Bet you thought that staying put and not moving forward was the essence of procrastination? Yes, and no! Delaying a task by turning away and habitually engaging in something else is more like it. You are trying to replace the negative emotion that you are experiencing when confronted with that unpleasant or difficult or challenging task with a more positive emotion.
Staying put can be the first important step to quit procrastinating that particular task. If you procrastinate something, chances are you almost always procrastinate that same something. So run through the ingrained scenario in your head. Is there an actual physical space or two in which you usually procrastinate this thing?
For example, you want to eat healthier foods. You have been to the grocery store and have stocked up on your favorites. You are in your car coming home and you think, “Tomorrow I will start eating healthy, but tonight I will stop for fast food.” Your place to stay put is in your car, headed towards home. If you make it home, you will probably not go out again, you will prepare dinner from the delicious, healthy foods you have there.
Or, you need to study for a certification exam and even though the test date is looming up ahead, you keep putting off the thorough study you know you will need to do. Where is your stay put place? In front of your computer? At the dining room table? In the library? Designate that spot your stay put spot. And do whatever it takes to not move forward by turning away.
Stay put and chances are you will start that task and it won’t be so bad. Couple this with a new emotion. Reward yourself with a positive i-statement, or mantra or affirmation, that can start replacing that negative emotion! “I did it, I am strong!”, “I am changing, I like that!”, “I am tough!”, “I am intentional”, “I am eager to see this through!”, or “I have guts, I am doing this!”
Or, find a Bible verse or a quote that motivates … some of my favorites are Proverbs 21:26, All day long one man is craving, while the other gives and does not hold back. Galatians 5:1, It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
For some comprehensive information on this subject, a great book is Solving the Procrastination Puzzle by Timothy A. Pychyl.