• Jacqueline Dower

Procrastination = Anxiety

At its worst procrastination can really get hold of you. The more it gets a grip, the more anxious you become. It's not that you started feeling anxious first, it's the procrastination beginning to feed the anxiousness within you. How you reduce down the anxiety is to begin to face the procrastination face on.

We all have the days when we can’t focus on things; I have even been like that recently. That is why I started to write this blog because, for days, my concentration was all over the place. I wanted to start to do an online course that I subscribed to in the 1st lockdown in March 2020 in the UK. That is where the course stayed in my lockdown of things to do but can't be arsed box.

We all have this box that we store things in; we know they are there, now and again visit the box, feel bad about not doing whatever is in the box, and then put the box away again. This can be a never-ending cycle. As a hypnotherapist, I understand why these things happen; it’s all about taking action for your own procrastination. In my previous blog, I stated there are many different types of procrastination whichever type you are, the results are still the same. If nothing is changed, nothing gets done. It is about taking action and responsibility for the task at hand.

It's so easy to say I will do this tomorrow, but there is always another tomorrow. It should be about; I will do this now thought process. Take action and start to release the anxious feeling you have within you.

If we have things that can distract us, then just turn them off. People tend to check their phones all the time for social media updates. The phones are great for this; they kindly give us a little ping when someone has posted something that we might be interested in. Before you know it that 10 minutes you were concentrating on the task for, has been lost to seeing the funny video that was just posted about cats sleeping in strange positions. I used that suggestion because that was stopping me doing my task at hand. A funny video popped up of cats, and then boom, I was searching Facebook for funny videos of cats. I didn't have to search for long, because Facebook knows me so well, it gave me loads of suggestions for videos. One hour later, I still haven't started my online course!

There are lots of suggestions out there to help you start to focus but what I found very useful was to start to time manage your tasks. The Pomodoro technique I can highly recommend when it comes to facing tasks and concentration. This technique is designed for you to set a timer and break the job into bite-size chunks and then a break. It has been proved that if you set a length of time for concentration without any distractions, you will complete or remember far more than you did if you let distractions take over the task.

Turn off your phone or put on to mute, set a timer for 30 minutes and start your task. When the timer goes off, give yourself 2-5 minutes break. Get a drink, and then start again. Put a tick on a page so you can see you had your first break. Do this four times. When you have got to your fourth section and completed it, then you have a long break, maybe 30 minutes. It's like the saying how to eat an elephant - one piece at a time. By following this simple rule, you are reducing your anxiety. The reward has a bigger rest space, and the task gets done. Small wins. When we complete the task at hand, we start to feel happy; this is when your dopamine starts to get released.

  • Dopamine is associated with pleasurable sensations, along with learning, memory and motor system functions.

It's like a domino effect, each completed task no matter how small they are when completed start to make you feel happier and in control more; just like the domino when they flip on to each other creating a chain reaction till it reaches the end goal.

In order for you to select the task that you want to complete, you could start a list. Lists are useful if they are used in the right way. I had clients that had a list for list everywhere in their life, home, work or just in life generally. This gave them great confusion as they could never identify what was important for them and their anxiety increased, just with the thought about what to do first.

Our mind works in colours and numbers. Number 5 is something that our brain does not find tasking. If we made a list with only three items on there, we start to think, it's not much, and the can't be bothered mind steps in. If there is a list with more than five items say 8, our minds go - that's a ‘no from me!’, too many things on there to tackle. When there are five things, and only five things we look at and think this is an achievable list and then we become proactive. Never move on to another task on the list until you have completed one task. Remember the domino effect; this is how it starts. The feeling of satisfaction when you tick off the list is a good feeling.

Have a mind dump list in the day; it does not matter how many things are on this list. This list is things that do not need to be done yet, that have popped up in the day. It's a place to dump all of these things. Because your phone is on mute, the call that needs to be returned can be added to this list. It's about something in the day that pops up, that would usually stop you from finishing a task that you started.

You also need to see the progress you are making. If your list is done daily or set over a week, you can see how many things have been ticked off and completed. This starts to give you a feeling of euphoria.

How can hypnotherapy help you with your procrastination? Hypnosis helps to change your thought patterns at a subconscious level. When we are born, there is a blank canvas for learning, and good or bad habits start to make neurons pathways in our subconscious mind. Neurons are information messengers sent all around our brain. These bad habits that we begin to develop cause us to feel anxious, and we start to procrastinate. These get stronger as the signals follow the same neuron pathways. When you are in hypnosis, new positive words and suggestions are made to your subconscious mind. This start to make new neuron pathways, changing the way were felt and acted before. You are starting to reinforce positive lifestyle changes, building up your confidence and increasing your self-belief.

If this sounds like you and you want to put an end finally to the anxiety and the procrastinating, call or message today to Uplands Hypnotherapy Clinic. In a few sessions,

you can start to feel like your old self again. Feel like you have control and energy and start to complete what you have started.

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