Is Procrastination Keeping You Stuck in Mediocrity?
Let’s face it, we all procrastinate from time to time. When does procrastination become a problem that keeps us from moving forward with something important in our lives?
The answer is when our procrastination costs us money, causes a major “failure” or inability to succeed, or that makes us feel profoundly guilty or defeated. Everyone procrastinates some, but there is 20% if the population that actually would be considered a chronic procrastinator.
Maybe you’ve put off losing that 10-20 pounds by committing to exercise each day or follow a healthier eating plan. Perhaps you’re not following through on a home project you started 6 months ago. Or is it that you’re watching Facebook Kitty videos instead of working on an important work assignment?
Here are Some Steps to Help You Overcome procrastination:
It’s important to rule out depression as a source of procrastination. Depressed people can lack the physical and mental energy to focus on getting things done.
Create a manageable list of what needs to be completed and work the list. Checking each thing off your list feels so great and can lead to different behaviors. Resist the urge to make the list too long…this adds to procrastination. Mary Kay Ash, the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics suggested the Six Most Important Things to Do list. Only write down 6 things each day…accomplish as much as you can and carry over the last thing that is left to the next day as the first thing to do.
Just get started. You can do anything for 10 minutes, so just pick any part of it and jump in. Once you’re rolling, you’ll get into it.
Get rid of distractions. This is why we don’t try to diet in a candy store, or stop drinking by hanging out in a bar. Turn off the phone, turn off the television and focus.
Give yourself a time frame: for example, don’t allow yourself all day to get something done. Schedule it for 2 hours, let’s say from 9am – 11am, putting all your energy into the process during that time. Give yourself a short time to do a little and break down large tasks into sub-goals.
Work on the most difficult and challenging things first thing in the morning, while you’re sharp and have some energy. Difficult, boring or less fun projects are grueling when we’re tired. Do the toughest thing first! If a workout is what you plan to do, get up early and get it out of the way. After a long day, going to the gym can end up being the last thing you want to do.
Remember how horrible it feels when you don’t get something done that you set out to do, or that you need to do. Remind yourself that procrastinating makes you feel guilty and like a failure. Decide now that feeling like that is unacceptable and you will avoid it at all costs, by getting things done.
Reward yourself for getting done early. Praise yourself for your accomplishments, no matter how little or inconsequential they are. Remember that what you focus on expands…so focus on your ability to be successful by recalling all the times you’ve been successful in the past. Once you’ve accomplished a task, give yourself permission to do something fun or relaxing.
Decide to be ahead of the game from now on. For example, instead of shooting for April 15th, get your taxes done by February 15th. You’ll feel so great and it won’t be weighing on your mind.
Be accountable to someone. Ask a friend or co-worker to help you to be accountable by checking in with your goals for each week. Create a Strategic Alliance with someone else who wants to accomplish certain things and help each other attain goals. This is when a life coach can be helpful.
Hypnosis can be a great tool for helping you overcome procrastination. The ideas and beliefs held in the subconscious mind may be in conflict and cause us to get stuck from moving forward. Your hypnotherapist will be able to work with you to remove those blocks and pave a pathway and increase motivation, so you may easily accomplish your goals.