The Vicious Cycle of Procrastination and Guilt

Procrastination and Guilt

Procrastination can be insidious. It can take over your life and keep you from achieving your goals. When you put things off, it’s likely that you’ll soon start to feel guilty for doing so. We’re taught that being productive and accomplishing a lot makes you a good person. It’s this belief that can contribute to making us feel so bad when we fall behind. This vicious cycle can be incredibly difficult to break. It is possible, though. Read the tips below to take charge of your time and to become more productive.

Reason for Procrastination
There are numerous reasons why we procrastinate. We’ve covered some of these already. Fear, insecurity, anxiety, and self-doubt are big ones that can keep you from taking on tasks immediately. Then there’s the concept of perfectionism we’ve touched upon. When you feel everything must be just right, you’re more apt to hesitate on getting a job done. When it comes right down to it, though, your mood may be a big contributor to procrastination. You simply don’t feel like doing the thing sometimes and wait for a time that feels right. However, that time often comes too late or doesn’t come at all, leaving you feeling stressed and guilty.

The Procrastination and Guilt Cycle
This tendency to procrastinate and then to feel guilty about it often becomes a cycle that’s hard to break. Your guilt can intensify to the point of not being able to complete even simple tasks, leading you to feel overwhelmed and bad about yourself. These feelings become a downward spiral of inaction from which you may find escape difficult. Fortunately, there are ways to manage your feelings and your mood in order to stop the procrastination and guilt cycle for good.

How to Overcome This Trap
First, it’s a good idea to examine why it is you’re procrastinating in the first place. When you’re able to find a reason for the delay, you’re better able to overcome the problem. You can logically work to dispute the issue when you know its roots. Once you’ve determined the cause for your procrastination, find a way to simply get started, even if that means taking a very small step. Breaking a large task down into parts can make it seem less daunting. Once you begin, each small action will build until you start to notice progress and you’re motivated to keep going. Forgive yourself if you do find you’ve procrastinated a bit longer than you’d hoped. You’re human. If you allow yourself to slide once in a while, you’re less apt to fall into the cycle of guilt.

Keep this information in mind the next time you notice yourself being overwhelmed by a seemingly unending loop of procrastination and guilt. Stopping to assess the situation, recognize your feelings, and take action will set you back on track in no time.

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