Hypnosis for procrastination
The cycle of never getting started on new projects is a nasty one to be stuck in, but hypnosis for procrastination can help clarify one’s mind and instil the thinking patterns for drive and success.
A famous old saying is “don’t leave for tomorrow what can be done today”. Whilst this piece of advice is often handed down to people who are skipping doing their chores until the next day, it certainly also applies to those of us who have a clear vision of where we want to be in the long term, but are lacking the impetus to make the first steps.
Procrastination stems from the Latin word “cras”, meaning “tomorrow”. The expectation of “tomorrow” is this wonderful day when the whole world will step aside for you and facilitate your growth into the person you want to be. Except that “tomorrow” ends up being a repeat of “today”, and you find yourself no more able to hold the reins of your life and determine where exactly it is that you’re going.
Hypnosis has proved to be an excellent answer to resolving those issues inside of us that sabotage our future plans, be it programming the mindset of a successful person or just hypnosis for procrastination to be an overall more effective and productive individual.
Why we think we procrastinate – and our excuses
The stereotype of procrastination is one of a person who is lazy, can’t be bothered, and just wants to revel in the moment, but that is a somewhat crude and superficial assessment of the matter. The underlying problem can be far deeper and have long roots, and procrastination could be the result of a complex tangling of various thought processes and beliefs that in themselves aren’t much to do with procrastination, but taken together form a picture of stasis and unwillingness to move on.
Sometimes procrastination is very understandable and trivial. We all recognise the feeling of knowing that we ought to be vacuuming the house, but would rather leave it for another day and instead catch up on some television. One activity is clearly more pleasurable and a darn sight easier than the other in the short term, certainly having a laugh at a comedy program that all your friends are also watching is much better than labouring around the house with a hoover. In fact, we almost tell ourselves that one is more important than the other for the present moment, even if we know that this is not truthful.
Another example is from our college days. Despite all sacrifices that were made to get entered into a college, how many of us remember going on a night out despite having an important exam at the end of the week that you need to study for? You can always work harder tomorrow, right? And when we graduate to the workplace, our boss gives us a deadline on a job and rather than drive us to organise things to make a start today in order to complete it on time, we end up beginning the job the day before and working through the night…thus putting our health and wellbeing on the line just because our attitude when we were given the deadline was to shrug it off.
So at a surface level, what is our reasoning so far for procrastination:
- It’s easier to revel in the moment
- Important stuff is difficult and boring
- I’ll be more up for it tomorrow
- Tomorrow is a long way away
And yet at the same time we moan that we are tired, overworked, broke and getting absolutely nowhere in life, when really it’s poor planning of our activities and lack of getting things started in a timely fashion that has come to this.
But our short list above does not give reasons for procrastination…it merely gives excuses. Excuses can only take us so far down the road to resolution – you can’t hypnotise somebody just to give them some better excuses! To change everything we need to start studying the reasons, and these reasons are more deeply engrained into our instinctive behaviour collectively as human beings. We will look at this next.
The fine art of procrastination
The act of procrastination is closely related to our striving for success, indeed you can’t really discuss procrastination without also discussing the need to have an end goal to procrastinate in the first place! So we can think about resolving and hypnosis for procrastination in much the same way as building somebody up to be a more successful person in their habits and mindset.
When looking at the pattern of “putting things off”, a distinct hierarchy begins to develop. We have tasks that are difficult and highly counterproductive to putting off, such as doing your weekly food shopping. Going to the supermarket and jostling for a parking space isn’t exactly anybody’s idea of gleeful entertainment, but it’s a toss up between going hungry and a little inconvenience. The only times you would need to procrastinate this routine venture would be for health or financial reasons.
Next are the dreaded “deadline tasks”. These are jobs in which other people depend on your hard work to be delivered in a timely manner, and there is an element of pressure being instilled in you to perform from somebody higher up in the social hierarchy. Particular examples are college assignments or work projects with firmly established deadlines. These you can put off starting, within reason. However, if you don’t inevitably get moving and hit your deadline, then that will have an impact on which your work and competence will be judged. Sometimes you can negotiate a later deadline, but the ultimate fact of the matter is that this work has got to be done at some point if you are going to get anywhere in the future.
Lastly, we get to an area where procrastination reaches critical mass – working towards one’s individual goals and desires. There is an incredible disconnect between what a person says they want from life and actually what they are actively doing each day to get at it. In many ways, the quest for your ideal life should be the number one focus above all. However, this vision seems to be pushed to the bottom with little impetus to get the ball rolling and keep on going. Even sitting down to make the plan to follow in order to reach a goal seems to be beyond the reach of many people, who will make all sorts of disparaging excuses to discourage themselves from taking the first steps on the pathway to success.
The real reasons for procrastination
Procrastination is highly misunderstood. It is often confused with being lazy, idle, messy, slovenly and ultimately prone to failure. However, there are many enormously successful people who do as little work as they can, and are so disorganised they would lose their head if it wasn’t screwed on – they simply cover up those personal traits by having the wits and the expenditure to gather the right people around them to fill in the gaps to their skill set.
What procrastination really expresses is a lack of belief in oneself, or to put it in one word – doubt. A long term change in fortune can be forever put off due to perpetual self-doubt, because the short term solution offers more stability and comfort to the present moment eg. an inertia.
Why do we favour doubt and inertia rather than taking up a call to action for personal betterment? First of all, even a small change can meet a raft of internal and external resistance. There is a tendency in our society to blow small challenges up into absolutely massive ones, and the negative attitudes of others don’t help your own cycling negative thoughts. We look at a work assignment as if it’s a monumental struggle in which we will be defeated, made to look stupid, or disappoint others and ourselves, and put off the drudgery of starting it until it’s probably too late. Instead one should see it for what it really is in the grand scheme of things – a work project with a few hurdles to overcome. If we are being professional and level-headed about it, we can deal with it, plan it out and get started with it, the sooner the better.
And then we get to our own drive for success, and how that is procrastinated even more than anything else. There is so much doubt and fear going around in our heads, that it almost feels like we are programmed to reject any plans for living on one’s own initiative. The reason for this comes from one’s own instinct to maintain stability – times may be hard now, but you can probably make a reasonable assumption as to how things are going to look in one month or one year from now if you kept on doing what you have always been doing. If you tried to make some fundamental changes to your life, you are now venturing into uncharted waters, and this leads to a general sense of unknowing about the future. This awakening gives us a wonderful reason to step back from being ambitious and instead cherish the present moment and what we have.
As well as a fear of the uncertain, as humans we harbour all sorts of complexes about how well we are performing, and indeed how well we come across to other people. Setbacks and failures are things that are part of daily life that you can privately learn from; however, failing in front of others and facing gloating criticism is demoralising, and is another reason simply not to try at all.
So taken together, procrastination is a learned habit which we use to provide a safety blanket of doubt when faced with a challenge different to our self-imposed norms.
Reversing procrastination through changing your thoughts and habits
Hypnosis has been often regarded as a good vehicle for dealing with procrastination. A hypnosis session, whether undertaken by a professional or via a course in self-hypnosis, addresses the undercurrent of habitual behaviour and mindset where one is constantly telling oneself that they aren’t good enough and can’t improve, almost confirming to themselves the negativity of others and that their current position in life is their eternal fate. Ultimately hypnosis for procrastination and building success helps somebody change those attitudes and thoughts that say “can’t” into “can”.
The way I like to think about it is this – at some point in your life you’ve had an idea and immediately you start thinking of the risks, the problems, the catches. You start listing these and it turns out to be one idea vs. ten counterarguments. You then drop the idea as unattainable and life plods on as normal. It’s very natural to put an idea through the risk assessment filter, but how often have you put an idea through a benefit assessment filter? Hardly ever, I would bet.
We’ve all had potentially great ideas that have been quickly jettisoned because we halted in our tracks and told ourselves it was unreasonable, impractical or even undeserving to have what we want. You have to be realistic as always, and of course you must always think of the risks, but taking the benefits of a new venture as seriously as the risks will be much better for you than being forever mired in mediocrity and never finding that one risk-free golden ticket.
And what has this got to do with procrastination and being successful? Well, seeing the benefits, and internalising the positive effect of those benefits, enables us to take action on balance, rather than inaction through doubt. People always say that the most successful people are the ones that take action – that’s entirely true, but they only take action because there’s a voice in them that says they can. They have given themselves permission.
Changing your thought processes will also inevitably change your habits. Even if you have no particular big plans afoot, there is always much work to be done in terms of creating a healthier mindset for attaining productivity and efficiency in your current daily activities, and avoiding temptations and addictions that distract from, or even destroy, your best intentions. The way I think of it is that the mind is like a big traffic junction with lots of vehicles (thoughts) going round the interchanges. The signalling lights are supposed to give fair weighting to all traffic passing through, but too often the bad thoughts are given lots of opportunities to drive around freely, whilst the thoughts of positivity and hopefulness are queued up in a traffic jam. So allowing some reprogramming to set up a better roadmap in your mind is a good thing for everybody!
Another problem with negative thoughts is their uncanny ability to render any positive thoughts into the precise opposite. And that ultimately transforms good habits into bad ones. Remember a social gathering that started great, but just one small problem spoilt the whole occasion? This is a bit like the avalanche that negative thoughts cause internally. Imagine a party where everyone is having a decent time and then an uninvited guest arrives. They start to cause a problem but it’s too late to do anything about it because not only have they invited all their other negative friends around as well, they’ve caused all the positive characters to become negative too! What a miserable affair – one thing’s for sure, you’re never going to a party with this lot again!
So balancing your thought process will help you in measuring up your long term goals and set good habits and standards for achieving these, without the brigade of negative behaviour coming in and setting up camp. Hypnosis has proved very effective for helping people set up the right habits and attitudes when starting new ventures in their lives, or indeed giving up old vices and addictions that are putting their health and wellbeing at risk.
Solutions for procrastination using hypnosis
I think I’ve said enough about the reasons for using hypnosis for procrastination. We now need to look less at the whys and move on to the hows.
Entering the world of therapy can be daunting. For some problems, standard counselling can prove to be highly effective and endorsed by most mainstream health services, but in many cases such as for dealing with procrastination, the issue isn’t really classed as a “disease” or “mental condition” as such, and the consensus all round is that the serial procrastinator does not need a shoulder to cry on or some pills to help them feel better. What we need instead is to sit down with a reliable expert who can help us not just pick apart the issues, but steer our thoughts around and encourage the correct sort of programming so that we can tell ourselves “I can do this, and I will make a start on it as soon as the session ends!”.
The word “programming” people don’t like. It sounds like we are attempting to control a robot or a computer, reducing a person with all their emotions and feelings into an unthinking automaton. But we aren’t talking about some sort of brainwashing exercise, where a person is just a smiling shell of an individual controlled by a master. No, this is about breeding good and useful thoughts of your own, and relegating counterproductive or self-sabotaging thoughts that aren’t going to get you anywhere useful to the trash. There are no issues with individuality, or even self-critique, as long as it’s fostering good and successful intentions.
The availability of a good hypnotherapist is purely down to where you live and often what you are able to afford. It comes at a price, but at the same time you get sessions that are tailor made to your exact requirements and you have the first hand experience and guidance from a professional to help you in your progress.
On the other hand, we might not have the resources for a hypnotherapist, or it simply isn’t common in your area. But don’t despair, there are many choices these days when it comes to self-therapy using hypnosis. Programming of thoughts to relieve procrastination doesn’t even have to be sold to you as “hypnosis” to be “hypnosis-like” in its effect. These days there is even “sleep hypnosis” which, you guessed it, provides home-based hypnotic training whilst you are fast asleep at night! If you are engaging in a program that encourages harbouring of good habits through subliminal encouragement of positive thoughts, and it delivers correct and long-lasting results, whatever it calls itself, it’s as good as hypnosis as far as you or anybody can be concerned.
There are many excellent courses and tutorials available online that provide packages and guidance for training your brain to push through barriers such as procrastination towards the end goal of success (such as this one). Compared to in-person hypnotherapy or NLP, these are less costly and can be fit around your schedule – so if it suits you to have your session at midnight, or whilst you are on the train, then you can do that. Do your research and due diligence and see what you can come up with – but whatever you do, don’t procrastinate it! 😉