Avoid Procrastinating; Never postpone what you can do now for later
Procrastination is a major concentration inhibitor that does not only cause stress but can also make it worsen into depression and elevate anxiety. It simply a behaviour that entails consistently postponing tasks you can do now for later. Most of the time procrastination involves postponing important tasks for later and instead wasting that time doing other unessential things. For instance instead of finishing your thesis, you waste a lot of time watching irrelevant videos on YouTube. Serial procrastinators waste a lot of time doing irrelevant tasks hence hindering achievements.
When you are stressed, you generally lack the motivation to start and complete task. This means you are tempted to make excuses not to do the right thing at the right time. Knowledgeable and experienced psychologists view procrastination as a mechanism that helps to cope with anxiety and fear. It ultimately results in chaos, stress and a sense of guilt.
If you want to relieve stress then procrastination has no space in your life because it will only worsen the situation. If you have a demanding career, you will be unable to meet work objectives and will also have a difficult time attending to the needs of your family. Procrastination is the fastest way to make your life more chaotic and ultimately crash and burn
How to avoid procrastination in order to relieve and manage stress-common sense tips that will come in handy in curbing this detrimental habit
Always prioritize your daily tasks
Look at all the tasks that you want to achieve in a day then write down what is the most important and what ranks lowly in the list. The most important tasks should be done first then the others can be done later on. Ensure that also set a reasonable and achievable timetable that is also conversant with your schedule. Adhere to the timetable and to ensure that you don’t get distracted.
Don’t be afraid to ask for HELP
Everyone needs help sometimes so do not be afraid to ask from help from people you can rely on. When you have help with other things you can then concentrate on the most important tasks. For instance; if you are a working mum who also runs a business, there is no realistic way you can juggle all of these things without getting overwhelmed or procrastinating. You may need to look for a nanny or a housekeeper. Asking for help does not make you a failure; it just makes you a focused person who requires help.
Examine why you procrastinate
Do you find yourself surfing the web when you are supposed to be writing or accounting. If you notice that you have a pattern of procrastination then you need to identify the reason why you keep on postponing important tasks. Once you know why you will be able to come up with a plan of action that can work Common causes of procrastination include;
- Fear of failure
- Excessive focus on perfectionism
- Low energy levels
- Loss or lack of focus or concentration
For every task that you finish on time reward yourself. This will fuel your motivation to keep going even when you are tempted to postpone. It does not have to be a huge reward; just taking a 30 minute break is a great way to reward yourself.
Don’t forget your ZZZ’s…allocate enough time to sleeping
Sleeping is important because it is time for your body to relax and your mind to recharge. Other body functions such as digestion and restoring depleted energy sources will require your body to be in a complete state of rest. This means that when you are not sleeping, you are overwhelming and overworking your body. If you are already stressed, sleep deprivation will only make it worse.
How many hours do you sleep in a day is a matter that most people tackle for granted without realising that it may be a contributing factor to their elevated stress levels. Sleep helps in stress relief by returning stress hormone levels back to normal after stress is experienced throughout the day. The hormones that the body releases in a state of stress are not meant to be their permanently, they are simply supposed to last for a short period of time. Some of the consequences of being sleep-deprived include;
- The levels of stress hormones such as Cortisol and adrenaline will remain at high and unhealthy levels
- Without adequate sleep concentrating and focusing throughout the day will become an uphill task
- Cellular skin repair will also be hindered therefore the health of your skin will considerably deteriorate
- Increased levels of fatigue and irritability throughout the day
How much sleep is enough for stress relief?
Experts recommend 8 hours for adults, 10-13 hours for children and 16-20 hours for infants. Quantity is important but do not ignore quality. Sleep quality is extremely important, simply tossing and turning or having yours sleep constantly interrupted will not help as you will wake up extremely exhausted. People are different. While some people can sleep literally anywhere, for others it does not come easy. Here are some away you can improve your sleep quality and quantity;
Sometimes what’s keeping you up is nervous energy. A great exercise routine will help you burn off that energy that is keeping you from falling sleep.
Set the mood
Try and prepare for bed by setting it up intentionally. Make the bedroom a great place by dimming the light and even trying some relaxing scents that can gently put you to sleep.
Create a realistic routine and stick to it
Routines are not only great for kids, they are also the best way to ensure that every time you get to bed, sleep comes in organically. Having a bedtime routine will help your body know when it is the right time to shut down.
Consider trying out some herbs
Herbs such as the Valerian have been known to help reduce nervousness and to decrease insomnia. If you have never used these herbs before or you are under any other medication, you need to seek medical advice first.
If you are suffering from severe insomnia, seek professional help from a medical expert you trust
If after trying all the techniques given above you are still unable to sleep then it is an indication that you may need professional help from an expert. Seek counsel or even medication.
Sleeping adequately can mean the difference between a healthy body and an ill and fatigued one. Remind yourself that all those night you spend binging on T are not helping but instead overwhelming you.
Unplug, shut down and disconnect from technology at least once in a WEEK
We live in a world ruled by technology. If you are not on your Smartphone trying to update social media accounts then you are probably on TV, or on your laptop. Sometimes being hooked on technology 24/7 will only make you more stressed because you have to keep up with all the stuff you have going on online. Sometimes the cause of stress is trying to keep up with so many things at the same time for instance trying to have the best image on all social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Simple ways to unplug;
Try making a real friend not just social media followers and likes
Having 3000 virtual friends and no friends in real life means you are lonely and have to deal with all your stress without any help. Try striking a conversation with someone friendly and meet up for coffee or lunch. This way you will have real people to talk to not just virtual friends that don’t guarantee any human contact. Sometimes all you need to relax is a hug and laughter with a friend so don’t limit yourself from this simple joy.
If you have family, make meal times such as dinner a time to bond
Stress from personal relationships is mostly a result of a breakdown in communication which in today’s world is a majorly caused by over dependence on technology. Put the phones and iPods away during dinner and have an actual conversation about what went on in your day. This bonding time will actually distract you from the problems that are making you stressed. You will be surprised by what 30 minutes of genuine conversation and laughter can achieve.
Instead of spending all your free time on-line try learning a new skill or enjoying your hobbies
Ever heard of keypad confidence? This is when people are more confident typing on their keyboards than actually socializing or having fun with friends. You will find that such people are stressed out and don’t have it in them to actually socialize one on one or have fun. Commenting and liking online posts will not help relieve stress.
Go out there and learn a new skill such as playing guitar, playing piano or even swimming. This will occupy your time and keep you motivated. Additionally, mastering something new will boost your self confidence significantly.