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How To Stop Your Mind Wandering To Procrastination

The Mind Wandering To Procrastination

In this article, we will discuss how to stop your mind wandering to procrastination. We will look into scientific studies as well as findings from experts and my own experiences to beat procrastination.

I feel every human, myself included have to deal with procrastination on a daily basis. It’s like the devil on your shoulder always pushing you to the easy. I don’t think procrastination will ever go away but there are techniques, routines and habits that can be formed to help your mind stop wandering into procrastination.

So let start off with,

What is procrastination?

Procrastination is the act of putting something off in the pursuit of something easier to do practically or deal with emotionally within the mind. Research has indicated procrastination is a form of poor self-regulation like a habit you need to do but keep putting it off. Essentially it’s part of every human on Earth and training the procrastination muscle is essential to getting things done.

Why Do We Procrastinate?

There are many reasons on an individual basis of why we procrastinate. You know within yourself the times you are most affected by procrastination. The main reason why we procrastinate is based on our feelings of how we feel now or how we feel in the future.

To explain more, when we put things off in the present it’s because it feels too hard to do and when we put things off based on it being done in the future is because we trick ourselves to believing we have enough time to do it.

Both are damaging mindsets to have to your progression and allows a wandering mind to procrastination.

How To Stop Your Mind Wandering To Procrastination

Don’t worry, if you’re a serial procrastinator you are not alone. We have all been there but there is hope. You can get a grip on controlling your procrastinating urges. You do this by understanding that procrastination is never going to go away. EVER!

How you overcome procrastination is the same process as to how we overcome a lack of muscle strength or understanding of a new language. We treat procrastination as a muscle. That we need to train every day because if we don’t it will fall back into its old ways.

Here are some strategies below that can help you from wandering to procrastination,

Option 1 Getting rid of distractions and temptations

How to stop your mind wandering to procrastination
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Photo by Plann on Unsplash

How tempting is it to just say I will do it later? I will just watch one episode then 8 episodes later you have the regret of not doing what you set out to do. From my own experience very tempting.

With distraction at our fingertips now it’s even easier to procrastinate with Games, films, tv shows, social media and Youtube. When I was studying at university this was one of the main distraction from getting my work done. Mainly because their work was hard and this was a much easier choice.

Here are my top 3 tips to apply to get rid of distraction and temptation,

  • Have everything prepared and easily viewable – If it’s exercise, have your clothes, yoga mat already out ready to use. If it’s writing when you open your phone or laptop it’s the first thing you see.
  • Clean your phone – Delete any major distractions from your phone or you have time outs on your most addictive apps.
  • Get started straight away – Upon awakening get the hardest task done straight away (Also by exercising straight away in the morning helps focus the mind) to overcome any distraction. Later in the day, it’s much easier to put things off.

Today make a list of your 3 major distractions and create a plan to avoid procrastination.

Option 2 – Make it easy to get started

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Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

The amount of times I have put things off because it was too hard to do. Are a long list and I mean long!! For example, when I started writing, the thought of writing over 1000 words was very daunting, to say the least. At university, this really unlocked the procrastination when I had to do a ten thousand word dissertation.

What I have learned that has helped a great deal with overcoming procrastination is starting anything challenging by making it easy to do. If it’s writing, set your goal as 250 words, if its exercises, set your goal for just a 10-minute workout.

This amazing strategy overcomes the hardship of procrastination brilliantly. Anything hard you have to do, make it easy and you will be surprised how you feel when you achieve it and how much more you actually do once you get started.

One of the biggest obstacles for procrastination is starting and this is a proven strategy that works.

Plus even if you only do 250 words a day of writing or 10 minutes a day of exercising. If you do this for 7 days the minimum you will achieve is 1750 words completed and 70 minutes of exercise within your week. That’s far better than procrastinating and doing nothing at all.

The Power Of Compound

The proven strategy of the compound effect is at play here too. Even by doing a little over time will lead to something much bigger in the future.

So if you have one month to do a ten thousand word essay. Doing 333 words a day if far better choice and easy than doing it all in one day or leaving it to the last minute to do. Which is the worst feeling!!

Start small, start easy and watch yourself de procrastinate and grow.

Get Your Mind Back From Wandering Procrastination

A study by Caroline Williams showed how you can improve your procrastination muscle which you can read in the link. But the study also showed that when you do go off track from your task.

The most important thing to do is not stress as this creates the procrastination to come back and take over. Just like pulling a seat belt too hard, a calmer approach is a must to stave off the mind wandering to procrastination.

So to help keep your mind from going back into procrastination is staying calm, the best ways for me to do this is,

  • Daily Meditation
  • Focus on breathing
  • Do important work alone

Final Thoughts

I hope we delivered a way for you to control your procrastination in this article – how to stop your mind wandering to procrastination.

I know it’s hard and I know there can be a lot of regrets when you don’t achieve what you were set out to do because you got in your own way. But by treating procrastination like a muscle, you can find solutions to overcome it with better habits.

I wish you all the best and get building that procrastination muscle!

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Hi I’m Adam
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Hi I’m Adam

I’ve spent over 10 years coaching and mentoring people within sport and business. I have many life skills that I have developed and I want to pass these skills on so people can find their best self. I believe it all starts in the mind and I write about valuable tools and strategies to help people grow in this area.

4 thoughts on “How To Stop Your Mind Wandering To Procrastination

  1. Hurrah. Procrastination, the productivity killer.

    Love your strategies, especially your inclusion of compounding. As money and water dripping on a rock, anything can be mighty over time. Small gains over a long time. I think a lot of writers fall into the procrastination trap as they expect instant results from their initial work to overcome it.

    1. I’m glad you like the post. I agree people expect a quick fix more than ever. Thinking more about building a solid foundation that will last. Will help overcome procrastinating on the instant gratification which always crumbles at the first ofset of a problem. Thanks again for dropping by and engaging!

  2. Some very important fundamentals you point out here. I especially think the compound effect is important to understand and get behind. Great post!

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