Recently, I publicly acknowledged my ability to manage anxiety and discontinue procrastination. As usual, I believe that sharing my growth experiences helps others on their journey, thus I composed this post to do just that.
I believe that procrastination is one of the leading triggers for anxiety, as well as lack of purpose and vision. But, with that being said, I want to make sure we all have the same of understanding, so let's be clear on what procrastination is...By my definition to
procrastinate means to continuously put off tasks, delaying or postponing until due.
When you procrastinate, you become nervous when you realize the deadline is approaching, you are not prepared and you can't visualize the completed project. You can easily become consumed with a sense of "inadequacy", that in turn making you anxious. And anxiety, according to Google, is defined as a worry, nervousness or unease about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
So I hope you can see now that procrastination and anxiety go hand in hand.
And I believe that working to eliminate procrastination, drastically reduces the chances of being consumed with anxiety.
So, here are a few tips to drastically reducing and/or being able to successfully manage anxiety.
DEATH TO PROCRASTINATION
I know many believe that once a procrastinator, is always a procrastinator. And some even accept procrastination as a trait and/or characteristic that he/she may never change. But just like anything in this life, those things we wish to change, we have the power to do so. We never have to believe that we will stay one way for a long amount of time, if make the choice not to.
So, the first step in releasing the spirit of procrastination is making the decision to stop being a procrastinator. And with that decision comes accepting that some things need a certain amount of planning.
Now the art of planning is where many people give up. But only because you may not yet have determined how you learn. Now read that again. And again. Ok, now one last time. Because it is important to understand how you receive and take in information, in order to end procrastination. Because when you understand how you learn and take in information, you can then easily plan and schedule completion dates without stressing out!
KNOW WHAT TYPE OF LEARNER YOU ARE
There are 3 types of learners visual, audio and hands on, or what I will refer to as "doers". Each type of learner requires a certain amount of time to retain the information, so start paying attention to how long after you read that you remember what you read, or how long after you watch a video or hear a lecture do you understand the message, etc. When you can identify how long you need to process and retain information, you can easily establish a proper plan for completing a task.
So what type of learner are you?
Those who learn from lecture and are typically note takers, are primarily audio learners because whether you realize it or not, to take notes you actually learn from recitation. Because when you are listening and taking notes you repeat much of what you hear to write it down.
So if you learn better from listening, get audio books and read out loud. Some people don't realize how effective hearing words help with understanding.
If you learn from seeing, sometimes when you are looking at things you can get easily distracted. So pay attention to the atmosphere that you need to create in order to focus. Think about if you read better in silence, with music on, etc. then make sure you create the atmosphere of focus each time you need to get a task done.
Now if you learn by doing, in the words of Nike "Just do it!"
Doers you actually have it easy, because most of your frustration comes from lack of preparation. When you have to learn how to do something new, make sure you are properly prepared, so you will know if you need to decide to start doing 3 weeks before something is due or 3 hours before. Are you baking brownies or building a lego masterpiece? Each task is different and takes varying amounts of time. So, give yourself time! Research how long it make take you to "do" the task, and set your timeline to get it done.
With the understanding of what type of learner you are, you can plan better, and properly consider how much time to you need to get a task done.
THE POWER OF BREATH & SELF TALK
Anxiety is 100% mental. Many of us don't realize how much something as simple as having control over your breathing and positive self talk can mitigate full blown anxiety attacks.
And I know what you're thinking, but I actually practice both and it works!
I consider myself to be "borderline claustrophobic" lol, and yes I made that a thing, lol. But when I find myself in enclosed spaces I am not comfortable with, I focus on my breathing first, and then I tell myself whatever bad I think is going to happen, is NOT going to happen. I remind myself that I will be fine, and before I know it I am better.
Now, before I read a book about self talk it was something I had done randomly, but I didn't realize how effective it really could be. But if you don't practice self talk, you'd be surprised how something as simple as giving yourself a pep talk and speaking calm words actually soothes your mind, which in turn minimizes and/or stops your body's reaction (anxiety attack).
Again, anxiety is 100% mental. If we remember that, we can manage it just fine, if we chose to.