Do you find yourself putting off today’s tasks until the last minute? Maybe you’re waiting for the right mood to strike. Perhaps you’re afraid of failure, or find the work stressful or boring.
Sometimes I feel like I’m that character from the old Popeye’s cartoon. You know, the one declaring, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” I used to be so much worse than I am today.
In graduate school, I would wait until the very last day to write a 20 page paper (or two). Can you imagine the stress levels created by this process research and writing?
- checking out the maximum number of books from the library
- taking them to my apartment
- speed-reading and looking for relative information for my paper
- writing, typing, editing and making sure everything fit the Kate Turabian style (Chicago-style) formatting
Every eight weeks, I’d go through this process for another four classes. To be honest, I didn’t know it at the time, but it was killing me. My weight exploded to more than 250 pounds (at 5 ft. 7 in.).
I lost the weight in about 12 months after graduating. But, the damage was done, and less than a decade later, I had developed Type 2 Diabetes. I realized, too late, that I had to break out of this procrastinator’s routine. So, I started learning – and doing – the things I needed to do to change.
Regardless of your reasons, you can find a way out of this negative cycle!
The Feelings That Besiege Procrastinators
Chances are good that you feel guilty when you’re the last one to finish or when you complete something much later than you promised. Maybe you don’t finish at all and just give up when you realize how far behind you are.
Procrastination can lead to depression, especially when your habit of putting things off prevents you from ever achieving goals that are important to you. Watching the success of others who always finish first can make you feel worthless.
As a procrastinator, beginning a task can be the hardest part. These suggestions can help you get started and continue working on your tasks until you complete them.
Ginseng is known as a stress buster, memory enhancer, and concentration booster
An adaptogen (a class of substances that help the body adapt to physical or mental stress), ginseng protects you from stress. This herb also been shown to sharpen memory and concentration. This may be exactly what you need in order to overcome procrastination.
Also, menopausal women may be prone to depression and mood swings, which can hamper their ability to work. Ginseng can help allay menopausal symptoms, which in turn will assist in productivity and reducing procrastination.
Procrastinators tend to ignore tasks by pointing to a lack of time. If you feel like you often don’t have enough time to do your work, try these tips on managing your time more efficiently:
Prioritize your tasks. Do the most urgent first.
Rise earlier so you can get more things done in time. For many, early morning is the best time for working on the most urgent and important tasks. During these hours, your concentration is high and the mind is fresh.
Make a to-do list.
Post it where you can see it and follow your list.
Watch less TV.
Keep an eye on how much time you spend on leisure activities such as watching television. Try reducing this time by an hour or two a week. You may be surprised at how much more you can get done!
Focus on Glorious Goals
Always look at the bigger picture – accomplishing your life goals. Let this vision motivate you to work towards your goal each day. Completing one small step each day will contribute to the manifestation of your dreams.
When you feel lazy, remind yourself of what you truly want. Dream about it. See it clearly in your mind’s eye. Feel the elation and satisfaction that comes from bringing these dreams to fruition.
Short List of Tips for Beating Procrastination
- Avoid waiting for the right “mood.”
- Remember that procrastination can lead to depression.
- Avoid allowing fear of failure to overwhelm you.
- Do the “boring” tasks first.
- Take ginseng every day.
- Remind yourself of how completing your tasks contribute to reaching your goals.
- Avoid packing too much into your to-do list for any given day.
- Refrain from assuaging your guilt by doing minor tasks instead of doing the major ones.
- Focus on one task at a time so you don’t scatter your energies.
- Shake yourself out of your false sense of security (that you have plenty of time to start it later) and tackle that task now!
Follow these tips and you’ll no longer have to watch others reach the finish line before you. You’ll feel a sense of great accomplishment, and before you know it, your bigger goals will no longer just be dreams; you’ll have achieved them!