Can’t stop procrastinating? Your gut may hold the secret
Can’t stop procrastinating? Your gut may hold the secret
Procrastination is something many of us face. In fact, research shows that 20% of people in the US are considered “procrastinators” – as in habitually putting off to-dos until the last minute, even simple ones.
Why Can’t I Stop Procrastinating?
If you want to stop procrastinating – but don’t know how – time management may not be the real problem. The real issue may be in your gut health. Yes, we all have important tasks to get done each and every day… but what separates chronic procrastinators from those who seem to have time for it all? Energy. I like to think of energy as 2 types: physical and invisible. The kind we notice is physical energy, and the kind we don’t notice is invisible energy. Physical energy is the type that has us soar through our day without feeling tired. It’s the type we experience when we wake up feeling energized and happy. When you are healthy, it’s constant and reliable, always there when you need it. Then there’s invisible energy. This is the energy we don’t realize we are using. We’re not conscious of it. Even when you are sleeping, your body is using energy for “invisible” functions like breathing, digesting food, circulating blood, manufacturing hormones, and shuttling waste out of your body. When you don’t have enough energy, procrastination becomes really attractive. You may find yourself with lots of excuses as to why you can’t get started on your important tasks:
- I’m too tired
- I’m not in the mood
- I have a headache
- I’m too stressed right now
- I don’t have enough time
Or maybe you negotiate with yourself (which is another form of excuse-making):
- I’ll work on that this weekend
- I’ll get up early to focus on this
- This will be my #1 priority after
- I’ll just finish this Netflix show/podcast episode, and then I’ll start on it
- I’ll start this after
Friend, this happens to the best of us. And when it’s chronic, this can generate a lot of negative emotions. You may feel guilty or beat up on yourself. You may look at others who don’t appear to have procrastination problems and feel jealous or irritated. You may tell yourself that this is just the way you “are” – and completely give up. The important thing to know is… you DO have control over your energy. And when you have more energy, you may find that these excuses go away (or at least become less appealing) – and you stop procrastinating as much… and start getting more stuff done with way less effort. The best way to address energy (and therefore procrastination) is through your gut microbiome.
The Gut *Productivity* Connection
I know the word I’m about to use has a negative connotation… but I’m going to say it anyway. I consider myself to be a somewhat “busy” person. I’m a wife, a mother, a nurse practitioner, and a business owner. And what I’ve come to realize is I can have all of these productivity strategies to build my life and business, but if I don’t have my health, I won’t be able to build any of it. I work with a lot of high functioning, ambitious women who own businesses, have high-level corporate jobs, co-own businesses with their spouses, take care of their families or elderly parents, and who are active in their communities. These women tell me the one thing that’s holding them back the most is low energy. So I want to introduce you to a concept I call: the gut-productivity connection. This is often ignored in this modern age of functional medicine and looking at the gut microbiome. You see, our gut acts as the engine for every other system in the body – including the brain. So when you feel tired, fatigued, or mentally imbalanced, chances are the root cause is in the gut. This also means the solution is to tackle the root cause of what’s causing low energy at the cellular level within your mitochondria, which is usually gut infections and toxins. Once you support your mitochondria with gut health, micronutrients, toxin removal, and cofactors to create energy, you’ll notice you can be productive throughout your day. Long story short… if you’re a driven woman who wants to be more productive—and stop chronic procrastination—you’ve got to start with your gut.
The “Stop Procrastinating” Formula
There’s a little formula that applies to any and all changes you want to make (especially in your health): Understanding + Commitment = Change You need “understanding” first. In other words, knowledge. If you want to change your lifestyle and habits—and stop procrastinating—it’s helpful to know the simple WHY behind those changes. That’s why I love to share simple ways to boost your energy using functional medicine. And teach you the simplicity of how your body produces energy. Metabolism is the name of the process in your body that turns your food and drink into both physical and invisible energy. Basically, the calories you eat get combined with oxygen, and then released into your body as energy; both the physical kind you feel, plus the invisible energy used for all your cellular functions, like making hormones and new cells. It’s simple: the better quality food you put into your body, the better your energy levels. Convenience foods, processed foods, sugary foods, and inflammatory foods aren’t used as efficiently by your body…and can even cause dips in energy. Now that you have a basic understanding of how food plays a role in your energy levels, you might want to use this information to create a change in your own life. This is when commitment comes into the picture. If you want to successfully make a change based on your understanding, now you need to commit. Commitment is defined as a pledge or an undertaking. The best way to “get committed” is to involve someone else in your journey. Whether it’s a friend, family member, coach, or practitioner… sharing your goals with someone else, and your plan to achieve them, helps you stay accountable to yourself! If you don’t declare your goal to someone else, it’s so easy to let yourself down and skip your commitment when the going gets tough… because no one knows what you were up to!
Stop Procrastinating & Boost Your Energy Through Nutrition
Want to create a lasting change in your energy levels? You can. It’s totally possible to live a life WITHOUT: -Afternoon slumps -Feeling tired when you wake up in the morning -Using weekends for recovery instead of fun -Relying on coffee and energy drinks to get through your day I’m here to tell you that life doesn’t have to be like this. Having low energy doesn’t have to be your “normal” – you can actually have an opposite experience! And when you do, you’ll notice that procrastination isn’t as prevalent in your life anymore. How often do you put off tasks, projects, or chores for weeks (or even months) only to realize how quickly you were able to complete them once you had the energy? And consistent energy comes from what you put into your body – meaning high quality, nutrient-rich, unprocessed foods. Let me be 100% honest with you… I KNOW eating healthy can feel challenging. And if you’re someone who hates cooking… it might even feel nearly impossible! But suppose you’re struggling with low energy and other pesky symptoms, including chronic procrastination. In that case, eating a diet rich in whole foods, fruit, veggies, and other non-inflammatory foods is a MUST. Cue the solution… smoothies! Smoothies are an incredible no-cook way to consume a healthy meal, jam-packed with clean nutrients your body loves to use for fuel. Why smoothies?
- Ingredients are super easy to source and store. You can even use organic, frozen berries. Then, just throw it all together in the morning!
- It’s easy to “bulk up” these smoothies with protein powder or nut butter.
- You get lots of incredible micronutrients from the fruit and veggies. It’s so easy to hide the taste of the veggies too!
Here’s a great recipe that really hits the spot as we go into spring and summer. Orange Detox Smoothie
- 1 cup coconut water or non-dairy milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 avocado
- 1 orange
- ½ cup spinach or other greens
- 1 scoop protein powder (this one would be yummy!)
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal
- Dash of ginger powder or ½-1 inch of fresh ginger
Blend until smooth! The cleaner the fuel you put in your body, the better it will perform. When it’s performing better, you’ll have more energy – and your desire to slide back into procrastination mode drops. So don’t treat your body like a junky old car. Instead, treat your body like a Ferrari, and that’s what it’ll become! While poor time management skills may be part of the reason why you’re procrastinating so often, looking at the fuel you’re putting into your body is also a good way to come at it. Because the gut is the engine of the body, healing the microbiome and ensuring it’s firing on all cylinders is the first step toward ending procrastination for good. And if you want access to a science-backed, proven, 90-day methodology to heal your gut, you need to book a call with us today. We are serious about healing the gut-productivity connection in your life so you can boost your energy and show up like the incredible, multifaceted, productive woman people can count on.
Take Good Care,