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procrastination
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Psychology

Beat procrastination — a short and easy to follow coping strategy

Procrastination — postponing some plans and activities or complete abandonment. You’re avoiding making decisions, you’re afraid of confronting problems and scared of failures. You can also be a perfectionist and somewhere deep down you know that you can’t complete the task in 100% so you’re postponing it waiting for more convenient circumstances. But postponing problems won’t make them resolved.

Start doing something. Break the task into smaller parts and make even a tiniest step toward completion. Often, when you start something, you realize that you are fully capable of doing it and it’s not as scary as you thought. This first tiny step can be 10 minutes of running or reducing amount of your favorite snack by one chocolate square.

Break the goal into smaller parts with some time constraints like “I will lose 3 pounds in 2 weeks”, “I will be able to run without stopping for 30 minutes by the end of this month”. Short-term goals will give you extra motivation

At the beginning, don’t set too many ambitious tasks. Concentrate on one or maximum two. For instance; today I will walk fast for 30 minutes and use honey in my tea instead of sugar. When you actually start doing something you will soon realize that you can do more and it doesn’t hurt that much to push the boundaries.

Sometimes, the reason of postponing diet or healthy living is that you don’t know what to do. You’re thinking where to start and what should you do first. You have questions like: “should I just eat less?”, “how many meals per day?”, “what products should I avoid?”, “Can I eat after 6 P.M.?”. When you have a detailed plan of action you’re more likely to start. Having a solid plan won’t make you feel that you’re losing time following it. Your hard work will bring effects.

Start doing something. Break the task into smaller parts and make even a tiniest step toward completion

Write down detailed strategies for maintaining diet and training rigor. Break the plan into smaller parts. Be as detailed as possible. Try to predict risks like: “this Tuesday I need to stay longer at work so in order to exercise and eat a healthy meal I need to do X and Y earlier”.

Boost your chances for success by setting a realistic (it’s important!) term of achieving your goal. Break the goal into smaller parts with some time constraints like “I will lose 3 pounds in 2 weeks”, “I will be able to run without stopping for 30 minutes by the end of this month”. Short-term goals will give you extra motivation. Your goal should be measurable as well. “I will lose weight in 6 weeks” tells much less than “I will lose 15 pounds by the end of May”. Setting too long terms for your goals is risky because there’s a possibility that you won’t stick to your plan knowing that you have lots of time left and potential lapses can be made up in the future. It’s a false belief because later you will have to work much harder to achieve your goal in the planned term and chances that something goes wrong will increase.

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