How to overcome procrastination

We all have one – that arduous task you’ve been putting off for weeks, months, years…

by Psychologies

Be it organising your office or finally starting that novel, we always seem to find another excellent excuse for not doing it today.

Gary Sall, co-founder of positivechangesolutions.co.uk, believes procrastination comes from a fear of failure. Here, he gives us his top tips for combating that fear of failure and overcoming our inner procrastinator.

  1. Banish negative thoughts Our tolerance for making mistakes is low, and our desire to achieve a certain outcome is high. This is where self-limiting negative thoughts such as: “What would happen if I fail?” and “Will I look like a fool?”, come from. Identify these thoughts, challenge them and replace them with constructive sentences such as: "Are my thoughts realistic and rational?"
  2. Embrace uncertainty The world is an uncertain place where few things are guaranteed. This means our desire for certainty is an irrational thought. Instead, see uncertainty as an exciting challenge.
  3. Take risks Build up your tolerance to making mistakes by taking a few risks. We all made mistakes when learning to drive a car or ride a bike. Making these mistakes on the way to achieving our goals is natural. Without taking calculated risks, we cannot move forward.
  4. Confront your fears with positive actions Taking that first step can be the most difficult part, but once that first step is taken the whole task becomes easier.  Overcoming fear of failure and in doing so tackling procrastination is a skill that can be developed – the more we practice, the better we become. With these tips in mind, try tackling that elusive job this week and let us know how you get on.

Gary Sall runs motivation training courses using a combination of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

More inspiration:

Read Do you have enough self-discipline? on LifeLabs

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