The new year has started and with it comes the list of good resolutions. But we all know that sometimes it’s hard to keep up. One of the reasons is our habit of procrastinating. Procrastination has killed many of good resolutions.
Sometimes, I wish I could add “stop procrastinating” on my list of good resolutions. Well, it’s easier said than done! But here is the thing: you can blame it on your brain and more specifically on your unconscious mind.
Let me explain you this in more details:
There are a few things we do not like to do, so we delay, hoping that the problem will go away or someone else will take care of it. Unfortunately, this rarely happens. What was a task that you simply did not like, often becomes the thing that you hate the most, because now you have to do it under stress and pressure. A deadline is coming up and there is no other excuses to postpone it. Postponing a task can turn into a high stress situation.
When it comes to procrastination, this habit feels hard to break.
Why do we procrastinate? Why are we so good at procrastinating?
Science shows that it is because of mental blocks or traumas. It is because of a fear of failure, or a fear of getting it wrong due to a past trauma. Thus it is preventing us to do what should be done. The worst is that it is often unconscious yet still works against us. What we call procrastination is actually the “freeze” response of the brain to a stressful situation. The stress generated by a trauma or a fear, even an unconscious fear, will prevent you from doing something. The more you delay the task, the more stressful you become, thus the worse the situation becomes.
If you have followed our blog last year, you may know by now that when it comes to the brain, we can teach it how to do it differently. This is also true about procrastination.
To change this habit of procrastinating, you will need to proceed step by step. First of all, you will need to identify the situation and look at what is actually bothering you. You won’t need to understand the trauma, stress or fear that causing you to procrastinate. You just need to acknowledge that in a specific situation you are procrastinating. In order to overcome it, the easiest way to proceed is to break the task into several small steps. Thus the brain will process it differently. Instead of seeing this huge task as a threat, the brain now faces small, baby steps that can be done one by one. Then you can take your time to do them, and acknowledge each of the small steps. You are able to keep your stress level under control and your brain learns that you can do it.
By doing so, you are teaching your brain a new habit. It starts to re-wire itself.
So let’s kick off the year with a few new habits. Not by adding “stop procrastinating” on your resolution list but by being mindful of the situations that force you to procrastinate and taking the process step-by-step, to move forward peacefully and joyfully. You can also try our customized advanced neurofeedback training. Training your brain with InnerOptimal is an easy, efficient and lasting solution to solve your procrastination issue.
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Amelie Catheline for InnerOptimal Team
Happy New Year 2018!