Overview: Hypnosis for procrastination helps us overcome the mental blocks that prevent us from getting things done. If you've ever struggled with procrastination, hypnosis may offer a solution.
Our world is full of distractions. Instagram notifications, and alerts on your phone. Emails to respond to. Everywhere you turn these days, there’s a rabbit hole waiting for you to go down to waste chunks of your day.
We’ve all done it. Let a “few minutes” on social media turn into an afternoon.
Sometimes it's not a distraction. We just actively avoid tasks.
But why do we procrastinate instead of getting things done?
Most of the time, distraction is intentional. We seek out the unnecessary distraction because it’s more enjoyable than a more difficult task.
However, it can also be unintentional. We might be avoiding a task because we fear failure or we're scared of success.
Ultimately, hypnotherapy and hypnosis can help us identify the reasons why we're avoiding difficult tasks, and ultimately, help us reframe our thinking to overcome procrastination. In fact, the research shows that hypnosis for procrastination is an effective form of therapy.
What to Expect: Hypnosis for Procrastination
Hypnosis empowers us to access the deeper subconscious part of the mind and speak to it directly.
When we undergo hypnosis, we shut off the critical part of the mind through relaxation and intensive focusing. The process is similar to meditation.
However, once we've relaxed, we can begin to work on the subconscious attachments, fears and triggers that prevent us from accomplishing more. We do this by providing the subconscious with suggestions and new information.
Why? The latest research into how hypnotherapy works suggests that our subconscious is more suggestible in this state. Therefore, we can retrain our automatic, unconscious thoughts to be more proactive.
You can see how the process works in this guided hypnosis for procrastination session:
Is Fear Causing Your Procrastination?
Procrastination is something that we learn. It develops over a lifetime, and it’s often reinforced and upheld by our automatic unconscious thoughts.
For some people, exercise triggers your procrastination. Throughout the day, they wait and wait, and wait to go to the gym, and next thing you know, they miss the workout altogether.
Sometimes those people are simply too busy. But why does it happen even when you have all the time in the world? Why can you sometimes just not find the motivation?
The short answer is this. Negative, automatic thoughts drive procrastination.
Often, we don't even realize they're driving our actions. We automatically tell ourselves we won’t succeed or that we won't like something. We’re overly self-critical. And then, we decide to not do something.
The fear and negative thinking that fuel procrastination materialize in a few different ways. These are some of the most common reasons people procrastinate:
1. Fear of Failure
When we fear we won’t succeed, we convince ourselves not to take action. We avoid failure by never trying. This fear of failure is deep rooted, but it holds massive control over our actions. When we fear failure, the subconscious goes into protection mode, and steers us away from feeling hurt or disappointment – so avoid it altogether.
Getting Past Fear of Failure: You must train the mind to accept that failure is OK. That it’s a natural part of being a human. Often, beliefs become so deeply ingrained that we might not even recognize them. Reversing and updating those beliefs can transform how you approach to-dos.
We all want to do a good job in our work and lives. But sometimes, we set the bar for success so irrationally high that it becomes unattainable. And that’s a huge disincentive for getting started or finishing a task. Again, the subconscious starts to hedge our actions, convincing us to slow down and stop. And much like that fear of failure, we choose not to do something unless it’s 100 percent perfect – so we quit.
Getting Past Perfectionism: Our thoughts can build us up (or push us down). If you struggle with perfectionism, you must retrain the mind to be your best supporter, to sing your praises and help you get things done. That begins by releasing the negative thinking patterns that say you must be perfect.
When we’re overly critical, or when we lack compassion for ourselves, we become stressed and frustrated. Our mind tells us we’re not making progress, or that it’s too hard, and next thing you know, you’re putting off tasks. This occurs in the subconscious; our minds get stuck in negative thinking loops and we tell ourselves over and over again that we’re good enough.
Getting Past Self-Criticalness: We must reframe negative thinking patterns in the mind to be more positive, to remove the critical that’s invaded our thoughts. The bad habits of thought – hearing that you’re not good enough, or other people’s efforts are better, etc. – they can derail our progress. We have to relearn self-compassion.
4. A Lack of Confidence
Lacking confidence is a fear – an irrational fear – that prevents us from getting started. You don’t trust yourself. You don’t think you have the abilities. A lack of confidence can greatly affect motivation. When we feel that we’re not competent or capable enough, we don't even start.
Getting Past a Lack of Confidence: Developing a sense of quiet confidence can be a powerful tool for overcoming procrastination. That starts with retraining our thinking, driving those negative thoughts out of the mind.
5. A Distracted Mind
A lack of focus can prevent even the most accomplished from crossing to-dos off their list. The mind operates in a constant state of distraction; we’ve trained ourselves to “listen” to every conscious thought, to get side-tracked. Usually, distraction evolves from worry; we’re constantly thinking about what worries us, and thusly, we can’t focus on the project that’s at hand.
Getting Past Distraction: We must train our minds to get in the zone, to focus on the task at hand, and to quiet the “noise” in our minds. Often, this requires eliminating the root cause of the distraction – for instance, worry – and learning to empower the mind to focus intently.
6. Low Energy
This isn't a fear-based cause. But still, it’s a very real cause of procrastination. Exhaustion prevents us from focusing, and it’s often related to lifestyle factors like a lack of sleep, unhealthy eating, and/or stress.
Getting Past Low Energy: We need to pinpoint the cause of energy struggles, and improve our lifestyle to ensure we’re rested, free from stress, and feeding ourselves the right foods to stay focused.
How Hypnosis for Procrastination Works
Our automatic thoughts – the subconscious – control just about everything we do. And our subconscious beliefs, ideas and motivations tend to remain unchanged, regardless of the type of therapy we pursue.
You can reframe these unconscious beliefs.
During a hypnosis session, the critical conscious part of the mind shuts off. We quiet it through relaxation techniques.
At the same time, the subconscious mind activates. It becomes more receptive to information, and the information we feed it sticks.
Therefore, through hypnosis, we can begin to reprogram and transform the subconscious mind. We add new information that counters the negative thoughts that cloud the unconscious. We can update this giant repository of life experiences and beliefs that controls the actions that we take.
Overcoming procrastination with hypnotherapy
Stopping your procrastination requires a lot of work. We must teach the subconscious to be compassionate, supportive, confident, and kind. Hypnosis can help us to:
- Motivate Ourselves: With hypnosis, we can train ourselves to go after the biggest, most important tasks to start the day. We can do this by quieting fears of perfectionism or failure.
- Recognize Negative Thinking: Hypnosis trains the mind to be hyper-aware of our bad habits. This awareness empowers us to turn negative automatic thoughts into thoughts we can only use manually.
- Build Confidence: Overcoming fear starts with the subconscious. Thusly, using hypnotherapy, we can begin to reestablish our sense of confidence and self-worth, and empower ourselves to be our No. 1 cheerleader.
- Update How We Reward Ourselves: Do you use distraction as a reward? Through hypnotherapy, we can empower the mind to prefer and thrive on getting things accomplishment, and reduce the enjoyment we get out of distractions.
- Reducing Negative Lifestyle Factors: Numerous studies have found hypnotherapy to be effective for a range of unhealthy lifestyle factors. Hypnosis can help you sleep better, quit smoking, overcome overeating or sugar/carb addictions, to alleviate stress effectively, and to calm anxiety.
- Relearning How We Work: Procrastination starts in seconds. We have that initial thought to not take action. Utilizing hypnosis, we can train the mind to take action in the moment – to empower our sense of initiative.
Why traditional therapies don't always work
The problem with traditional behavioral therapy and psycho-analysis is that they don’t focus on removing and releasing these unconscious and automatic root causes.
We might be able to push and teach ourselves to reduce procrastination, but those inherent fears, beliefs and feelings are still held in place. There will always be that “little voice in their heads” saying wait, or you’re not good enough to try, or you won’t succeed.
Hypnotherapy can turn that voice into a powerful ally in getting things done.
Hypnosis for Procrastination: Does It Work?
The effectiveness of hypnotherapy has been researched for decades, and today, it’s quickly becoming one of the fastest growing areas of behavioral research.
In fact, The Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, and even Stanford University offer hypnosis and hypnotherapy as complementary services.
Research does also suggest that hypnosis can be a tool for helping us overcome procrastination.
For example, a recent 2012 study, examined how hypnosis could help 60 patients with generalized anxiety disorder overcome procrastination and reduce overall stress and anxiety levels. After the trial, researchers noticed patients scored lower on the Lay Procrastination Scale, suggesting hypnosis may offer help.
Additionally, a study in 1975 found that hypnosis helped college students – a group that’s overwhelming affected by procrastination, i.e. up to 50 percent – curb procrastination. And another study, conducted in the late-1960s, found that hypnosis empowered students to be more focused readers, improving reading times by one-fourth.
In short, there's a wide body of research that has shown the surprising science behind hypnosis.
Get Things Done: Stop Being A Procrastinator Today
The good news: You can start working on procrastination hypnosis today – in your home. You don’t need to work with a hypnotherapist (although that is certainly an option).
How can you start?
Practice self-hypnosis with a hypnosis app. With apps, you follow a guided recording that will help you relax and reach a state of hypnosis. Then, your guide offers suggestions to empower the subconscious.
Read hypnotherapy books. For example, Close Your Eyes, Get Free, written by our founder Grace Smith, teaches self-hypnosis techniques, and you can use these techniques to reduce anxiety and improve focus.
Schedule a session with a hypnotherapist. We offer online and in-person sessions. Schedule a session today!
It’s really nice to see it all broken down, everything that might be leading us to procrastination.
I know I have a bunch of the fears and negative thinking you mentioned.
Hypnosis has helped me to quiet my mind, it used to be a lot worse. Every day in every way, I’m getting better and better 🙂
I love how this article leaves a person feeling empowered and inspired to get started on changing their procrastination. Many people believe they have to go to someone for help, when they can start at home. This article also address the many reasons we procrastinate. For each one of us it maybe one or multiple reasons. The fear of failure is most likely so high for people that the self-hypnosis would being to make huge impacts which would make life better for the person and all who come in contact with them. Great article!
I could definitely relate to many of the listed fears and negative thinking which leads to my procrastination. I agree with how psychotherapy may not necessarily focus on removing the limiting beliefs that are embedded within the subconscious. I always enjoy how you link the studies so we can see hypnosis results!
The explanation is succinct and simple. We become what we think is never more true when looking at procrastination. Our flawed thought processes, dictated by our negative, automatic thoughts can and do materialize in may ways. We know that to move forwards we have to activate our subconscious mind and change our thinking and this blog illustrates just how wonderfully, hypnosis is able to do that. Hypnotherapy truly is an effective tool to retrain the brain.
I will come back to this blog again and again. I think each topic that is discussed here about procrastination should be addressed in a few sessions per topic. I believe many of the topics surrounding procrastination leak into other areas of our lives too. This blog is extremely helpful and leads to get results if someone really wants to relieve some of the internal pain caused by negative thoughts.
Procrastination has been my constant companion for a long time now and I know, is born from fears. This article provided a clearer understanding of what it actually is and as well as ways in which one can make positive transformations. Self-hypnosis can help you to visualise and mentally rehearse reaching personal goals, using the power of ones own imagination to build self-belief and confidence. Hypnotherapy with a trained therapist also has an aspect of self-discovery, in that it can help you to analyse why you are procrastinating, unpick the problems and overcome the barriers that you are holding you back from achieving your goals. It can also help you to formulate goals in an unconscious manner, so that it almost becomes second nature. It is a brilliant read.
Wow, I love how this is broken down to understand so simply. I for one get distracted and self-hypnosis has certainly helped me.
This is absolutely relevant to me! I just struggle to break it! After my 7 straight days of hypnosis for Self Love, I’m moving into this! I think it will be a nice segue. 🙂
I want wanting to read this blog post so much, as I’m currently re-listening to Grace’s Stop Procrastination series for the 2nd week in a row to really allow the goodness of my subconscious to hear/react and realize that my distraction is INTENTIONAL. To, in the words of this blog post, stop putting ‘off work because we fear failure, or we let the dread completing a task.’ I am working on training my brain that it’s ok to fail and therefore stop avoiding the tasks. Simple ones.. Responding to texts, writing a paper, meeting a friend. I have the tendency to set outrageous expectations for myself to live up to.. In turn, negative doubtful words play in my head and therefore these great obstacles (not that big tasks) get pushed to the next day, or worst of all.. I may quit the project all together. Thank you for the procrastination series and this blog. This is something i’ve been working on my entire life.. As it goes hand in hand with commitment. That’s on deck for my next hypnotherapy focus! 🙂
No wonder why I have always been a procrastinator! This is the first time I have seen such a comprehensive list of areas that contribute to the habit of procrastination. It is most unfortunate that I think I have all of the listed contributors!
I am curious if in the case of someone who feels that they embody all of the areas on the list if working on procrastination as a whole from a hypnotherapy perspective is the way to go or if each one of the areas should be addressed separately. And then in that case, what would be the order?
I also found the comment about low energy to be interesting. Clearly with lack of sleep, one doesn’t feel motivated to do anything but also eating poorly and not exercising can make one feel lethargic and that also doesn’t elicite motivation towards doing the things that need to be done. This is not one of the more commonly considered areas that would be at the root of procrastination! Well worth looking into.
I was also told that one of the reasons that people get addicted to procrastination,( the student writing the paper the night before is a great example), is that the last minute do or die, get it done or fail, produces feel good hormones that we begin to associate with completing something. This is why with all the time in the world before that paper is due, so many just can’t come up with one creative idea to write. But at the last minute they think that is when their “writing juices” kick in (hormones) and they are able to write that paper no problem.
Your article makes it very clear how one can begin to retrain the brain to the appropriate association/reward for a more predictively productive life and give that student a chance to have time to proof that paper before it is turned in besides getting a good nights sleep!
Distraction seems to be more alive now than ever. I was born and raised in a small town, one main street, one grocery store, one school district you get the picture. I have noticed a growing trend in the last 10 years where our little town went from people stopping and talking with one another on main street, in the grocery store, dropping their kids off at school to being so very busy. People seem so distracted, so busy, so unapproachable. Everyone seems like they are on this mission, I think to myself a mission for what, to go where? When you are living a life on full speed not taking in the moments around you, not seeing whats directly in front of you, you are left feeling empty. And I think a lot of people are empty inside searching for meaning. It is my hope that through self awareness and practices like hypnosis that people begin to take back their life, start really living, experience all that is in front of them. Hypnosis is making a perfectly timed comeback in my opinion. It is giving the people the tools they need to focus on what really matters between now and dead.
I love this blog so much because it really gives me a full perspective of all of the reasons that contribute to my own procrastination. Thank you, Grace!
I so needed to read this! It seems I have SO many balls up in the air at all times and often I just find myself checking social media as a break which ends up being an endless loop. I often work from home and I always seem to look around and see all the unfinished projects before me. I think hypnosis is great for gaining clarity on what would bring you the most sense of completion and satisfaction and strengthening my brain to stay on course so I actually have a sense of “completedness” at the end of the day!
This is so so so SO real -> “… it’s so difficult for people to kick the procrastination habit to the curb. There will always be that “little voice in their heads” saying wait, or you’re not good enough to try, or you won’t succeed. Hypnotherapy can effectively retrain the brain to completely tune out that voice, and further, turn that voice into a powerful ally in getting things done.”
I love how empowering hypnosis is; it allows a person to take back their power of thought, intention, and attention! Wonderful!
Excellent article, it addresses so many of the behaviors that hold us back. They tend to work hand in hand to hold us back from achieving our dreams and feeling/being successful.
Hypnosis in any one of these areas will overflow and help because they are all intertwined. It’s certainly helped me!
This is so true. Every time I am going to do something I really want, I get distracted and feel frustrated. This is all about fear. Fear of not being good enough. Then excuses again. Thanks for this great article and for the options or choices we can make to stop procrastinating ourselves.
Oh my gosh, this was such a cool article. I love how it lists the contributing factors AND some solutions. Most articles like this only focus on the contributing factors without any tangible ways to get past procrastination. for me, perfectionism was a huge one to get over. This article will help a lot of people!
You know, I never acknowledged that I was a procrastinator, but this article has me thinking I am! I often thought it was just poor organizational and scheduling skills or too many items on my to-do list! But, this article has helped shine a light on the fact that I do have procrastinator tendencies. I will certainly be checking out the hypnosis series! I have had great success with the other series I have completed.
You know, I never acknowledged that I was a procrastinator, but this article has me thinking I am! I often thought it was just poor organizational and scheduling skills or too many items on my to-do list! I have never really thought of the connection between procrastinating and distraction. I guess distraction is such a part of North American culture, I never really noticed it. This article has helped shine a light on the fact that I do have procrastinator tendencies. I will certainly be checking out the hypnosis series! I have had great success with the other series I have completed.
Hypnosis recordings have helped me so much in regards to staying focused and overcoming distraction. I recently completed the “Achieve Your Goals” series and I have never felt more motivated. I’m writing, teaching, a new mom and a student…I literally don’t have a moment to lose, but I really feel productive and able to juggle it all. Hypnosis RULES!
Such an interesting post! So helpful to fully understand the multiple causes of procrastination. It is much more complex that I think most people realize. I can’t wait to get started using hypnotherapy to eradicate this bad habit that’s been with me for too long.
This blog along with the recordings has helped me a great deal. I feel we all define procrastination to ourselves and give it its own meaning. But the breakdown of its roots connects with me where I feel empowered to tackle it because its clear, identifiable and understandable. Which also makes you feel not alone in that its a common human condition with solutions or tools.
One thing I learned while reading Grace’s book Close Your Eyes Get Free was that the main underlying reason we procrastinate is our fear of failure. That hit me right in the gut. I couldn’t imagine how deep my fear runs because I can tend to procrastinate with anything– especially with things that pertain to my career. My fear can be debilitating– deciding to back out of social engagements and certain conversations. I started listening to hypnosis recordings like “Stop Caring What Others Think of You”, confidence hypnosis recordings, and “Increase Motivation”, as well as “Stop Procrastinating”. I don’t even think about not doing something now if I have a task at hand. I just get it done and it’s a great, liberating feeling afterwards. I’m proud of myself for just getting it done. I have a long way to go with other fears but I feel hypnosis has been a tremendous help so far. I can’t wait to see my progress!
I even procrastinated reading the whole article, I need to overcome this. I’m the only one standing in my own way! Haha
This blog is so relevant – I’ve struggled with the ADHD monkey mind for as long as I can remember having a mind and although I’ve learned to love my wildly (and often randomly) creative brain, I’ve found hypnosis so powerful in helping me focus all that gibberish into something useful!
This may be one of my favorite blog posts and this is definitely something I know I need to work on! I knew some of the common reasons for procrastination such as fear of failure, but I have never seen all of the reasons listed and broken down in one place! Thank you for sharing such valuable information, this can help so many people!
I had great concentration when I was a child, I could read books for hours and nothing could sway or tempt me to go out and play. When I was in primary school, doing homework mum could come and say: “go to the store and get me this or that, I need it for cooking”. My great ideas went out the window, my stream of thought was interrupted and it’s was hard to get it back. This pattern has repeated many, many times and eventually my mind has learned to say, “Fine, let’s not do it in the first place.” Eventually, procrastination sets inn as the ego-mind takes over and we lose the connection to our unconscious to our higher, intuitive mind that knows all. Graces article explains how it all happens over time, it’s many causes and solutions, and how hypnotherapy can be a very powerful healer.
How hypnosis can help us get motivated, recognize negative thinking, build confidence, update how we reward ourselves, reduce negative lifestyle factors, and help us re-learn how we work.
This is such a great article. So many people think procrastination is caused by laziness or a lack of willingness and to learn that it’s way more than that is so helpful. This article explains the reasons why for many they are not able to ‘just do it’. If that were so, I’m sure they would have already done so! I love that you’ve also included low energy as a cause. Not only does low energy impact the physical and doing, it also affects our mind, our concentration, focus and our thoughts. Hypnosis can absolutely help with procrastination (I can attest to that) and Grace Space has different one off or a series to help overcome it.
I have two go to Grace Space recordings to help me stay on top of the tasks I need to move toward my goals – the first is about goal setting and sticking to them, and the second is about increasing your focus. I’ve been consistently listening to one or the other pretty much daily for weeks and I’m actually up for a promotion at work now – two months ago I didn’t even get a raise at my annual review. On top of improving so dramatically at work, I am also studying under Grace at her school and I’ve got an average over 96%, and I’m staying on top of all the tasks I set for school too. And I’m raising two teenage daughters. That focus one is my little 18 minute morning miracle, it’s a game changer!
I definitely recognize patterns of mine in this article. Even today, right now, I am making a conscious effort not to procrastinate. After reading this, I can ask myself “What is the root of my procrastination today?” That way, I can confront it and try and actively move past it. The line that struck me the most in reading this is “distraction is intentional.” This is so true. How many times have I been working on something, and then decided to get up and make lunch, or clean the kitchen, or look at Instagram? So many times. This is something I need to constantly work on improving.