1. Quieten the harshness
This only makes the problem worse, so try some kindness and self compassion. It can be useful to recognise that your procrastinating brain is doing it with the best of intentions, so say thanks and work with it kindly to help it move on.
2. Go gently
Keep things small and manageable to help your limbic system learn that this stuff isn’t a threat. If you do too much, too soon, it’ll tip into high alert so it’s a gradual, gentle process of adding in more. Look for tiny, simple steps forward.
3. Get started
Ah, this one can be tricky. Tim Clare’s advice is to ask yourself will I feel “better, worse, same?” – a super simple question to cut through the avoidance. And remember to make sure the next step is tiny, and not layered with expectation, pressure and negativity.
4. Try the Pomodoro Technique
I love my Pom! Set yourself a chunk of time to do something, and then stop when the timer goes off. And choose that time based on what doesn’t cause a stress response. That may just be 1 minute at the beginning and that’s fine.
5. Check in regularly
Keep checking in to see how you are and what you need. Do you need a break, to switch tasks or can you go again? Park the expectations and work with where you actually are – not with what you used to do, or or you think you should be doing.
6. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness isn’t just a gimmick. It’s stops the amygdala being activated so easily (the part of the brain that’s causing the procrastination). A regular practice in a form that works for you is great (p.s. it doesn’t have to be sitting crossed legged in a candlelit room for hours on end!).
7. “Pre-empt that which tempts!”
Great advice from Dr Pychyl. Spot your potential stumbling blocks and get rid of them. So get your gym stuff ready, hide your phone, stop emails for a certain time – spot your weaknesses and take them out of the equation.