The chicken and egg scenario comes to mind when I think about procrastination and depression. Which came first? Did the procrastinating go on for so long that depression set in? Or did depression lead to chronic procrastination? Maybe it isn’t so black and white?
Finding yourself in either camp or both isn’t pleasant and there are ways to move yourself out but gaining an understanding of what’s going on is also important. But, by all means, go straight to the part on how to overcome procrastination and depression.
READING TIME: 7 Mins. Or JUMP AND SKIM:
Oftentimes, procrastination and laziness get lumped together and I’m here to tell you that they are NOT the same. There is a subtle difference, one is active and the other inactive.
Let’s say you know you need to have an uncomfortable conversation or that you need to fill out a tax form but you put them off. You choose to clean the car or do housework instead. That’s procrastination. You’re active just not active in the thing that really needs your focus.
Laziness is completely inactive meaning nothing is done. There is no interest or enthusiasm to doing anything. Literally and figuratively – unmoved. Zilch.
Procrastination = avoiding or putting off tasks in favor of doing something else.
Laziness = no attempt to do things, uninterested, unmoving.
We all have off days and days when we feel down and sad. However, when those sad, bad days turn into weeks, months, or possibly years that’s depression. For sure depression can lead to procrastination as being depressed makes every (regardless of how trivial) choice a big deal. Things get put off because you can’t face doing them. The small piles of things to do become mountains.
I’m not here to tell you whether depression came first or procrastination, let’s be honest – it doesn’t matter. What matters is how you feel. Feeling depressed and procrastinating you may also be very anxious but then a lot of these mental states come hand in hand.
They all get muddled together leaving us confused and wondering to ourselves how did I get to this point?
Thoughts And Emotions
Two of the most non-beneficial and unhelpful responses to procrastination and depression:
“You just need to get organized and learn some time management skills.”
“Pull yourself together, put a smile on your face and be happy.”
Both point to a big lack of understanding of procrastination and depression. There is something much deeper going on – a time management course and pretending to be happy just doesn’t cut it. No, it is both thoughts and emotions that are at play and they need to be examined.
How do you speak to yourself?
You are bound to feel depressed and anxious if you are speaking to yourself in an unkind, critical, and judgmental way all day. No doubt too that if that sort of talk has been constant in your life for a while you probably have low self-worth.
Do you live in the past?
Are you holding on to old thoughts and events where you remember being told what you can and can’t do? Maybe, a school teacher or work colleague that made a flippant remark about you. Or you cannot forgive and move on?
Fear of failure?
Comparing your life and self to others?
Feeling not good enough, not pretty enough, not successful enough and not smart enough?
All of these thoughts and feelings are not going to be dealt with overnight. It takes time. Well, actually sometimes things can be realized and released quite fast but it depends of course on the individual. My point is, it is your mind with all its thoughts and beliefs that require attention if you are to overcome procrastination, depression, and anxiety.
With that said, please note: This blog and website is for educational and entertainment purposes only and is in no way intended as medical advice.
Where do you start to understand what is going on in your mind?
Overcoming Procrastination And Depression
How you move forward will depend on where you are and who you are. I have no idea about your background, experiences, and how you are feeling. Nevertheless, I will aim to get you to take your first step forward and make progress.
Extreme procrastinators and people that have been depressed for a long time:
You may need to contact a professional. Take your first step and reach out to a mental health professional. Now, if you are not sure where to start with this process, I wrote a couple of articles with information and links to assist you with this:
Online therapy can be useful to anyone in treating their mental health especially if you would prefer to remain anonymous.
Procrastinators with or without depression:
To understand why you do what you do the very first thing I suggest is to start becoming self-aware. Do this by keeping your focus and attention on what you are doing, thinking, and saying now. Stay in your present moment by practicing mindfulness.
Sometimes, practicing mindfulness can alleviate procrastination and help to manage depression.
But let’s say that’s a step too far – take a tiny step and make your bed or wash up your coffee cup. Every move forward is important no matter how small.
Then, create a routine to help minimize some of the decisions so that you can get into a flow of doing.
Once you are over your lowest point you will want to achieve more and discover other tools and techniques to keep you growing and moving forward.
Tools To Beat Procrastination And Depression
Mindfulness can make you aware of old/past beliefs and thoughts that are negatively affecting you now. It’s great to become aware as then you can work to replace them with beneficial thoughts and beliefs. Other times, you may not know if you subconsciously hold a belief or thought that is sabotaging you now.
All of us hold old programming from when we were young and some of it is beneficial and some not. Those limiting thoughts and beliefs that are playing in the background of our life and dictating our choices can be changed. Negative self-talk can be changed.
It’s all a matter of getting into a receptive state of mind and then reprogramming ourselves with supportive, positive beliefs and thoughts so that our choices change to benefit and propel us towards our true desires and dreams.
To beat procrastination, depression, and anxiety there are online courses, light/sound therapy, and subliminal audios. The following articles have a lot of information about all of these tools and techniques:
Remember ALL steps forward count as evidence you are progressing, even reading this and the other articles. Stop and remind yourself of that and say internally to yourself, “I can do this.”
Even if you don’t quite believe it yet.
Words Are Wands
“Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me.”
What a ridiculous saying.
Words are wands and they can effect you, especially the ones you say to yourself over and over again.
Make sure those words are powerfully uplifting and support your dreams.
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