I have a lot of really great habits, along with a few pretty not-so-great ones. One of my biggest bad habits just happens to be procrastination. When I'm on my A game, I'm golden. I can wake up, pop out of bed, and get my day started with a workout, breakfast, or some early morning writing.
But, conversely, I can just as easily become a bit of a procrastinator. Surprisingly, the one thing that's helped me pop out of my bouts procrastination is the one thing that's supereasy to procrastinate: working out. Here are the four main ways that working out is able to kick-start my can-do attitude and kick procrastination to the curb.
Endorphins = Energy
It's a pretty simple fact that exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins, of course, release other neurotransmitters in the brain — like serotonin — that promote positivity and happiness. This is great when you're geared up in your UA Fly Fast 2.0 HeatGear® Crop ($55) leggings on a run and your own body tricks itself into pushing pain aside and opting for joy instead. But for me, I've found that while I do get a runner's high during my workout, I also feel it after I've finished, which make it a heck of a lot easier to jump into a chore around the house, a task for work, or another larger project.
Objects in Motion Tend to Stay in Motion
Those positive feelings post-workout are important, because happiness and the sense of "doing" is key for overcoming my biggest instigator of procrastination: lethargy. My procrastination hits when I feel mentally and physically lethargic. I feel unmotivated to tackle any hard tasks because it's much easier to keep doing "nothing," aka watching TikToks rather than doing laundry. But when I complete a workout, my body is left energized and already "in action," in a sense. And that's why I always keep this phrase — or law of physics, if you want to get technical — in my head as I roll from one task to the next: objects in motion tend to stay in motion.
Accomplishment Is Contagious
Plus, accomplishment is quite contagious. Once I cross one thing off my to-do list, I'm way more likely to cross off another, and then another, and then another. So if I pop out of bed and decide that, although I'm tired and grumpy, I want to cross my 30-minute run off my list, I'm way more inclined to accomplish the next thing on my list once I return home. Call me conceited, but I sure as heck like the way it feels when I succeed, so if there's a way to continue that feeling, I'm going to take it.
Focus, Focus, Focus
Lastly, working out has always improved my focus. In a recent study, exercise has been noted to improve memory and concentration. When I'm working out, I find it much easier to focus, whether that be on seeing myself through a HIIT class or a morning run. And, once I walk away from a workout, I find I'm much more equipped to continue that same focus throughout the rest of my day.