Hello, My friends,
This week, I would say has been an extremely long one. You know the kind. You have lots of things you could be doing but you don’t actually want to do any of it. That was me.
Procrastination had moved in, he had unpacked his bags, and was getting pretty settled, encouraging me to do the next cross word, scroll through the next Facebook, Instagram page. To go for a walk around the block, Watch a bit of television, Eat a packet of biscuits.
Now, I’m all for rest and relaxation, when it’s time for that, and I knew that this was not resting or relaxing time. I was getting more frustrated with myself, because I was getting less and less done.
Now I’m pretty much someone who will practice what she preaches. So true to form, I get my notebook out and begin to coach myself. Looking at the procrastination, asking myself, “What is the feeling driving my avoidance?” then with fascination exploring the thoughts that are driving those feelings, and what feeling I really want to feel.
I would love to say, procrastination packed his bags and left straight away. He didn’t. He loitered around in the shadows of my mind, watching to see if I really meant for him to leave.
Every-time I flagged a little he would pipe up reminding me that Facebook was much more fun than doing my study. Asking leading questions like, “Why do you work out, no-one can see you?” “What’s wrong with having another chocolate biscuit?” ” Getting your assignment in this week isn’t a big deal?” “Look at the mess in your office, you can’t work in there.”
I felt like he was badgering me.
Let me share with you how I dealt with this uninvited, overstaying guest.
- Determine what type of procrastination you are facing.
For me I have four main types of procrastination:
a) The perfectionistic variety. This goes along the lines of, “You can’t do this properly, you don’t have all the skills, why start when you can’t get it right the first time?”
b) The fear of failing or doing it wrong. This one holds hands with the perfectionist. “What if you get it wrong, or fail, you’ll look like a fool. You’ll make a mess of it, people will laugh at you. You’ll have to do it again, what a waste of time and energy.
C) The feeling of being overwhelmed with too much to do. This classic one looks around and informs in a derogatory voice, look how much you’ve got to do, you’ll never get it all done, why bother? No-one cares whether you do it or not.
d) My goals are not sufficiently defined, no clarity. This one tags long behind the feeling of being overwhelmed, stating it’s too hard, I don’t know where to start? The job’s to big, I’ll never get it done.
2. Grab a piece of paper or your journal book. Take an honest look at what you are avoiding, Ask yourself questions like:
a) When I procrastinate how do I feel? Angry, sad, victorious, industrious, demotivated.
b) What form of procrastination am I using today to sabotage what needs to get done?
c) What is the emotion behind the action of procrastination? Fear, shame, embarrassment, depression, lack.
d) Is this emotion serving me? Leading me to where I want to be? Who I want to be? What I want to achieve? Yes or No!
e) What are the thoughts behind this emotion? I can’t. I’m not good enough? I don’t know how? Are these thoughts moving you forward? yes or no!
f) What thoughts would create a better emotion? I can give it a go and if it doesn’t work out the first time, I have more information to try something else. I have everything I need to begin where I am. I can do this. What is the worst thing that can happen? I have what it takes to handle it?
3. Make a plan. Using the information you discovered about yourself in step 2. Build a strategy.
Perfectionism: Near enough is good enough. I will work on this for x amount of time then I will reread it and submit it for marking.
Failing: What do I know about this subject? What more do I need to research? Begin now, with what I have and the skills available, I will learn as I go. Failing is a step on the path to success. it is feedback on an area that needs improvement. I want to improve and succeed.
Overwhelmed: List everything I want to do. Decide what is the most important area and begin. Pick one item and stay with it until it is complete. Set the timer, Focus for the allotted time no distractions. Then move onto the next item marching on down the list.
Unclear goals: Go to the end, to the place where I have achieved the goal I want. Think about who I have to be. (To get something I’ve never had, I have to be someone I’ve never been.)What skills do I need? Who do I need to work with? How does the woman who has achieved my goal think? Then reverse engineer the steps. Create clarity. Make a decision, then do the next thing that needs doing, build on that with the next step. always keeping in mind the end goal of what I want to have, do or be.
4. Move. Action will chase procrastination away. Act on your strategies. Guard your mind, procrastination is a tricky deceiver, and will use your thoughts against you. Keep your focus on what you want, why you want it and the strategy you have to do it.
This is how procrastination was evicted from my mind this week.
Your thoughts create your emotions
Your emotions create your actions
Your actions create your habits
Your habits create your well lived life.
Every thing you do is to feel a certain emotion.
Create that emotion on purpose.
Until next time. Live your most authentic life.