Coaching and procrastination
Procrastination: We’ve all done it. There may be an errand that needs to be completed- big or small- but for some reason you just can’t bring yourself to start it. At first, you may feel a slight nagging feeling, maybe a small weight pressing onto your shoulders as you push your list of tasks to the back of your mind. However the further time that passes, the more the invisible weight on your shoulders will press down, causing you to feel uncomfortable, stressed and a little agitated. So, what happens when we skip the errand and settle down for a nice cuppa?
In the moment, procrastination might feel great. Your future self can worry about all those long-put-off errands, appointments, problems, or projects. But something very different is happening inside our bodies. The constant rush of completing tasks at the last minute activates our brain’s fight-or-flight system, causing an increased heart rate, sweating, quickened breathing and stress levels that are through the roof! This is because our stress hormone, cortisol, is released. However eventually, daily exposure to cortisol makes us less sensitive it its effects, as our bodies become confused to what kind of stressful response we are experiencing. If we become resistant to this, our bodies may become more prone to damage and inflammation as our white blood cells increase. Our internal organs may also begin to collect fat, resulting in issues such as heart and kidney problems. Scary!
How can coaching help to put an end to procrastination?
Here at Finding Your Voice, our coaching sessions offer you the tools and techniques needed to change your thought process and resulting actions. We will help you to:
- Break your goal into small pieces
During our coaching sessions, we will encourage you to write down your goal and give yourself a deadline. A goal without a deadline can be forever put off, so make sure you set a realistic time! The bigger your goal or the change you want to make, the more quickly it can overwhelm you, therefore to make your goal feel less daunting, it’s a good idea to break it into manageable steps. Even if you only know the closest, short term steps, writing them down will allow you to have something which you can stick to, and future steps will come to you along the way.
- Visualize the positive outcomes
We will ask you to imagine the emotions you will feel when you have completed your task. Finishing an assignment or a piece of writing? Picture yourself receiving praise from your boss, or opening an email to find that you passed with flying colours. Putting off doing the housework? Imagine the finished result: with the house looking spick and span and you being able to put your feet up and relax. These outcomes will motivate us to keep going until the task is done.
- Harness fear
Fear is a powerful emotion that can prevent us from moving forward. All the ifs, buts and what’s can stop us from attempting to meet deadlines or try new things. However, by focusing on what we don’t want, we can harness fear in our favour. In our coaching sessions, we will encourage you to think about how you will feel a year from now if you do nothing towards your goals. If you’re really honest with yourself about the cost of not reaching your goals, the fear you feel as a result of this may become a positive, motivating you to move forwards.
- Build a support team
As coaches, we will provide a great deal of support to help with your motivation levels. However, it is important to also have a team of those closest to you (such as parents and friends) to check up on you and see where you’re at in terms of goal achievements. This support team can also help to bring up your confidence levels when your motivation is low, by reminding you of past accomplishments and why you set about making these changes in the first place.
- Reward progress
At Finding your Voice, we encourage you to treat yourself regularly! You will set up a reward system to ensure you celebrate progress and small successes as you go along. Whether a fun activity with friends, or a treat for yourself, make it something that acknowledges your progress and effort.