HOW CAN WE TAKE CONTROL OVER PROCRASTINATION?
January 28, 2016 / Posted by Julie - Well-Being and a Touch of OM
So you’re sitting in front of your computer at work, and you are being bombarded with fun facts from social media, which erodes your productivity at work. Eyes glued to the screen, you will find any excuse to delay your work: “I’m just taking a short break.”
The story is the same at home. You know that you should be working on that document that was “due yesterday”, yet you’re still looking for a thousand and one distractions from the same work you swore to accomplish as soon as you got home. Several hours later, you are engulfed with anxiety when you should be asleep: You are officially in panic mode.
So what happened? You have fallen into the trap laid by procrastination.
What is Procrastination?
Wikipedia states that it “is the avoidance of doing a task which needs to be accomplished. It is the practice of doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, or carrying out less urgent tasks instead of more urgent ones, thus putting off impending tasks to a later time”. Chronic procrastinators can’t seem to “buckle down”, especially when their work does not give them immediate satisfaction.
If ever you recognize this pattern, know that you are not alone. Joseph R. Ferrari, professor of psychology at Chicago’s DePaul University, believes that almost everyone procrastinates to various degrees.
And it is an ever-growing trend. Psychologist Piers Steel points out how in 1978, only 5% of Americans defined themselves as chronic procrastinators. Today, almost 30% of them say the same. (French article)ne themselves as 8, only 5% of AMericans ers Steel shows howegrees.
Placing the Blame on Our Many Distractions
Piers Steel also believes that our tendency to procrastinate is based on the wide array of possible distractions in our day and age: cellphones, tablets, television, social media and many more. By dividing our attention, we lose our concentration as we are subjected to constant and abundant stimuli, thus leading to us to decrease our productivity at work and in everyday life.
How to Manage Procrastination?
I turned to some gurus in Old Montreal to help answer this question. They are all people who live in the present moment, know how to let go of troubling things, practice self-discipline, and take very good care of their bodies. They do all of this not only because it is their job to do so, but their vocation. Here are their tips.
How Are You Seated?
Do you have proper posture when seated at work? Mélania Bussières of Ostéopathie Vieux-Montréal believes this to be a serious question and advises you to think about it regularly.
Fatigue, which can lead to procrastination, is often caused and aggravated by poor posture, and can even lead to migraines.
It is therefore helpful to develop good habits at work and at home to reduce eye and neck fatigue. Tanya Dawe, from Yoga Vieux-Montréal studio, advises you to “Make sure that your eyes align with your screen, and improve comfort when seated by putting a pillow behind your lower back.”
It’s all about having a sound mind in a sound body.
Are You Too Wired?
What if we let our minds get distracted because we are continuously losing contact with ourselves?
Tanya Dawe believes that physical activity (whether it is walking, swimming or yoga) is not only beneficial for relieving the body’s built-up stress, but also to allow our body and spirit to become a stronger “muscle”, one that has been conditioned to maintain focus.
Hervé Blondon of the Hatha Yoga Satyam School believes that static yoga allows us to get back in touch with ourselves by training our bodies to stay still in different positions for a couple complete breaths. Positions which focus on balance (tree) and resistance (warrior poses) are the most beneficial.
Take a Break
When we look for distractions, it is often because we are running away from something. Both body and mind require breaks to function optimally. In this sense, taking breaks is a must for working better!
Hervé Blondeau therefore advises people to take many small breaks during your workday in order to free your mind, so that you can live more in the moment.
Taking a mind-liberating walk while focusing on your breathing is a good example of a truly healthy break. Here’s what you do: Breathe deeply by inflating your stomach and filling your lungs with air, and really try to taste the air.
Free Yourself From Facebook (From Time to Time)
Without necessarily banishing social media from our lives, we are able to reduce our dependence towards them, aren’t we not? Hervé believes that instead of checking our Snapchats during our breaks, why not take short walks to get back in touch with ourselves… and we’re not talking about selfies here.
You could also treat yourself to short activities that allow you to take some time off your daily lunch routine: yoga, tisane, book an appointment for a message or even an osteopathic treatment for a sound body and mind.
These are among a thousand and one ways to manage your need to distract yourself in a healthy way, and cast away the anxiety created by procrastination. So this being said, what are your tricks to escape the vice grip of procrastination?