Something we’re all going through right now is that need to procrastinate and not having the energy to want to get up and do things. Which is completely understandable considering the current situations that are arising every day, but as lockdown is slowly beginning to ease. We might be wanting to pull ourselves out of the rut with been in for the past few months and make our bodies and mind feel healthier.

We all procrastinate and we all have them days where we physically do not want to bring ourselves to do anything. We all have bad days and that’s completely ok and we’re all most likely in exactly the same position right now. The problem is when you begin to fall into that trap of procrastinating too much it begins to turn into this cycle of constantly repeating that day in and day out. Whilst it’s ok to have the odd one or two days doing absolutely nothing is that’s what you want to do. When it starts becoming weeks, is when it becomes a problem.

If you’re suffering mentally or anything similar this can also be a big reason as to why you want to procrastinate. Whilst it’s a very relevant reason, it’s also one that will only make you feel worse in the long run. Don’t feel embarrassed or that you’re alone in this because we’re all going through the motions right now but there are always ways we can help ourselves and others.

1) Manage your environment

iMac on top of table

We often forget just how much a clear space can do for our minds. Making us think more clearly and feel more engaged. Whilst giving us a boost of motivation and giving us what we need to complete tasks. Quite often when our surroundings are messy and organised it can be hard to focus on what we need to do and that’s often why we procrastinate. Having a clear space to work in, one where everything is organised is the perfect way to get you in the right headspace.

Not only that but temptations can be quite a big trigger to sway our minds elsewhere. So, try and limit your distractions around you. Turn your phone or the TV off and perhaps just listen to music or simply just do what you need to in silence. If it’s doing work this is particularly useful to limit distractions, not only that but if you’re doing things around the house then music can be a huge boost rather than having your favourite TV show on the television as you’re most likely want to go sit down and watch it.

It’s best to take the distractions away, take yourself away from social media and simply immerse yourself in what you need to do. Most likely as soon as you start to get distracted again that will gain your attention and what you need to do will float to the back of your mind.

2) Increase your confidence

Believe mural painting

This is something that is such a big trigger for anyone who struggles to believe in themselves or have any sense of self-belief. If you don’t believe in yourself or believe that you can complete what you need to do, then you’ll think what’s the point? It’s easy to slip into that headspace of I can’t do this so I give up. Which then eventually leads to procrastination and the ability to lose hope and decide to completely quit what you’re doing.

But by believing you can do and by perhaps making a ‘to do’ list and ticking it off as you go or hitting that deadline on time. It will then give you that sense of hope and that boost of confidence that you need to be able to continue to do what you need to do. Rather than doubting yourself constantly, try believing in yourself and know that even on your darkest days you’re still capable of completing even the littlest of things.

3) What you have to do may seem overwhelming

shallow focus photography of books

Every time you come to think of what you need to do, it may seem like a huge amount and one that may seem like it’s not worth doing. One that you may feel like you can never complete, quite often we make things out to be a lot worse than they’re. Which may mean that we overthink what we have to do, leading us to think it’s way worse than it is. But, if we put our minds to it we could do it.

Break the tasks into little steps, then start gradually working your way through them always allowing time of course. This will then build momentum and make the tasks feel a lot less draining. For example, you’re trying to write an essay. First, start by doing a mind map or writing down a few ideas, then structure your essay into a format of beginning, middle and end to give you a structure. Find some books to reference and begin to research for your chosen topic.

Then when it comes to writing it structure it how you planned and add all the relevant research and references. Perhaps after you’ve done all the key starter steps, on the first day begin to write out your first few paragraphs, perhaps say if it’s 2,500 words. Write the first 1,000 than have a break from it and go back into doing the next 1,000 and so on and leave a day to go through and edit it.

4) Be realistic 

six white sticky notes

As you slowly begin to form a schedule of what you need to do perhaps go get groceries, clean the house, take the dog for a walk etc. Set yourself up for success and not for failure. Quite often when we begin to make schedules we end up putting way too much on the list that would be very rare to complete in one day. Constantly bombarding ourselves with way too much to do that the expectation of it is simply unrealistic.

So, if you’re working on a project know that it’s not going to be completed in a few days, it may even take weeks. Give yourself time for that, make sure that you give yourself whatever time it takes with plenty of time to be able to have a break in between. Chances are if you give yourself more time and don’t rush the final result will shine.

If you’re not someone who gets up at 6 am then don’t feel obliged too just because you see people around you doing the same. If you prefer to lay in, in the morning then do exactly that and perhaps do what you were going to do at 6 am when you wake up instead. Just because you got up later doesn’t mean you can’t exercise or clean the house. Knowing that you’ve slept in for as long as you normally would, means that you won’t be in a mood and you’ll feel more motivated.

5) Forgive yourself

brown wooden game tiles saying hey don't worry just live

Stop beating yourself up, this is so important. We have bad days, we have days where we want to sit on the sofa binge-watching Netflix and eating ice-cream. It’s totally ok to feel like this sometimes and wanting to just relax and do absolutely nothing. But, the key thing is not to make this into a habit, not to constantly do absolutely nothing and to just get your body moving even a little bit makes you feel a lot better.

Know that you’re not alone in the way you feel very lethargic and you feel the need to procrastinate. What matters is that you’re willing to make a difference and be able to slowly ease out of the procrastination. Find out what particularly triggered you to procrastinate, it could off been stress, sadness, fear etc. Instead, next time you feel the need to procrastinate try and think about what triggers it and what can help you feel more empowered next time.

If you’re looking for any online counselling or walk and talk therapy whether you’re a parent and you’re looking for your children. You yourself need it or you’re a student or anyone that is struggling at this time, then please do not hesitate to contact Becky. You can access contact details here. Check out the website for more information.

https://www.counsellorwhocares.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/BeckyCares/

Journalist