Procrastination happens to all of us; even with all the tools we have; the discipline and the focus, it’s inevitable it will creep into your life.
The question is, what do you make procrastination mean about you? How does it impact the way you show up in your day?
A lot of the work I do is focused on energy management. Taking action on the hard things that drive meaningful results in life and business.
So many of us (yes, myself included) put off our important work for low-grade busy tasks. If we are busy doing something OR checking off the to-do list, we will feel better about our day and ourselves.
Often referred to as busyness through procrastination, the work/project/action/movement. Whatever you want and need to do but choose to put off another day, week, or month is replaced with staying busy in the moment.
What is it that we think when we choose busy work and procrastination over our real priorities?
Are we afraid of the outcome?
Do we fear that it won’t be good enough?
Maybe we don’t want to decide because we are worried about whether it is right or wrong?
Most of us know when we are procrastinating. We are very aware of what is happening, yet we still do it.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself when you find you are procrastinating on the important work and feel stuck:
- What exactly am I procrastinating on? (This may seem obvious, but having clarity on what you are putting off will help you move forward on taking action.
- Why do I need OR want to do this? What is the result I am looking for? Is it a physical result, or am I seeking a feeling – and it can be both.
- Does this have to be done now? The honest answer here. If it doesn’t have to be done, stop right now and don’t give it another thought (at least for a while). Thinking about what you should be doing takes up precious mental energy to be applying in a much better capacity.
- If this does need to be done now or within the near future, can I put a deadline on it? Whether it’s a decision, a plan, an assignment, an article, creating content, calling on a client, working through a course – determine when you want to work on it and/or finish it. See post here about following through using If-Then statements.
- What is one action I can take right now that will move me from feeling stuck to feeling _______________ (fill in the blank – I like to think accomplished, able, motivated, capable)
- What thoughts do I need to think to create the feeling above? For example, I have been putting off a pretty big decision and was beating myself up about it. Instead of giving myself space, I was overthinking, which led to feeling horrible and paralyzed – physically and mentally. Needless to say, I didn’t decide from a place of calm and rationale. If I could go back in time, the thought I would tell past self – I will give myself space to figure this out. While it doesn’t seem like an AHA thought, it is believable and will help create the feeling of able.
If you feel like you are procrastinating on something important, you aren’t alone! This happens to everyone at some point. Take a deep breath, give yourself some space, and drop the judgment. When you do this, you will be able to look through the lens of curiosity and make a decision that will allow you to move forward whether you take action or decide to do nothing. Either way, it isn’t right or wrong.
Looking for a simple strategy in finishing what you start? Check out my NO to Finish Course. This simple no frills approach will help you stop procrastinating and start doing the work that delivers results.