“Never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.” – Charles Dickens.

Yes, we all know that procrastination steals our time; yet, we do nothing about it. It is because of the human nature to escape from the reality and procrastination is one such escapism. In order to overcome procrastination, we should first understand the reasons why we  procrastinate. Once we understand our responses to a particular situation, we can use mindfulness to battle procrastination. Mindfulness helps to boost focus by bringing you to the present moment. Here is how one can use mindfulness to overcome procrastination.

Why do we procrastinate?

We keep procrastinating even if we have it in our minds that we have got things to finish. We know that we have to do it but still refuse to do it on time. We keep postponing it for later. The reason why we procrastinate varies from person to person. Following are two main causes of procrastination:

  • Fear: We usually delay those works which we are scared of doing. Now, this fear may be different for different people. Some might fear that their work will not be upto the mark while some others postpone their work due to the fear of doing it wrong.
  • Escapism: We try to escape from the things which we find difficult to do. Laziness add fuel to escapism. If we see that the work that we are assigned to do is very time consuming, our laziness will ultimately convince our mind to delay the work for some time. Interest is another big factor. It is a human tendency to escape from everything which doesn’t interests us. Hence, we procrastinate so as to escape from not spending our time on something which we don’t like to do.

Sometimes, it is not just fear and escapism that causes procrastination. There are times when we really don’t know how to do the work and hence, have no option other than to procrastinate. Lack of idea or knowledge also plays a crucial role in procrastination.

How can Mindfulness help?

Procrastination is all about our emotions. The way we regulate our emotions decides our behaviour. If we let our thoughts control our actions, we can never get over procrastination. The first step towards fighting the battle against procrastination begins with awareness. You should be aware of the negative thoughts and the excuses you make to delay a particular work. Ask yourself- What are you afraid of? What are you trying to escape from? What are you going to do in the time when you are supposed to do the work assigned to you? Once you are able to answer these questions, you can begin with the next step of bringing your mind to the present moment. This is where mindfulness comes into play.  Since human mind constantly wanders either in the past or in the future, it becomes important to bring it to the present moment to face the reality. By practicing mindfulness you’ll be successful in being aware of the present moment without being judgemental. When you don’t judge your thoughts, feelings and whatever is going on in your surroundings, you can develop acceptance towards everything. Hence, mindfulness allows us to take actions despite of the negative thoughts pulling us back. Our urge to procrastinate can be reduced to a great extent through mindfulness. It helps in emotion regulation, tuning out distractions. Practice mindfulness exercises for procrastination and see the change for yourself. For more information and guidance on living a healthier and happier life, feel free to contact Mindsupport Trivandrum. Remember, whatever you have to do, do it now! Sometimes ‘later’ becomes ‘never’.