ways I was able to brush this bad habit out of my life and create a balance that I am happy with:
Keep goals small, simple and attainable – The more you put on your plate, the faster it becomes harder to handle. Some things are bound to get pushed back and possibly forgotten about as they are deemed ‘not a priority’. Keeping your goals simple, you’re more likely to do them right away. For larger tasks, try breaking them down into smaller, more reachable goals.
5 Minutes Rule: The longer you put something off, the more daunting it would seem, so I started following a 5 minute rule. If I know something will take less than 5 minutes, I do it right away. This applies to anything from work projects, phone calls, even cleaning your house. It’s 5 minutes of your life you take to complete something, rather than worrying about doing that same something.
Know that there is always room for improvement, so don’t punish yourself if something falls behind. Acknowledge that it happened and try again. Progress towards a goal is still progress even if it’s slowed down.
The feeling you get off accomplishment once it is finished will be amazing! I often use this feeling as a personal motivator. Think how good it’ll feel once that project is done, so just do it!
There are so many tips that could help, but these are primarily what worked for me. If you also notice that you procrastinate and it bothers you, try these out and let me know if they worked for you in the comments!
Until next time!
Dawn Francom is a lover of the environment and an advocate for the Zero Waste movement. She has had anxiety for many years and has had to often overcome hurdles in its regards. She hopes that one day the stigma on Mental Health will be non-existent and believes that through honesty in posts and transparent stories, that the negative view will be lifted.
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