How to Beat Procrastination

Meditation has many potential benefits—including helping you fight off procrastination

 

Dancers are a pretty disciplined bunch. You're used to repeating the same stretches and exercises in class each day, keeping up with rigorous rehearsal schedules and taking the necessary steps to care for yourself, even when you're tired or stressed.

But that doesn't mean you never procrastinate. Whether you're trying to take your technique to the next level before audition season, toying with creating your own choreography or thinking of exploring the freelance opportunities in a new city, chances are you have big goals, and that can feel daunting. Sometimes an idea is so daunting that you may prevent yourself from beginning at all—but research shows that simply getting started can change your perception. Once you engage in the task, it seems less stressful or difficult than it did when you were anticipating all the work you had ahead of you.

Getting started may be the hardest part, but here are a few other ways to keep procrastination at bay while you work towards your goals:


1. Start the day right. One study found that eating breakfast may boost attention and concentration, helping you to stay focused on the task at hand. So don't skip out on that first meal of the day.

2. Try meditation. Along with its host of other benefits, research published in Psychological Science suggested that meditation could help improve certain brain functions that are connected to attention.

3. Start small. A big goal feels less daunting when it's broken down into smaller steps that are easier to accomplish. And research (like this study) demonstrates that breaking it down often helps us feel more motivated and confident in our abilities, allowing us to complete the larger task faster.


Dancers are often big dreamers—it's one of the reasons you started pursuing this world in the first place. So whatever it is that you're hoping to do next, don't let anything (least of all yourself) get in your way.

 

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