Sunday, 10 February 2013

Procrastination: Are you guilty as Charged?

Procrastination is a way of delaying the inevitable - a way of avoiding reality. It's our way of putting off a task that should be actioned in the present moment into the future - a future that is bound to happen whether we would like it to or not.

When we procrastinate, we know we should be doing something but yet we keep doing something else instead... things we feel we would "enjoy" more now.

We tend to procrastinate on the tasks that we perceive to bring us less joy in the present moment and the irony of this is that it could very well be that one thing that could eventually bring us the most joy - when all we had to do was put in the effort!

Procrastination can bring feelings of regret, so why put off that task you know needs doing so that you can have peace of mind? Do you not feel better about your circumstances when you have knowingly put in effort and have been productive?

We have all been slaves to procrastination at one time or another and it can be a real effort to pick ourselves up and start taking action.

With that said, here are some of my favourite ways to do just that, and I sure do hope you can find some inspiration here too:

1. Change your environment.

Sometimes certain environments can trigger feelings we have associated with it - typically based on past events and actions. So, for example, if you know that when you park your behind on the couch to eat your breakfast that you will become a couch potato because you know you would just end up watching TV all day - by all means, do not put yourself there!

Change things up - physically take yourself out of that situation you created and go have your breakfast at the kitchen counter, dinner table, or outside on the patio, and when you do - just have your breakfast, and do it mindfully.

2. Create a to do list with small deadlines.

If you feel overwhelmed with everything you have to do - write it down! Make a list of tasks and cross them off one by one as you action them.

There is something very satisfying about physically crossing items off a list. There is also a lot of writing out there that tell you to "eat the frog for breakfast" - to get the biggest tasks out of the way first so you can enjoy the rest of your day.

Remember to put a deadline on your tasks, be it in minutes, hours, days, weeks or months. Be as specific as possible and that way you will have something to work towards.

3. Realize the task is a lot simpler than you make it out to be.

When you break it down into smaller, more doable tasks, you will realize you have been putting it off for no reason. Say, for instance, you would like to write a book.

Writing a book a big task and can take months before it will be completed! If you don't break it down into bite-sized chunks, or create smaller doable deliverables over a period of time, it could end up becoming something you'd never get done all because it all seemed so overwhelming!

Create step by step tasks, with specific deadlines attached to each and follow through.

4. Reward yourself.

Whenever you complete your tasks by the allotted deadlines, reward yourself! But remember not to let the "rewarding" process end up becoming your procrastination process. Decide which tasks will require a reward and what the reward will be, and stick to it. Straying from it could make you end up veering away from the actual goal.

5. Surround yourself with people who inspire you to take action.

There's a saying that states that you become who you hang out with. So be sure to surround yourself with those that support you, those that are a living success of the goals you are trying to achieve.

Those that can give you the advice and the push you need in order to get what you want.

Use various mediums to find these people, whether they're part of a social group you belong to or even online!

6. Tell others about your goals.

When you tell others about your goals, you're affirming them as well as holding yourself accountable for them. Get the word out there - share them with your family and friends, that way they will constantly ask you how your plans are going in working towards that goal.

It's a sure-fire to make yourself responsible for the actions you need to take in order to achieve it.

7. Get over yourself and just do it!

Wherever you are, make a conscious decision to pick yourself up and take action! Remember to keep the momentum going after completing tasks, as soon as you start slacking it will become an endless spiral and so you end up procrastinating again. Suck it up and just do what you need to do - you owe it to yourself.

Remember, procrastinating can make you go in circles and you could end up being stuck in a rut. You should consistently action tasks that help you to advance your life.

Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to achieving your goals and have everything you ever wanted in your life. You have the power to make it happen.

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