Procrastination- 4 Essentials for Breaking Through
By Beth Tabak
"I have learned that most regrets come from the things I DIDN"T do. I have learned that regret lasts forever." Simply Brilliant
Procrastination- putting off what you can do today until tomorrow. 7 years, 5 months, and 2 days later you're wondering why you never started that book. It would have been completed. You could be reaping the rewards and writing full time. You see yourself sitting on the garden patio of your dream home surrounded by towering palms and luxurious flowers. As the ocean breeze glides across your face the telephone rings. You made the Best Seller List. In regret the vision is bright. In procrastination it's doom and gloom. Back in the present you may be saying, "There's too much competition. No one will publish my book". What if you flip flop the picture so you are pulled towards the intense vision you had in regret like it was a magnet. Why not create that vision sooner rather than later. Procrastination leads to stress, poor health, and regrets that last for life. Action results in fulfillment, life experience, and wisdom. Get the 4 steps to break through procrastination below.
Step 1- What are you procrastinating on? Is it appropriate to hold off or irrational postponement? Will this make a positive impact in your life? Choose the area that you will stop procrastinating and make a renewed commitment.
Step 2- Discover the source to find the solution. Consider when your car doesn't start. You look for the source of the problem. When you find the source it is easy to take action to make the repair. Look behind procrastination to find what is restraining you. It may be an unpleasant task, lack of interest, someone else's goal, a large overwhelming project, fear, poor time management, or indecision. Be brutally honest and get to the source.
Step 3- Based on the source; decide if this is a goal you want to keep. If so, choose a strategy that feels good to you. It may mean developing new habits. Discover the source and set up the strategy in a way that you know you will take action. Here are some possible sources and solutions to get your ideas flowing:
An Unpleasant Task/ Lack of Interest- Schedule it at the beginning of the day so it is not hanging over your head all day long. Think of how great you will feel to have it done. Reward yourself when you follow through.
Someone Else's Goal- Set a boundary...say no or accept only the part of the job that you feel good about. If you can not say no (ex. employment situation) then you may choose to follow the above solution.
A Large Overwhelming Project- Break the project into small manageable tasks. What part can you do? What can you delegate? What is the first step? What daily steps can you take? A great solution for decluttering!
Lack of Focus Due to Multiple Projects- Prioritize the projects then break them down into small manageable tasks as in the step above. Focus on completion of one project at a time.
Fear- What is the fear telling you? Is it valid or an irrational assumption? Usually what we anticipate doesn't occur. Picture the ideal end result. Affirmations and visualization can help. Focus on how great you will feel simply for having the courage to try. As Eleanor Roosevelt says, "you gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face. Your must do the thing which you think you cannot do."
Poor Time Management- Schedule a block of time daily or weekly to work only on this project. Keep the appointments. Begin with small blocks of time (whatever you can commit) until you are consistently keeping the appointments. Then consider committing more time.
Indecision- When you don't know what to do set a deadline to make up your mind. Then get whatever support and information you need to be able to make an educated decision.
Step 4- Hold an intense vision- Think of that clear, exciting picture that shows up in regret. Allow that to pull you towards it. You have great capabilities when you take action, even if it's learning in action. Focus on how great you will feel when you go for it! After all, it is through the journey that the great and memorable moments take place.
What project will you stop procrastinating on?
The first action I will take by _____ (date) is _______________________________________(action). Starting Now! Copyright 2006, Beth A. Tabak, All rights reserved.
About The Author
Beth Tabak of http://www.startingnowcoaching.com is a Business & Life Coach, speaker, columnist, & owner of Starting Now. She coaches big thinkers to move beyond limits, stand out in the crowd, and experience the vastness of their capabilities. Stop by to see all that's available to you and say "hello".