Do you find yourself with the best of intentions to live your life more the way you want this year? But you're mired down -- paralyzed into inaction by your tendency to PROCRASTINATE? Procrastination is nothing more than a set of unproductive beliefs and behaviors -- and every one of them can be OVERCOME with the right attitude and some practical tools.
Lose the LABELS! All those things you call yourself, such as lazy, scattered, disorganized, not good enough, incompetent, or stupid, for example, aren’t helping you get things done, are they? You’ve learned to believe them, and you think they’ve become something of a self-fulfilling PROPHECY. If you look around yourself, though, you’ll see evidence that you can accomplish quite a number of things without delay. Perhaps you just need to let go of the idea that you are a procrastinator and focus on what you actually get done.
Are you really procrastinating, or are you simply focusing on OTHER priorities? It’s possible that those things you’re not doing shouldn’t get done until sometimes later, perhaps not at all. Focus on only the most SIGNIFICANT areas first, and the rest will come.
If you hang out with people who coax you to procrastinate, it’s time to start surrounding yourself with better EXAMPLES. If you know certain that situations are too enticing and will LURE you from following through, create a work-around plan that will help you prevent yourself from “taking the bait”.
Recognize that you’re not ALONE, and are, in fact, in excellent company. Most people procrastinate about something, sometimes about many things. In a recent survey on procrastination, almost 1/3 of respondents who identified themselves as procrastinators had a post-graduation or higher education. And the interesting thing is, many procrastinators manage to still be very PRODUCTIVE, accomplished, and successful -- in spite of this "bad habit".
At the moment you are about to procrastinate, stop for just a moment to ACKNOWLEDGE the pattern, even if you continue on to put off whatever you were going to do. Awareness and acceptance that these are your current PATTERNS is a necessary step in procrastination extermination.
You probably think that the only way to stop procrastinating is to use will power and DISCIPLINE. While that certainly can work, it can cost you a lot of energy and struggle. By allowing yourself to begin recognizing what is specifically in the way of following through -- what exactly is keeping you from tackling that task you never seem to get to -- and creating simple new patterns of behavior and ACTION that allow you to sidestep those roadblocks, progress is pretty painless and immediate.
What is your procrastination COSTING you? Do you have a procrastination reputation? Do you continually have to make procrastination explanations or reparations to others? Are you in procrastination isolation so nobody will know what you’re not doing? Is your credit history in procrastination degradation because of paying bills late? Are you in procrastination DESPERATION because you might lose your job or significant relationships? Sometimes understanding how badly you’re paying and in exactly what ways can provoke you to seek assistance.
Talk with friends about how they OVERCAME procrastination. Buddy with them on their own projects, holding each other ACCOUNTABLE to get things done. Hire a procrastination coach, someone who has worked with hundreds of people and not only knows about procrastination generation, but has helped many veteran procrastinators with procrastination renunciation.
Nothing helps you achieve more easily than knowing all the STEPS you need to take, having a plan to take them, scheduling that plan into your calendar, creating INCENTIVES to make following through more attractive (and consequences to make it less attractive!), and putting some accountability supports into place. This, combined with a simple procrastination meditation, will get you back on track quickly and easily.
Once you’ve fully understood that one of the big reasons you have been procrastinating is that you’re focusing only on FINISHING (and that’s too daunting) you’ll begin to instead concentrate on STARTING, which is a much more approachable and manageable way to get thing done. All you need to do is keep starting, and finishing will take care of itself.
Kerul Kassel provides coaching, workshops, and presentations to cultivate success, enhance satisfaction, improve productivity, and foster potential. She is certified by the International Coach Federation, and a member of the International Coach Federation. And her "Power Decluttering" course is available directly through www.OnlineOrganizing.com. You may visit her website at www.newleafsystems.com or contact her at 407-957-1494.
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