We all know the pain of procrastination. It’s that feeling of inner resistance when you KNOW you should be finishing that work project or buckling down on that uni assignment or getting your sweet patootie out the front door to the gym…
But you don’t.
You put it off. You do something – anything – to avoid the one thing you know you need to be doing.
And then you fell really, really crap.
Today’s post is for all you procrastinators out there who have had enough. (#raisesownhand)
First of all, how do you know you’re a procrastinator?
- You become obsessed with house cleaning, laundry and pairing that three-year-old pile of odd socks whenever there’s an important task to be done.
- You dilly-dally with setting up unimportant things before you start working – lighting aromatherapy candles, organising your stationery drawer, colour coordinating your post-it notes.
- You’re a perfectionist, and you tell yourself you’d rather not do a task at all if you can’t do it 110%.
- You think there’s no point starting work unless you’ve got two whole hours of uninterrupted time stretching out before you.
- You completely numb out to an unhealthy amount of “Pretty Little Liars.’ So much so that every time you get a text you get anxious. Or maybe ‘Gossip Girl’ is your cup of tea and you feel like you actually live in the Upper East Side of Manhattan and get a shock when people don’t have personal drivers and aren’t wearing Chuck bass suits or Blair Waldorf headbands.
- You research more, instead of just ‘doing’ what you need to do. You procrastinate by looking up more courses, more healthy recipes, new gyms, fancy yoga classes, and the latest organic shampoo that you REALLY should have in your life.
- You buy more books. Books are great and I love them, but they can also be used as a sneaky tool to make you look and feel like you are moving towards your goal. But if you already know this stuff and this is 10th book on organic gardening you’ve bought and you still don’t have any seedlings, then hello procrastination!
- The social event excuse – You decide to go to your Aunt Nancy’s best friend’ daughter’s brother’s uncle’s party after all. You don’t know anyone and you thought it was lame, but maybe on second thought before you get started on your goal, you should make an appearance. You know, just so you don’t seem rude.
- You decide to blow-dry the dog. And the cat. And your husband. And yourself. (You decided to leave the gold fish out of this. Ok, you did try and your fish bowl became a mini beach, you’re pretty sure that Goldie the fish loved surfing the waves even though it was only a very gentle puff from your blow-dryer, you don’t want to create a tsunami. You love Goldie!)
- Uh, procrasti-surfing. Checking out god-knows-what for god-knows-how-long on the net. And somehow buying a mini shark fin for Goldie to try on.(Please note: No fish were harmed in the making of this blog.)Sound familiar at all?! Yep, me too!
Now, for the fun part:
How do you QUIT with the procrastination and start getting your stuff done?
- Accept that sometimes you need to start working in less than ideal circumstances. You DO NOT need a perfectly tidy desk/bedroom/stationery drawer in order to sit down and start working.Make the most of little amounts of time. Only got 20 minutes before you have to go out? AWESOME. In that 20 minutes, you can:
a) Write 300 words, or
b) Send that email you’ve been putting off, or
c) Do the whole warrior sequence on your yoga mat or …
The options are endless! Just know that every little window of time has its possibilities. Make the most of them.
- Become aware and catch yourself. When you find yourself falling into procrastination, start to pay attention. Figure out what it is that you’re doing to avoid the real stuff. Awareness is key.
- Break the pattern by doing something, ANYTHING that is in line with what you need to be doing. Big or small, just get back on track.
- Get crystal clear on why you are doing the thing that you are procrastinating. Is it really important to you? Why? Know your WHY inside and out. Use this as fuel, baby. You can come back to this when you start shopping for Hawaiian shirts for your cavoodle. (I may or may not have done this.) (Don’t judge me!)
- Be prepared. Have steps ready and ninja moves in place to take down those avoidance tactics, once and for all.
- Be your own cheerleader. Celebrate all your wins. Don’t wait until you finish the project, class, yoga handstand, whatever it is. Insert your personal cheer here!
- Tell people about what you are doing. Put it out there. Tell your Mum and Dad, sister, brother, boyfriend, girlfriend. By telling people about it, you can get support and encouragement along the way. These people love you, they will want to see you doing what makes you happy.
- Team up with someone to keep you accountable. Ask a loved one to do this for you, check in at times and see that you are tracking and making progress.
- Be kind to yourself. Sometimes us humans forgot that we are human and try to take on FAR too much. Then, of course, we hit overwhelm and fall into procrastination – big time! When this happens, have a look at what you have said yes to and what may need adjusting, and also at what needs letting go of so that you have the room and energy to do the things that make your heart sing.
This is one of my FAVOURITE topics to explore, and I’d love to hear from you: a you a procrastinator? What do you struggle with? And what helps you to get your stuff done?!!
Yours in crazy-awesome productivity,