Procrastination starts from an avoidance of something from fear, then becomes a pattern that hardens into a habit.
We reinforce this procrastination habit through years of practice, and it hurts us in so many ways in our lives — not only with work tasks, but much more.
The procrastination habit affects:
So the question becomes, how do we stop hurting ourselves, after all these years? How do we start to unravel our hardened procrastination habits and create more helpful patterns?
The answer is to start thinking of these hardened patterns as grooves.
The Grooves of Our HabitsWhen you first procrastinated, you didn’t have a hardened pattern. You had a choice. You could do your homework (or pick up your toys, perhaps), or you could put that off until later and do something else that’s perhaps more fun.
You felt fear or resistance with one task, which made the other option more appealing. You chose the easy route, and that felt good in the moment. There was immediate reward. There was difficulty later, but that was something future you had to deal with.
All other choices like this were rewarded with immediate gratification. So by repeating this choice over and over, you start to wear a groove into the ground. After awhile, the reward isn’t even needed … the groove becomes so much easier to follow, and getting out of the groove is so much harder. The longer we keep sticking with the groove, the harder it is to change.
Habits are grooves. You stick to the old ones, until you’re willing to put in the effort to get out of the grooves and make new choices.
How do you get out of the groove you’ve made? Conscious effort.
How to Change Your Patterns, or Get Your Groove OnThe steps of breaking out of a groove are simple, but they require concentrated effort: