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Procrastinate no longer

Procrastination is a word I come across a fair bit in counselling and something that slows people down from living their best life. In coaching circles the things we procrastinate in are often referred to as energy drainers- they sap us of a bit of energy every time we think of them and equally every time we put them off. A good amount of study has been conducted, looking into procrastination and ill share a few ways in today’s blog of how to overcome procrastination.

Let’s look firstly at why it’s a problem;

1/ It creates conflict in our lives Conflict between long term goals and short term desires. For example you want to lose weight but you want to eat the birthday cake at the work lunch. When we chose the short term desire we beat ourselves up and the inner dialogue can get pretty nasty- like ‘see you cant stick at anything’.

2/ It reinforces negative thinking When we get into that mindset it could be a few hours or days before we reset. During that time if it was weight / food related you may have sabotaged and eaten more or made poorer choices than you would otherwise. It also continues that cycle of false beliefs such as ‘ I deserve that chocolate because I have had a hard day’

So how do we overcome in this area?

1/ First know what you generally tend to put off. Is it things you perceive as boring? Or difficult? Or is it those things that frustrate us? Is it relational? Is it because you haven’t done it before or done it and failed?

Reflect on those tasks and write them down. How can they be made more appealing? Usually there is something we can do to make a task easier or more doable? For cleaning out a cupboard- give yourself a time frame and work to that. For example. Lets say you give yourself 1 hour and its done.

2/ Just get started. It’s often the hardest part. But making that call, setting that appointment, cleaning out that cupboard just takes a start and it doesn’t have to be a perfect one. Sometimes it might take getting someone to make you accountable. Lets say you need to go to Dr for a check-up but keep putting it off. Ask a close friend to follow you up in the next 2 weeks till its done. A larger more onerous task might need to be broken up into smaller parts- often referred to as chunking to make the job more doable.

3/ Do it afraid- a lot doesn’t get started simply because we are afraid that we will fail or not do it well. Let go of the perfectionism. It serves no purpose.

4/ Stop beating yourself up- it does nothing good for anyone especially you. Having had the privilege to work with women for years now I have heard a lot of their inner dialogue and can tell you we are meaner to ourselves than we would ever be to anyone else. Stop that and simply get started. Forgive yourself and move forward.

5/ Schedule it in and list it out- a list helps to keep the task at hand clear and in focus. It helps set us up for a win as we can see what we have to do and what we have done. Schedule it in to your calendar and this may include choosing times when you are most energised, when you won’t be interrupted, or when you have the mental space to do the task.

These 5 things can really assist you to stop putting things off and kicking goals with forward movement in your life. No looking back now.

If you would like more information or want some help to overcome in this area please contact me.

Suz x

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