Stop Procrastinating

I have noticed a theme over the past couple of weeks.  It has shown up in coaching calls with clients.  I have also seen this in myself.

The prevailing emotion around this seems to be frustration with a bit of worry (maybe this is just the way I am…).

What is the theme?  Not completing tasks & projects.

Yes, it seems that many of us will begin the [fill-in-the-blank] and then we tend to drift away.  This looks like not having time to work on it which is my excuse wrapped up as a reason.  After a couple of weeks of putting it on my priority list I don’t get to it and then “out of sight out of mind”, except – not really.

In my clients I hear – “I am going to do that today” and “I will do it after…”

This challenge is real & I don’t think that I am alone in the forest of many ideas with a habit of lagging implementation.

What to do…

  • First, acknowledge that this is our habit (awareness is the first step to change).
  • When I notice a specific task, project, or goal that I have been procrastinating on I ask myself…
    • What is the gain I will enjoy upon completion of this?
    • What is it costing me to not complete it?

Occasionally, after answering these questions I realize the goal/task/project can be set aside or removed from my plan.

  • When the answer to the questions confirms the value & relevance to my success, I make the decision to interrupt my pattern of procrastination. I don’t allow myself to spend much time on this step.  I am naturally a planner, so it is easy to spend time here analyzing which becomes a different form of procrastination!  My two questions –
    • Who can help me? Sometimes my procrastination is a lack of skill in this area and asking for help gets me moving.
    • What is the next small step I am willing to commit to doing? This strategy works well when the item feels big and/or complex.  I recently used this approach when switching to a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM).  I decided to begin by setting up my calendar and appointment system.  This felt doable and it was.  I paused to celebrate my success and then chose the next small step.

These strategies have proved effective for me to interrupt procrastination.

My next step is to shift to a more proactive strategy – preventing procrastination!  I will share what I am doing now to stop procrastination (most of it anyway).

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