Procrastination is one of the most stubborn issues in people’s life. Luckily, there are many ways to overcome it.

I will present here just several ways to deal with it, but they all are very effective. Here are the most recommended strategies:

1. Meditate regularly.

2. Apply mindfulness in your everyday life.

3. Deal with distracting thoughts or emotions immediately.

4. Change or erase your negative beliefs.

5. Replace bad habits with good ones.

6. Always have enough rest.

7. Get support from your closest friends.

8. Do Samyama frequently.

9. Spend some time with motivational books, talks or movies.

10. Do regular journaling.

Now, some more details on each of these tips:

1. Meditate regularly.

You have countless varieties of meditation at your disposal. You can choose one of the modern types of “pure awareness” or “body awareness” meditation, for example like those presented by Eckhart Tolle. But, you can also stick to traditional approaches, like numerous Buddhist or Yoga meditations and some of them can certainly be suitable to you. Keep in mind, though, that some of these traditional methods require the practitioner to stick with all other practices within that particular system.

One example of “pure awareness” meditation technique is the following:

First you relax, using one of the many relaxation techniques. Then you just ask yourself: “What will be my next thought?” Then just wait for the next thought, being curious and alert. This will easily bring you into Pure consciousness, a state of Presence. Whenever something comes into your mind and disturbs your Presence, you just accept it wholeheartedly and go back to your question which will return you to the Presence. After some practice, you will be able to enter the state of Pure consciousness without using any questions. The goal is simply to stay in this thoughtless state as long as possible.

If you want to have stable and lasting results, it is essential to discipline yourself and have at least one, 15-minute meditation session every day. However, I would recommend to create an everyday habit of meditating twice a day, at least 15 minutes in the morning and the same duration in the evening. These sitting sessions should be scheduled to the same periods of the day, if possible.

So, why meditation is so beneficial for procrastination?

It will release huge “amounts” of inner obstacles to any of your life goals, and that will erase your procrastination tendency. What’s more important, the steady meditation practice will give you additional love, health, strength, calmness, creativity and smoothness in your life.

2. Apply mindfulness in your everyday life.

Do not limit your practice to those sitting meditation sessions only; expand your consciousness into your everyday life. Be mindful. Be aware. You can be in the same state of Pure consciousness almost all the time during the day.

A great method to develop the practice of everyday mindfulness is to set up triggers for various situations or activities that you are usually engaged in during the day. For example, your triggers could be: walking along a well-known path, cleaning teeth, opening or closing the door, sitting down or getting up from a chair, arriving at a specific location or even thinking a particular thought. You can actually make anything a trigger. Repeat these triggers as many times as possible, every time shifting your focus from the trigger to the present moment, until each trigger becomes habitual “launcher” of your mindfulness.

Generally, you should try to be aware (i.e. mindful) of every motion of your body, sensation, texture, sound, taste and smell. From time to time pause and direct attention to your sense of self. Sustain that state of self-awareness during every activity. You will enjoy every task, you will become light and, in a strange way, even transparent.

Anything that distracts you, or pulls you out of mindfulness, you should accept as such, and not react to it at all (unless you are threatened somehow). Then continue with the activity, being fully conscious of it and of yourself simultaneously.

Every conscious moment in the Now will gradually accumulate and make your whole life easier and abate or even prevent challenges.
Mindfulness dissolves your inner conflicts softly and almost imperceptibly. In the long run, meditation sittings and mindfulness are really the best cure for your procrastination. And whenever you are in that state of Presence, you will be at perfect harmony with the world; your body will move lightly and flawlessly; your mind will function impeccably whenever needed, and all your actions will be done in the most effective way.

3. Deal with distracting thoughts or emotions immediately.

Each time you intend to take the concrete action, and you are distracted by a negative thought or emotion or even an outside event, you immediately have to erase or transform that thought, emotion or event within your mind. To do that, you might use one the techniques of Reintegration or other psychological procedures.

If you are consistent in this, you will surely and pretty quickly erase and overcome all inner obstacles to your concrete action and, ultimately, to your goal. You will also easily overcome your procrastination.

4. Change or erase your negative beliefs.

Beliefs are our little truths about everything. They give a shape to our life. They are usually supported by underlying emotions, so they become very strong mental habits. Beliefs are often manifested as recurring thoughts (normally together with emotions) on a particular subject.

Make a list of your negative beliefs. If you are not sure whether you have a particular belief or not, just say it aloud to yourself and try to feel it. If you have some emotional feedback, either pleasant or unpleasant, you definitely have that belief.

After creating your own list, modify it by adding an opposite, positive belief next to each negative one in order to make pairs of opposite beliefs.

Once you have done that, you apply the technique called “Dissolving the Temporary I Plus” (check out on each pair of beliefs from the list. Perhaps you will have to pass through it several times, but negative beliefs will be replaced with fitting positive ones in the end of the process.

One of the most important beliefs is certainly about procrastination. For example, you have a belief “I always procrastinate.” You replace it with: “I easily do what should be done immediately.”

5. Replace bad habits with good ones.

If applicable, it’s a good idea to make a habit out of your desired action. While being in the state of Presence, during your mindful periods of the day, try to entice yourself to do your desired action. While doing that, employ the so-called “habit loop” (check out: Duhigg, Charles. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change. Random House, Kindle Edition, 2012).

Every habit has three components: a cue (trigger), routine and reward. Put together, they make the habit loop.

The cue is anything that triggers the habitual routine. If the routine brings a concrete reward to the person, it will probably be repeated. In that case, it would continue to repeat and reaffirm itself due to some sort of reward at the end. The reward is usually an inner state of contentment or relief that comes through the routine itself, but can also be an external pleasant event or thing.

The trick to changing bad habits is just is to change the routine, and to leave the same cue and reward. But in this case, you have to designate a trigger and a cue that would be appropriate for your action to become a habit. While being in the state of Presence, trigger yourself with the designated cue and do what you have to do. Finally, treat yourself with the reward.

Repeat this procedure as many times as possible, until your desired action becomes an easy and involuntary act to you.

6. Always have enough rest.

Never underestimate the importance of good rest. As common person needs in average 8 hours of sleep, plus relaxation and meditation time every day, it boils down to 9-10 hours of some sort of resting day time.

If you don’t have enough resting time, your work on anything will be less effective and spoiled with sleepiness. Not only that – your hidden and suppressed subconscious structures will surface more easily. That’s not bad per se, but those elements of your personality will usually be surfacing unexpectedly, when you need them the least.

7. Get support from closest friends.

Talk with your friends about this problem. Ask them to support you whenever you get stuck in the mud of procrastination. They should react quickly and decisively every time they notice your delay or reluctance.

8. Do Samyama frequently.

Samyama is an ancient contemplative practice stemming from Hindu tradition. Being a combination of meditation and concentration, Samyama brings a practitioner first to the state of pure consciousness, then to an inner union with the object of concentration. It can also be very successfully used for the purpose of attaining goals.

The Samyama procedure suitable for achieving goals and overcoming procrastination is essentially the following:

Enter the state of Presence, using some of previously mentioned techniques. While dwelling in that pure consciousness, gently bring into your focus a simple idea which symbolizes your goal, your desire. Don’t lose yourself into that thought, you need to keep the awareness of Presence all the while you are focusing on the idea related to your goal. After several seconds of focusing on that idea, turn back to the pure consciousness. Repeat this as many time as possible. That’s it.

The whole idea of this practice is: whatever mind content (thought, emotion, sensation) is being consciously experienced while residing in Presence, the best aspect of that content will be seeded in one's life. If the content is harmful, it will diminish. If the content is beneficial, it will temporary disappear in pure consciousness, but that pure consciousness will sow its seed in one’s life in the most beneficial and effective way.

9. Spend some time with motivational books, talks or movies.

This will fuel up your energy. Without this, when you get to the low point, when you get stuck with a challenge that seems unsolvable, you will give up.

10. Do regular journaling.

Compared to all other tips for overcoming procrastination, this is something that is not of the highest priority. Nevertheless, it would be very wise to create a habit of journaling. That simply means to write down everything that comes to your mind, preferably once a day. While doing that, you have to be relaxed and totally honest to yourself. This practice will gradually peel off many layers of negative thoughts, emotions and other inner obstacles.

You have to be persistent in this work. However, keep in mind that if you force yourself too much in any of these practices, the results will not be as expected. Don’t push too hard – you should be overcoming your inner barriers and harmonizing your parts of personality softly, in the most natural yet efficient way.

Author's Bio: 

Nebo D. Lukovich is the creator of the Reintegration System, one of the newest breakthroughs in the development of human consciousness. Based on timeless spiritual principles and compatible with modern science, the Reintegration System is a versatile tool, applicable in all areas of our daily lives. It teaches us that we can indeed wake up and attain both inner liberation and outer wealth, without suffering, but through wisdom and expansion of our consciousness.

As you can see in his book “Inner Peace, Outer Success” and other texts, Nebo's greatest passion is spiritual work and writing. He has been researching and practicing various spiritual and psychological systems and techniques for more than 25 years.

Nebo was born 1972 and lives with his wife and two teenage children in Montenegro, a country in Europe. Although he prefers a peaceful family life, his experience in spiritual work (both personal and with friends and acquaintances) often calls on him to engage in personal coaching and educational work in the field of personal transformation.