Last week I was speaking to a group of ladies about the ‘P’ word – procrastination, I’m sure you would have experienced it at some point, it’s when everything other than what you need to do becomes incredibly urgent, often hours can be spent updating your friends list on Facebook or searching for new contacts on LinkedIn, or you may have it extremely bad and start to clear out your office, your loft or kitchen cupboards!
What became really obvious is that we all do it from time to time in every aspect of our lives, but that it can be quite frustrating, even stressful, because not only are you avoiding what you need to do, but often that ‘thing’ can grow and become bigger the more you put it off, making it less likely that you will tackle it, even though you know you need to.
So how can we move from procrastinating to pro-activating?
First of all, in my experience overwhelm fuels procrastination, it seems that the more we have to do the less we may feel like doing it, it becomes so much, so big, that actually doing anything is far more attractive than what we have to do. I’m a great lover of lists so I find that a great start is to do a brain dump, get everything that is in your head out and on a piece of paper to start to regain some control (there is a great free guide on Time to Motivate You page on my website which may help).
Secondly, the other major factor is that our batteries maybe flat. When was the last time you had some time for yourself? If you are feeling really flat and you don’t have the energy to really kick those tasks to touch, take some time out and do something for you that you know you would find recharging, it can work wonders! Also make sure that you commit to doing it regularly too so that you reduce the risk of it happening again.
Thirdly, commit to be disciplined! Look at your brain dump and decide what needs to be done today, allocate time for each task, then go for it! Even use a timer! Ignore the chatter in your head trying to persuade you otherwise and see it as a challenge to get whatever it is done in the time you’ve set yourself. It’s also useful to shut down all distractions (email, social media, phone etc) until you have done what you need to do.
Finally, when you’ve done what you need to do, go give yourself a reward, do something that you really enjoy. I use this style of motivator regularly, there’s nothing like having something nice to look forward to to help motivate you to get those other tasks out of the way!
Often at this time of year we find ourselves procrastinating more as the days can often be darker and gloomier, but for many it’s actually a very busy time, especially with the run up to Christmas. So this year, if you start to feel that way, have these simple steps to hand and get yourself pro-activating quickly and easily so at least you have more time to enjoy yourself!
Andrea Morrison is author of The Feel Good Factor in 30 days and is a Personal Coach & Speaker (andreamorrison.co.uk) specialising in building a more confident, balanced & motivated YOU!
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