We are now used to and perhaps a little fed up of staying at home. The novelty has well and truly worn off. Over the weeks we have been busy organising, planning and trying new things. Some of us working from home, others are busying themselves being creative, and some have even been spring cleaning. Now, however, is when procrastination really starts to creep in. Why wouldn’t it? There is time to delay ‘those’ tasks, especially the ones we don’t particularly enjoy. Why rush through them all when we might be inside for a while yet?
Procrastinate the procrastination
Procrastination, rather than a sign of laziness, can often be a fear of failure. This fear often drives our lack of effort. Our subconscious mind’s goal is to keep us in a safe place, and the possibility of failure can be cause enough for it to warrant us to remain within our comfort zone thus not making any attempt at all. The safety net of the zone can very quickly become a habit, especially in testing times.
Overcoming such hurdles requires retraining of the subconscious. Reestablish what makes you feel good instead of allowing the putting off of a task to create this. For example, you need to hoover the floor, but instead, you pick up your phone. What you are reading or watching is giving you a good feeling. To change this around, reward yourself with that screen after doing the hoovering. By giving yourself a little reward for a job well done, you have accomplished the goal and raised your serotonin levels.
The Importance of Serotonin
We have approximately 40 million brain cells that are influenced directly or indirectly by serotonin. These include brain cells relating to mood, sleep, appetite, memory, learning, temperature regulation, sexual function and some social behaviours.
Many researchers believe an imbalance in serotonin levels may influence mood levels to such an extent it can lead to depression. Causes can either be when the brain cell production of serotonin lacks receptor sites or when there is a shortage of Trypton; then chemical serotonin is made from.
How To Decrease Procrastination?
To help combat procrastination, we need to increase serotonin levels. Where possible, do exercise daily, eat healthily and maintain a level balance between work and play.
Hypnotherapy can also be an effective method in helping you overcome procrastination. It works by relaxing the mind and implanting positive suggestion into the subconscious.
Self-hypnosis can be done by yourself to give you the impetus to make the initial efforts of completing tasks right away less daunting and more rewarding.
We have written a de-stressing script for you to try at home:
- Start by making a note of your initial stress level with 10 being a ‘full-blown panic attack’ and 0 being not stressed at all. Remember this starting number.
- Sit in a comfortable chair, feet flat on the ground and rest your hands in your lap.
- Sit up straight but remaining comfortable, take four slow deep breaths. Inhale through your nose for a count of 4 and exhale through your nose for a count of 8.
- Close your eyes. Imagine roots growing gently down from the bottom of your feet into the ground.
- Imagine your favourite colour entering into the top of your head and moving all the way down through your body and flowing out of the bottom of your feet and through those roots into the earth.
- Direct all of your focus to the palms of your hands and breathe for a few moments.
- Still with your eyes closed, count down from 10 to 1, saying ‘deeper and deeper’ after each number.
- Repeat the following, either in your mind or out loud, 10 times: I am safe. I am calm. I can easily complete what I must do. I am in the zone.
- Take another deep breath and imagine being productive. Visualise and feel yourself knocking items off your to-do list. Smile as you imagine this.
- After you’ve spent a couple of minutes imagining this, imagine the same colour as before flowing in through your head, down your body and out into the earth through your feet as before.
- Smile. Open your eyes and stretch your arms up over the top of your head while saying Yes.
- Note your new number on the scale from the first point. Congratulate yourself on completing this task and how quickly you have improved your stress levels.