A task looms in your future. You think about it, you know about it, and you have to complete it. But for some reason you simply cannot bring yourself to face it. Like trying to press like-poles of two magnets together, it seems so easy and apparent but is nearly impossible to execute.
This well known feeling is of course procrastination, but if you suffer from it know that it doesn’t have to be a perpetual condition or trait. Like with many behaviors that affect wellness, mindfulness can help.
The first step is to make yourself acutely aware that you are procrastinating. Literally identify the action. Maybe even say it out loud. Reinforce the reality that you are essentially stalling. Once a behavior has been identified, it is far easier to go about addressing it.
Next, try and keep your thoughts about this looming task nice and factual. Procrastination is a sort of fear-- it comes about when we are uncertain about our abilities, worried about our responsibilities, or simply afraid to do something we don’t want to do. This fear arises when we subconsciously tell ourselves a story, and one that often isn’t true.
A false story looks something like this: “If I attempt that task, then I will fail it” or “If I attempt that task, I will suffer while doing it”.
This is false because you have no way of verifying such a belief. Instead, it is just that-- an unfounded belief. You’re predicting what might or might not happen even though doing so has no use because the task has to be completed anyways. Once you realize that you are fabricating scenarios that are creating fear, you can move onto the next and final step.
With procrastination identified and false narratives purged, you now have to change how you think about a task. It is most likely not impossible, and most likely will benefit you if you do it. It will not get easier if you wait, but it will become more stressful. With these things in mind, remember that a task is not a burden- it’s just in your way, so attack it with ferocity. Hurl yourself into it and at the very least start it. Doing so is a leap of faith that will reap immense rewards-- each time you practice this it will get easier, and soon you won’t be able to sit around if a job needs to get done.