Inevitably the word is said when a client first hires me.
You know the word. The one that makes you feel bad about yourself.
You scratch your head, wondering why you just can’t make yourself do that very important task. You notice you’re procrastinating and begin hammering yourself over the head about being undisciplined.
I have a different spin on procrastination. I believe it gives us insight into our resistance or inspiration for certain actions. It lets us know what feels good and what doesn’t.
The important component in dealing with procrastination is to question “why?”
- What about this task is making me put it off? Is there a part of it that scares me?
- Am I making up that the task is hard?
- Do I think I’ll fail?
- Is it going to take a lot of time that I feel I don’t have?
- Is the timing simply off and I should wait for a better time?
- Why is this action even on my list? Is this action on my to-do list because I think I “should” do it, or would my life benefit from giving myself permission to take it off?
Obviously, some actions have to be done in life that we truly don’t want to do.
We have to deal with taxes, license renewals, feeding our pets and kids and so much more. Here are several ways you can make even the “have-tos” not as cumbersome.
- Wait until you’re inspired to do the task (yes, eventually you will be inspired or the deadline will show up and motivate you).
- Ask for help.
- If possible, delegate the task to someone who is capable or likes to do the task.
- Decide that it’ll be easier than you think.
- Block out time in your calendar to complete the action.
- Take small steps toward completion.
- Drink your favorite beverage and listen to great music while in action.
- Minimize the pain associated with the task by imagining yourself bigger than the task. It doesn’t have power over you… you’re the boss of it.
- Focus on the outcome of the task. How will it feel when the task is complete?
Beating yourself up about procrastination only serves to make you feel worse, so stop making it wrong.
Instead, question why you’re procrastinating; you’ll be given valuable insight into yourself.
Part of letting go of procrastination is to trust your decisions. You can gain insight and relief by making deliberate decisions to put something off versus shoving the whole topic into a dark corner of your mind and labeling it “avoid.”
This is empowering. It’s when you think of a task and silently say, “I don’t want to deal with this” that it feels yucky. When you don’t address the procrastination, you enter a state of denial and avoidance that keeps nagging you.
Even if you make a decision to deal with the issue in a week, you’re being deliberate. Even if you make a decision to put it off several more times, you are addressing it and you must trust that eventually it’ll get done.