How to beat the Procrastination habit

Wednesday 18th September, 2019  ●  Sarah Agius

So, you still haven’t crushed those summer goals. Procrastination got the best of you, and September has arrived without crossing off anything on the to-do list.  Maybe you wanted to try something new, like meditation or a new fitness class. Perhaps your summer fitness goals were more performance-related—you wanted to run a 5KM race or deadlift a certain weight.

Or maybe your goals were more general—you wanted to drink more water, get to bed earlier or eat more fruits and vegetables. Whatever your summer goals were, you still have time to accomplish them, and there’s no better time to start than right now. But first, a look at what might be causing your procrastination, and how you can beat it.

Procrastination is a product of human difficulty regulating negative emotions. We associate negative feelings—boredom, insecurity, self-doubt—with a task, and when we begin to think about that task, we start to feel those negative emotions. In an attempt to curb those negative feelings, we decide to do something that makes us feel good instead.

We tell ourselves we’ll exercise tomorrow because that saves us from our current problem—actually having to deal with our current negative emotions. We feel better because we’re hopefully (and falsely) forecasting that we’ll follow through in the future. Your brain feels proud of itself because it not only got away from the negative emotions you may have had to face, it gave you a bonus boost through a false forecast.

So, how do you break this destructive cycle of procrastination?

Set mini-goals

If the initial task was to get to the gym and try a new exercise class, put your shoes on and get in your car. Make the mini-goal something that can be accomplished in two minutes or less, and once it’s complete, set another one. As you hit your mini-goals, you’ll build momentum, reduce anxiety and boost your self-confidence.

Start today!

Sarah Agius

Sarah Agius

Manager, Sky Spirit

You might have seen Sarah around Sky Spirit. Sarah works mostly behind the scenes and operates Sky Spirit's day to day needs, schedules and upkeep in general.

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