In university, I was the queen of procrastination.
Every essay I ever wrote was literally done the night before.
I’d chain back-to-back coffees, typing away in the library basement often until 4 a.m.
I always made my deadlines and miraculously aced most of my papers, but for some reason the concept of following a timeline – one that didn’t require me to sacrifice sleep and stress the f**k out – was pretty much impossible,
I bet you can relate...
Ever waited to the last minute?
Avoided taking action until you just couldn’t avoid it any longer?
Beat yourself up for taking too long to get started?
Mhmmmmm, knew I wasn’t alone.
Based on my experiences as a student, a reporter, an entrepreneur and a life coach, I’ve seen (and personally experienced) so many forms of procrastination that I think it’s safe to say it plagues us all.
And that sucks. Because the anxiety, stress and drama that gets kicked up when we start to rush, worry and freak out about getting something done on time, isn’t fun to feel.
It’s arguably one of the worst ways to feel. Yet for some reason most of us procrastinate over and over again. It’s a vicious, vicious cycle…
The good news? You can overcome procrastination.
You can become one of those “magical” people who manages to get everything done when they say they’re going to do it. Yes, one of those people.
How? By practising the steps I outline below.
Keep these tips front of mind as you move throughout your day and try ‘em out when you start to feel procrastination pulling at you. It might not be perfect at first, but with willingness and consistent effort you’ll totally be able to shift your patterns.
Step 1: Accept your situation.
So much of the anxiety associated with procrastination is because of our resistance to the present moment. We don’t want to admit that we’ve only got a deadline coming up, or that we’re in a tight spot. So we invest our energy into avoiding the situation. We’ll watch Netflix, sort our books by colour, go for a walk . . . whatever it takes to avoid thinking about what we intended on doing.
Essentially, we create our own stress, which means we can just as easily uncreate it.
When you get the urge to procrastinate, or feel resistance building up inside you, be present with it.
Tune into what you’re feeling and where you’re feeling it. Accept it for what it is.
When you accept how it is you truly feel and give yourself permission to feel your feelings, you’re able to process them and move forward. When you deny and avoid your authentic feelings, the excess energy manifests as anxiety and stress.
So accept the truth, don’t avoid it.
2. Be nice to yourself.
Equally as important as acceptance, is kindness…
If you’re anything like me or the women I work with, I’ll bet you have a tendency to beat yourself up.
Most people tend to get really hard on themselves when they procrastinate, making the situation worse.
We create our experience through our thoughts. So when we tell ourselves in our minds that we’re lazy or not good enough or smart enough or pretty enough, we create a life that matches the frequency of those thoughts.
Being nice to yourself is sooooo important. Especially when you’re feeling anxious, vulnerable or stressed out. Let that voice inside your head build you up and tell you how confident, wonderful and amazing you are. Instead of berating yourself, support yourself.
By choosing to think empowering thoughts and by speaking to yourself with kindness and compassion, you’re creating a life that feels fulfilling. You also gain the confidence, ease and clarity you need to totally own Step 3.
3. Just do it.
Drop the excuses and just start.
After you’ve totally accepted your reality with kindness and compassion for yourself, simply do the work.
Procrastination stems from avoidance and following your resistance. Whether conscious or unconscious, it’s a choice. The next time you catch yourself tempted to avoid doing what you said you were going to do, choose to do it anyway.
Don’t indulge in your drama. Your ego will conjure up all kinds of excuses and reasons why you shouldn’t do the thing you said you were going to do, anticipate them and don’t be fooled.
Habits are the culmination of thousands of tiny choices. Every time you choose to do the thing you said you were going to do, the more automatic it becomes. Instead of being a huge sensational event that takes loads of your energy, it just gets done.
And before you know it, your nagging procrastination habit is a thing of the past.
Poof! Adios! Gone!
And you’re able to take action and get things done on time, without getting all stressed out and anxious.
As always, I would love to know how these tips work out for you. Feel free to comment below, chat with me on Facebook or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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