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Procrastination is the habit of postponing important tasks unnecessarily, despite the negative consequences this can cause. Procrastination is often accompanied by a feeling of guilt, because you know deep down that this postponement is not really justified. It is associated with many negative emotions, such as anxiety, frustration, self-devaluation, shame, etc. This bad habit leads to wasted time, missed opportunities and permanent dissatisfaction. Over time, it can also have consequences for your health and well-being, such as stress, addictive substance use, and sleep disturbances.

There are various reasons why people may choose to put off a task, but these reasons are often based on:

- feeling of boredom,

- lack of motivation,

- fear of failure.

The short-term relief that comes from postponing a task often leads to a stronger feeling of discomfort as the deadline approaches, creating a cycle that is hard to break free from. Delays also have concrete consequences, such as loss of time, lower grades or repeated failures.

There are many reasons why we may procrastinate in our lives. We may not know where to start or feel overwhelmed with the task at hand. However, there are many ways to overcome procrastination, whatever the cause.

First, you need to identify what drives you to procrastinate among the following activities:

Studies: do an assignment on time, revise for an exam, go to class, do research or read, etc.

Relationships with others: check in with a loved one, share activities with friends, discuss your problems with a friend or loved one, etc.

Health: eat better, practice regular physical activity, make an appointment with the doctor/dentist/gynecologist, quit smoking, etc.

Personal development: enroll in a course that appeals to you (music, language, etc.), relax, find a hobby (sport, music, painting, etc.), do volunteer work, etc.

Household chores: tidying up your room, vacuuming, sorting through your clothes, doing the dishes, fixing something broken, etc.

Administrative tasks: filing your important papers, registering on an important site, asking for your vital or transport card, applying for aid (grant, APL, etc.)

Then, you have to identify the excuses that push you to postpone what you had planned.

There are many excuses, but here is a non-exhaustive list to help you:

- Fatigue,

- More urgent activities to do before,

- Lack of motivation,

- Want to relax,

- Feeling that you still have a lot of time ahead of you

- Feeling that it is too late to do the task

BRAVO, you have identified the tasks and the excuses that push you to procrastinate. All you have to do is face them by following these steps:

1. Demystify the task: Talk to a close friend or family member close to you to demystify it and make it less complex for you to accomplish.

2. Understand what blocks you: This may be related to your perfectionist side, with your fear of failure or the gaze of others, for example. By being honest with yourself about what really blocks you, you can work on your motivation by setting realistic goals.

3. Sustain this new approach by implementing a certain number of rituals/benchmarks:

a. Create a TO-DO-LIST that is pleasant to maintain. If you are a fan of digital, download an application to create it. If you are not, a diary or a piece of paper and a pen will do.

b. Take note of the tasks to be accomplished by dividing them into sub-tasks, as they seem less complex and shorter to complete.

c. Draw a circle and divide it into 4. Assign a name among these 4 (Money, Friends, Family, Work) to each part and a percentage which will be your objective to achieve. On a regular basis, check if the actions on your TO-DO-LIST correspond to the percentages you gave to each game.

4. Give yourself a small reward for each task accomplished (an outing, episodes of your favourite series, or any other activity that makes you happy). The pleasure is double because you will do an activity that you love with the relief of the accomplished task and the light spirit!

Getting the job done reduces stress and builds self-confidence. It also provides satisfaction and pride.

If you suffer from the negative consequences of procrastination, contact me for some coaching sessions that will help you overcome this problem.

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