Are you tired of not being able to fully relax because of that niggling sensation that there is something you should be doing; because there is something you should be doing?
If you want to be someone who gets everything ticked off their list without it being a constant internal battle it may be time to pull the plug on procrastination.
You Owe it to Your Future Self
Procrastination is one of the most insidious forms of self-sabotage there is, a habit that robs us of the future we deserve. Just as our present is the by-product of decisions and choices we made in the past, our future is created by what we do today, and you owe it to the you of tomorrow to make every choice and every action count.
The good news is that once you recognize this pattern of behaviour you can start making changes and develop new ways of doing things that are more proactive and more empowering. It while it may take some self- awareness and practice, it can be done.
Connect to the Real Reason for Doing the Task That You Are Avoiding
The goal here is to create awareness, not to find another stick to beat yourself with so answer the questions honestly and with as much compassion as you can muster.
What do you tend to procrastinate on the most?
What is your motivation for doing it- why do you have to do it in the first place?
How does it fit into your vision for your life?
How does it fit in with your values- is it in alignment or incongruent?
Is there a self-limiting belief that needs to be changed?
Is there another way you could do it that is more fun or interesting?
What would happen if you decided you were never going to do it again?
Can it be struck off the list completely or delegated?
You may be surprised to discover that some if those things you are putting on the long finger are part of someone else's goals or vision or are things that you can just stop doing. Now is a good time to make some changes and stop doing things that no longer serve you.
When Overwhelm Stops You in Your Tracks.
Moving towards the big goals in our lives can be overwhelming, we can see where we want to be or visualize the person we want to become but then all of a sudden we are drowning in the magnitude of the task that lies ahead. We can no longer see the wood for the trees and there is so much to do that we don't even know where to start, everything is essential and it feels like all of it needs to be done now.
Take a break, go for a walk, spend some time with friends, do whatever you need to do to relax. When you are calmer regroup and develop a strategy. While it is important to keep the end goal in sight right now all you need to do is figure out the next step. You don´t need to figure out all the steps, you´ll find they appear when you work towards your goal consistently, just take it one step at a time.
The Need to be Perfect
You know that feeling of waiting to put yourself out in the world until you get one more qualification, have the perfect website, business card and all the trimmings, lose 10 kilos etcetera, You are waiting until you are perfect and you´ll be waiting a long time because perfection doesn´t exist. Yes, it is terrifying putting yourself out there, publishing your blog, working with clients, selling your product, going on a date, whatever it is that you are postponing until you are ´enough´, but unless you move past that fear you are going nowhere. You are already enough, and it's only by doing that you will improve. Strive for excellence, not perfection, do your best remembering that your best won´t be the same every day, and that´s ok. Don´t wait until your confidence grows to do what you are afraid of, doing what you are afraid of is what makes your confidence grow.
It´s part of the human condition to avoid things that are unpleasant, but chronic procrastination is stealing energy that could be better put to use somewhere else and sometimes all we need is some good old fashioned discpline.
Building that self-discipline muscle takes time and practice, you don’t get 6 pack abs from doing one crunch! It is however easier than you might think, and as a former procrastinator I know that often the thought of something is usually worse than actually doing it.
Here are some steps to get started.
So get clear on your goals, tackle overwhelm, ditch perfection, practice self-discipline and you will set yourself up for success.
I love to hear your success stories so leave a comment and tell me how these tips have worked for you.