Do you ever find yourself thinking or saying ‘I have to’ do this or ‘I must do’ this thing or that thing? And have you noticed the sense of pressure and obligation that comes from using words like this?
Anything that feels like duty isn’t enticing
An attitude of ‘I have to do this’ makes whatever needs to done feel like a duty and an obligation – and this has a counterproductive effect on you. It causes you to delay and procrastinate in the very things that you need to do, because they feel like an unappealing burden.
Procrastination drains your energy because whatever you’re putting off doing starts to loom in the background of your mind so that it seems far greater than it really is. In your mind, these activities that need your attention start to become ‘chores’ – and then, the more that you delay getting to them, the more they become things to be dreaded!
It’s so much better when you can focus on the present
There’s an old saying that reminds us that: ‘Procrastination is the thief of time’ – and this remains true. Whatever it is that you’re not doing stays with you, worrying you and distracting you, so that you cannot give your full attention to the current task at hand.
A very good way to deal with procrastination is to change the language you use about what needs to be done. A change of language changes the way you think and act because it re-frames how you view things.
Use better words
Instead of saying ‘I have to’, try saying ‘I choose to’ or I want to’ and you will immediately feel a lift in your energy. Words have great power and they influence how you feel, so you can give yourself a much more positive attitude by what you tell yourself about what needs doing.
Another helpful re-frame is to re-name your ‘chores’ as ‘activities’ or ‘errands’ as this subtly changes the connotations of duty to something more attractive and appealing.
Do it so that it’s done!
Obviously, there are some things such as visits to the dentist, tax returns, invasive medical procedures, difficult meetings or unpleasant confrontations that aren’t appealing, but you can still make these necessary parts of life easier to deal with by reminding yourself that you ‘choose’ to do these things because they’re good for you – and they make you feel so much better once they’re done!
Practice this more positive and productive language in order to raise your energy and to get things done more efficiently.
Choose to do what needs to be done
In this way, the things that require your attention will get done sooner – and, in my experience, the actual doing of whatever it is that’s been put off, is mostly a whole lot easier than anticipated! I often wonder why I delayed in the first place!