8 tips to stop procrastinating or procrastinating

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Procrastination or procrastination is a well-known phenomenon. We know we have something to do. But we don't. Still, it wouldn't take much to get started, right now.

Sort your papers, call your bank, fill out a form. Deep down, we know that it would be wise to start immediately to avoid problems. So why do not we act? In most cases, procrastinating, that is, procrastinating, allows us above all to avoid doing what bothers us.

But it is not without damage. "Procrastination is a concern because it is associated with a strong sense of guilt," insists coach Michael Ferrari, because immediate relief follows the painful impression of being at fault.

Jean-Pierre Soulier, coach and trainer, stresses "that it often takes much more time and money to make up for the steps that have not been taken than it would have been necessary to act on time." Fortunately, there are ways to motivate yourself to get going. Experts tell us eight.

1. Analyze your behaviors

"Procrastination is not a personality trait, it is a behavior that has its origin very far, in our childhood, in our family history", remembers Jean-Pierre Soulier. To stop it, you still have to identify it. Now, procrastination is versatile, changeable. You can put things off in your professional or personal life, you may not be able to decide on very small things or important events. And our ability to deceive ourselves, both to deny ourselves and to apologize, is infinite.

This is why Michael Ferrari suggests taking notes: when and under what circumstances do we procrastinate? For what reasons? And what are our explanations? This time of analysis will be useful to later make sense of our actions and recover the motivation that we lacked.

2. Experiment with new ways of doing things

Willpower is not enough to change. Jean-Pierre Soulier warns us. "You do not change the behavior. On the other hand, we can replace it by expanding the field of possibilities, experimenting. Little by little we are adopting new ways of doing things that will allow us to create new circuits. It is like the smoker who stops smoking. The original circuit he is still there, but he has experienced a new and more satisfying behavior. He ends up preferring the first one. "

3. Do it step by step

It is essential not to have any illusions about your revolution and to accept small steps. Michael Ferrari recommends taking the time to break down the action we are taking, step by step, asking at each point what we must do to achieve it.

"When we postpone things, we often postpone action because we no longer feel or do not know how to do it. We simply do not see how to do it. Specifying as precisely as possible how we should proceed allows us to deviate from the global vision that concerns us and return to the concrete. , more easily accessible by our paralyzed brain. So the path is easy to draw. "

4. Do not set the bar too high

"Give yourself modest and close goals to gain confidence," said Michael Ferrari. The potential long-term benefits of an action are less exciting than those that might be expected in the short term. And allow yourself to fail! First attempts do not work? Instead of saying to yourself, "It is done for me!" Take a look at yourself, analyze what went wrong, see what experience has given you. And move on to another exercise instead of giving up.

5. Identify what we have to lose due to inaction.

Choosing is so difficult that many times we feel paralyzed when it comes to moving. "Our timing is of choice. For everything. From quantities of yogurt in the supermarket to the different careers you can have in a lifetime. This is particularly conducive to procrastination in decision making, says Diane Ballonad-Rolland, coach, trainer in time management.

You quickly reach the saturation point, there is too much of everything, to the point of overwhelming you. Therefore, it is advisable to go back to very simple things, such as listing the advantages and disadvantages of procrastinating in this or that situation. When we put awareness in our actions as our inactions, when we put the costs and benefits of not acting on paper, we free our mind, we lighten it. This makes it easier to see what comes out of it. "

Therefore, we must take the time to visualize the consequences of our inaction. Example: "Am I not going to fill out my tax form? Very well, I will receive a longer notice. I will have to spend time, two or three unpleasant and humiliating hours, trying to fix my inaction, negotiating a reduction of this additional cost. Whereas this time, Id rather dedicate it to something more enjoyable."

It hurts, Michael Ferrari insists, it always makes us react faster. When we clearly identify what we have to lose by not moving, it makes us react faster. "

6. Develop your attention

Procrastination often creates a feeling of stress that accentuates our sense of dispersion. To refocus yourself on the present moment and be ready to act, do a breathing exercise regularly throughout the day for three minutes.

Standing or sitting, with our eyes closed, we focus our attention on our breathing while placing a hand on our stomach. Make sure to inflate it when you inhale. We take four deep breaths and then breathe normally two or three times. Do thoughts appear? We let them come without judging them and then we go back to concentrating on our breathing. As soon as you feel firmly anchored in the moment you are living in, you can reopen your eyes and go about your day.

7. Appreciate your notion of time.

Procrastination has always existed. However, now even more than before, the means at our disposal to procrastinate have multiplied. "Mails, tweets, Facebook. Now it is very easy to escape to the virtual world", explains Michael Ferrari, although this is only a symptom of our disease. Therefore, we must be careful with our own perception of time. "

"Even for tasks we are familiar with, we tend to underestimate the time we need," says Michael Ferrari. Double or triple the time you think it takes to accomplish something that weighs on you or that you normally put off. "

8. Do not overthink

To relieve the pressure, you can decide to take an action that you reject, but only for five minutes. For example, we give ourselves five minutes to start a document that we have been putting off for several days. Without thinking, we simply start by taking a pen and paper and saying the first words. An alarm will sound in the elapsed time. Experience shows that what holds us back is thinking. We spend more time thinking about avoiding what we fear than doing it. However, when we initiate an action, the thought process stops. It is time to realize that deep down, we know how to do it.

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