What are you putting off?
You know what I’m talking about…
When it comes to mind, you immediately shove it away. Every time you think of it, all of your excuses come up:
No time (maybe tomorrow),
Not enough information (can’t start until I have it all!),
I’m tired (I’ll wait until I’m rested),
Other things come first (everything comes first),
I hate doing it…
I’m talking about those things you could do (and might even need to do) but aren’t. I’m talking about the things on your “to do” list that make you roll your eyes. You actively dodge them. They make you feel a little bit bad about yourself – like you are cutting class.
You could be putting off anything from going to the dentist to initiating touchy conversation to dealing with a pile of papers to unpacking from vacation to finishing a project. Whatever it is, you can’t seem to get motivated to do it.
Imagine what it would be like to check THOSE things off of your “to do” list.
You would be more relaxed and more creative.
You would have more focus and perform better.
You would have more time.
You would make more money.
You would have more fun.
Can doing those dreaded tasks create so much change? You bet!
Procrastination devours your working memory!
Having an expansive working memory is one of the keys to success. It gives you the room to learn, juggle information, reason, and create new ideas easily.
The average person can hold 7 or so items in active working memory at any given moment. However, there is a layer of working memory just outside of the immediate point of focus that holds many more immediately available items (you can learn more about this in my book!).
These items actively float in and out of your immediate point of focus – momentarily siphoning attention away from your current projects. The more items in this layer, the more constant and persistent the distractions.
The longer you put things off, the more often they will pop into your mind and cause you to lose focus. That constant distraction adds stress to your life. It also increases the time needed to complete projects and lowers the quality of your performance.
3 Ways To Stop Procrastination
Make your list!
Write out all of the things that you are putting off. You will likely find that many of your stressors are on this list (surprise!). Getting them out of your head and onto your list will help you see them for what they really are and prioritize them.