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I procrastinate. Who doesn’t? 85% of us are procrastinators at heart.
Whether through lack of confidence, or outlandish expectations we become self-handicappers through procrastination, creating circumstances that make it difficult to experience the outcomes we want.
Stop sabotaging yourself by faffing around, marking time while life flashes by. Managing procrastination is not only possible, it’s essential.
It’s time to move forward, past the self-imposed barriers, towards a more guilt-free productive way of living. As Edward Gibbons said the winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.
So let’s navigate.
1. The why
None of us procrastinate because it feels good, or because we’re difficult, or lazy. Procrastination stems from our subconscious programmes. Those stories we were told and believed as kids, continue to run our life.
Fear leads you to procrastinate. Pain, shame, resentment, fear of failure, self-criticism all put the brakes on productive living.
You are not a procrastinator. Don’t accept that label. Procrastination is simply something that you do. A tool used to manage your fears connected to beginning or finishing a task. Our innermost beliefs about ourselves are being revealed.
Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it. ~ C. JoyBell C
2. The wake up call
If you have a project that you keep putting off. Take a step. Write down your reasons for why you want to do this project, as well as your reasons for why you haven’t started.
Do your motivations line up with what brings meaning into your life? Are your reasons for not starting it truly valid, or are they fear based? Your outer actions always reflect your inner feelings.
If you want your dreams to come true, the first thing you must do is wake up. ~ J.M Power.
3. The failure test
We are all blessed by having a wonderful life to live. Now we must be brave enough to live it.
Your failures are stepping stones to your success. Cherish them. Be willing to have more of them. Embrace them. If Michael Jordan and other greats have failed their way to success, so can you.
A willingness to fail denies procrastination some of its power. Failure doesn’t kill us. Defeats don’t have to defeat us.
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. ~ Samuel Beckett
4. The beginning
Begin with something easy, however trivial. Getting started is what counts. You need that little breathless moment that says, I’m not sure how to do this.
Don’t get caught up in thinking about the challenges of the entire project. That sense of overwhelm or foreboding will create a desire to procrastinate even more.
Having to know how to start or where to start will stop you in your tracks. Anywhere will do. Start with anything.
Remember your life is bigger than any fear, bigger than procrastination.
You can dance in the storm. Don’t wait for the rain to be over before because it might take too long. You can can do it now. Wherever you are, right now, you can start, right now; this very moment. ~ Israelmore Ayivor
5. The willing heart
We are created with dreams in our hearts and hope in our spirit. It’s our nature to be visionaries, to imagine our most wonderful life and it takes persistence and a backbone of steel.
And while dreaming comes naturally to us, we must never forget that strength, dedication, and courageous action are needed to give life to those dreams.
Be willing to throw yourself out there. It’ll be okay.
Be willing to pick up today’s opportunities even though they come with fears. Be willing to be challenged by life without needing to hide in the past.
Be willing to look procrastination in the eye and say, I’m taking one small step right now. I’ll be okay. Be amazed to discover you are.
Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter. ~ Francis Chan
6. The cliffhanger technique
If all else fails try this technique. It’s the oldest trick in the book and for most people works like a charm.
Charles Dickens used it in his novels that were originally published as serials in newspapers.
It’s used by television to keep you glued to your tv set every week to discover the outcome of the last show. We ‘re looking for resolution because the mystery is thrumming away in the back of our minds. Our subconscious is churning away, seeking answers.
It’s a sort of Zeigarnik effect. Like the TV cliffhanger, once something has started you’re more inclined to go back and finish it because it’s nagging away in the back of your mind. It’s the ‘I’ve started, so I’ll finish syndrome’.
I don’t look to jump over 7 foot bars: I look around for 1 foot bars that I can step over. ~ Warren Buffet.
How do you manage those procrastination moments? Share your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to hear your insights.
As always bless you for being here and reading and sharing. You’re the greatest.
Encourage one another.