Do you want to know the truth?
I procrastinated in writing this article about procrastination!
“What! But aren’t you supposed to be an expert at not procrastinating if you’re teaching others how to beat it?”
I’m just like you, I’ve succumbed to the affliction of procrastination many times in my life, but I’ve also sought out methods to combat it and take back control of my life. This article will offer you three of the most powerful insights I’ve discovered based on yoga philosophy to get the most out of your work life.
Get to know why you procrastinate
Procrastination is connected with a self-critical state of mind. The good news is you’re not just lazy and don’t want to do the work. When you go to tackle the most important, and oftentimes creative work in your life, there are emotions attached to the task.
Negative self-talk often arises when we take on a challenge.
“Am I smart enough?”
“Do I have the necessary skills?”
“What if I fail?”
How to recognise why you procrastinate
Sit down and close your eyes. Begin to focus on your inhale and exhale for one-to-three minutes.
Then shift your attention to envisioning the task you need to do. Think about all of the nuances of the work involved - time to research or study, the focus required for the project, the effort to write or put together the materials. As you envision, name the emotions or feelings that arise.
Fear. Doubt. Worry. Shame.
Practising this consistently will make you aware of the deeper emotions behind your procrastination. With greater awareness, you’ll feel empowered to face the task you’ve been putting off.
Take action on your most important work first
Most likely you’ve been affected by procrastination's close ally: “present bias”.
This means we often choose to do the activities that are easiest and require the least amount of effort first. It makes us feel productive and like we’re knocking things off our To-Do List.
But in reality, your fatiguing yourself by postponing your most important work. Caroline Miller, at the Kripalu Yoga Centre, says, “When we are constantly using our emotional energy to fight against ourselves, we are reinventing our strategies over and over, which depletes self-regulation and reduces our ability to stay on track.”
How to take action on what’s most important
The evening before your workday list out the tasks you need to get done. I like to use an app called “Goals Wizard” by Brian Tracy. But a journal or Google Calendar will do. Order your list from the most important task to the least important. This way when you get up you don’t need to waste unnecessary energy on planning, you can get right to work!
Implement a flow practice into your life
When you need to do work you want it to be as enjoyable and effortless as possible. If work feels like you’re slogging through a swamp, each thought and word painful to articulate, then you’re more likely to resist what you have to do.
When you enter a flow state work becomes easeful. Time passes swiftly. The knowledge or wisdom you need to perform the task at your highest ability seems to be readily available.
How to bring more flow into your life
A flow state is characterised by becoming more skilled and competent at your work. But even if you’re a genius in your field, it can be difficult to tap into this state of being.
This is why yoga can be your greatest asset. A yoga practice connects you to your breath, which taps into your physical, mental, and emotional body. The more often you’re connected to the core of your being, and live as the most authentic expression of yourself, the more you’ll be in the flow.
Try implementing a 15-minute yoga practice first thing in the morning. You can try out a variety of classes for free on the Warrior Addict - Yoga For Sports channel.
Procrastination can cause a lot of unnecessary suffering and suck the joy out of your life. Take back control of your personal power by utilising these three insights to beat procrastination.
Comment below with the best methods you’ve used to stop procrastinating.
This article was written for us by our fantastic Brand Warrior, Vancouver-based Michael Toru. For more information about Michael, click here