Are you putting off tasks at the moment, despite the extraordinary amount of unexpected, spare time of some of us are getting right now?

You might be procrastinating because a task feels too boring, too difficult or you’re worried about failing. So you probably start doing something else instead, like watching a movie? Watching a movie may make you feel better in that moment.

However procrastination is a misguided, emotional regulation strategy. While it might bring short-term relief, it only stores up problems for later. By delaying tasks, you may end up feeling even more stressed, not to mention the gathering clouds of guilt and frustration. That may lead to low mood which can lead to increased procrastination, particularly if enjoyable activities are available as a distraction.

It’s stressful to keep putting off important tasks and failing to fulfil your goals, and your procrastination may also involve delaying important health behaviours, like exercising and staying active. Overcoming procrastination could have a major positive impact on your life.

So the next time you’re tempted to procrastinate, ask yourself this:

“What’s the next action – a simple next step – that I can take on this task to get started on it now?” 

Research shows that once the first step is made towards a task, following through with more actions becomes easier. Just get started.

Shifting your focus like this, will take your mind off your feelings, and onto easily achievable actions. Address thereal reasons you procrastinate, and you’re more likely to achieve your goals.

Procrastination isn’t a time management problem but an emotion regulation problem. Once you get started, you’re more likely to keep going.

Getting started is everything…. and let’s face it, we have plenty of time on our hands at the moment with lockdown