To overcome procrastination, you simply have to master some skills.
We all procrastinate, but it doesn’t have to be your defining characteristic.
Business growth expert and New York Times bestselling author, John Assaraf is a behavioral neuroscience researcher, and is known as the “Brain Whisperer”.
He has successfully created 5 different multi million dollar companies.
And together with his winning team of experts, researchers and leaders in the field of neuroscience, you too can discover the neuroscience secrets to success in life and in business.
According to the latest insights offered by research in neuroscience on how you can activate the part of your brain responsible for motivation, you can completely change your life and amplify your willpower.
“If you take too long in deciding what to do with your life, you’ll find you’ve done it.” -George Bernard Shaw
It’s tempting to attribute your procrastination habit to a willpower deficit.
Overcoming willpower depletion is a popular topic, although the answer doesn’t quite explain the reason behind WHY we procrastinate.
Willpower is limited when you’re brawling with a task of which the outcome, you’re not truly invested in.
However, willpower’s sustainable when you have goals that are in alignment with your values.
Behavioral designer and Author, Nir Eyal, equates willpower to emotion:
“Just as we don’t ‘run out’ of joy or anger, willpower ebbs and flows based on what’s happening to us and how we feel.”
To put it differently, your experience of willpower is limited when you’re fixated on end goals.
But when you’re invested in the process of achieving a goal, a project or a substantial change you’d like to bring about, your willpower remains strong.
So how does one turn ‘the obsession over results’ into ‘falling in love with the process’?
You MUST “Become aware of your big WHY” as per success coach and brain researcher, John Assaraf.
Find that self-motivation within you.
Your burning desire, and your big WHY that drives the requirement for breaking a habit, reaching a goal or making a change keeps your willpower fueled.
And a major part of reclaiming your self-motivation is in healing the neurological roots of low self-worth and self-esteem, which is the #1 reason people procrastinate.
Psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo offers 11 great productivity techniques on how to remain focused if you’d like to stop putting things off and create an aligned strategy for strengthening your willpower:
If you deem the task at hand unbearable, instead of amplifying your stress levels about what must be done, keep it in perspective and realize that although it’s not your favorite thing to do, you’ll get through it.
Instead of avoiding the short and long-term stresses of your task, consider the benefits involved in completing it that will enhance your confidence, bank account or the example you set as a parent or leader.
Schedule your priorities to ensure they get blocked out time and use a timer to get the most of your tasks.
As you’re establishing your schedule, set yourself up for success by choosing realistic and appropriate times you can actually manage and understand that bigger projects do take more time than smaller tasks.
Break overbearing tasks into smaller and more manageable chunks so you can feel more empowered and less overwhelmed and actually get groups of smaller tasks within the larger project done.
If you wait until ‘you’re in the mood’, or ‘you have more time’, or until the 11th hour because ‘you work better under pressure’, you’ll never get started if ‘X has to happen’ before you start.
Have deadlines and get someone involved to hold you accountable, be it a boss, a coach, a client or a colleague so you can’t go back on your word - note that your significant other is not the best person for the job.
Hold off the research-rabbit hole until the end of your block out time.
Technology is an ever-present source of distraction, and being so easily accessible, it can be a massive drain on your productivity if not managed appropriately.
Reward yourself ONLY once you’ve completed your scheduled tasks, and achieved what you’d set out to do, and not a moment sooner.
You’re less likely to procrastinate again if you forgive yourself for putting things off in the past, research shows.
Because thoughts like “I should have started earlier…” or “I always procrastinate. I’m such a loser...” will only not help you overcome procrastination and will only make matters worse.
The all-or-nothing mentality of perfectionism can hold you back from starting and finishing things so instead, focus on being better, not perfect.
‘Done is better than perfect.’
If you’d like to overcome procrastination it helps to understand the neurological reasons encouraging your behavior.
You’re not lazy or incapable of taking action.
You’re simply avoiding pain.
When your brain’s fear-center, the amygdala, detects stress, you experience it as ‘painful’.
You do everything in your power to minimize any risk of emotional or physical pain.
So you procrastinate.
And what procrastination can lead to is perfectionism, and a preference to remain stuck in your ‘safe’ comfort zone.
When asking yourself “How can I achieve my goals?”, which false fears emerge in your mind?
Although it’s a fundamental question, it’s not easy to answer.
Robin Sharma is a distinguished leadership expert and what he has to say about achieving your dreams is that the non-conscious mind propels 95% of one’s life.
Is it any wonder then that conquering the fears that drive procrastination is challenging.
You might not even be conscious of what intimidates you the most.
Fear of failure or rejection are very likely suspects when it comes to overcoming procrastination.
Stage fright or fear of speaking in public is brought on by a fear of ridicule or rejection and is also a big culprit and apart from being emotionally paralyzing, can adversely impact your professional life.
Fear acts upon the ‘motivation’ area of your brain.
It therefore makes sense to address the matter with evidence-based methods so you can learn how best to rewire your brain for victory and success.
Take some time to explore what you fear and examine daily ways to help you stay motivated.
Use some time during the day to meditate, every day, to reduce stress naturally and to help you define your core values.
And when old habits creep in, remember that by eliminating anxiety, you’re better able to overcome procrastination and be more productive.
Once you’re clear on your desires, create a suitable environment that supports the visualization and achievement of your goals.
Your surrounding space often stimulates procrastination more than a shortfall in willpower does.
Here’s what productivity blogger, Benjamin P. Hardy highlights about how one’s inner conflict impedes your ability to create the kind of environment beneficial to change and growth:
“Commitment means you build external defense systems around your goals. Your internal resolve, naked to an undefended and opposing environment, is not commitment.”
The ‘neuroscience of goal achievement’ illuminates why the commitment to improve their conditions is so challenging for most people
Lack of obvious commitment and indecision weaken your resolve, dragging down your sense of self-worth and feeding your habit of procrastination.
To improve your productivity, you must cultivate favorable conditions by changing your environment and your daily routine.
This might mean requesting time flexibility at work, creating office space at home or exiting an unhealthy relationship.
It could mean a variety of things.
When you consider the impact procrastination has on your life, your business and your bottom line, do you realize how much more you can achieve if you knew how to overcome procrastination?
Make a decision on what really matters to you and then create the conditions necessary for you to succeed.
Desire is your brain’s master plan for action.
And as per Dr. Kelly McGonigal, award-winning psychology professor at Stanford University, desire can be as much a ‘source of willpower’ as it can be a ‘threat to self-control’.
The execution of your desire requires a committed, strategic plan of action.
So take the first step and retrain your brain to overcome procrastination...
John and his team have done the necessary research so that you don’t have to learn the hard way.
There are many factors that contribute to why we put things off, but you can let it be and forgive yourself and move forward, starting right now.
You might not realize it, but you’re training your brain every day, with who and what you surround yourself with and focus on.
Desire is a driving force behind what you'd like to build, as well as why, and it's crucial to learn how to overcome procrastination if you'd like to to start a business so you can build wealth.
After all, you must bring your A-game if you're going to be successful.
So ask yourself...
How much fulfillment do you experience when you put things off?
How does the fear of taking action impact your income potential?
Your success relies on the thoughts you think, the decisions you make, the habits you nurture and the actions you take.
And if you have a desire to improve your confidence, your income, your lifestyle and your success significantly and for the long-term, retraining your brain is an excellent start!
Has your Mind ever wondered…
Fear impacts the motivation part of your brain.
But if you are committed to taking action to achieving your goals, and you start thinking and behaving differently, you can overcome procrastination with a few simple techniques that you can learn from John Assaraf.
Align your goals with your values to sustain your willpower and get to the neurological root of the reason behind why you have to overcome procrastination in the first place.
You’ll find 11 tips here to help you overcome procrastination and at the core of them, is knowing your big WHY for doing what you’re doing, and of course assembling a strategy to commit to doing what must be done.
A major part of reclaiming your self-motivation is in healing the neurological roots of low self-worth and self-esteem, which is the #1 reason people procrastinate.
Learning how to stop being afraid to say no is a critical part of retraining your thoughts and behaviors not only so you can overcome procrastination and be more productive, but also to strengthen your self-worth.