Procrastination is a ‘Focus Killer

How often do you think about performing a task and then put if off for the moment?

Do you then find your mind back at that task soon after? An example would be when you are at your desk and you are hungry. You think I will get something to eat in a minute and go back to work, only to find yourself thinking about food shortly after. Perhaps you were on email and as soon as you finish that email you are back to thinking about lunch. This procrastination causes your focus to shift and that can be counter productive to the outcome you desire.  Such a simple example can also be related to exercise. Have you ever said to yourself, “i will see how I feel later”, for exercise? You then find yourself checking in at certain times throughout the day and asking yourself ‘ am i ready’? Again this is hard work and can leave you feeling tired and unproductive. My advice is to plan your day and stick to it and below are a list of points that may help kick this habit by simply becoming aware.

Tracking your tortuous moves allows you to evaluate and change the actions. Start a journal of your procrastination habits or dictate them into a tape recorder. Replay the tape later, when you are out of the moment of discomfort.

  • Choose one or two examples of procrastination each day.
  • Describe the activity you put off.
  • Monitor your emotions to identify and record what you were feeling when you first acted to delay. (Was the activity unpleasant, confusing, uncomfortable, threatening?)
  • Record what you were thinking when you first began to delay. (Peter K. excused himself from his therapy assignment by telling himself “very busy day in office today. Too many things to do.”)
  • Record what you told yourself to keep procrastinating.
  • What was the outcome?
  • Then ask yourself: What is the discomfort that is so difficult to bear? That key question helps procrastinators see that the discomforts they are dodging—uncertainty, fear of performing badly—are, “mental fabrications, pure fictions.”

I hope this helps and have found this exercise very beneficial in my own trials!

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