Are you a procrastinator? I will admit I know I am. Sometimes I have no idea why I don’t want to do something, but I will put it off for days. Ugh.
If you are anything like me, you do have a tendency to put things off … and then … even though you beat yourself up for waiting until the last minute over and over again … you keep doing it. I mean how far in advance did you know you were going on vacation? I am pretty sure you had at least a week or two notice. Yet, did you pack the day before or maybe even the day of your flight? Or have you ever had to get an extension on your taxes because somehow you didn’t find the time within the entire year to give them to your accountant to get them done?
We keep doing these things to ourselves over and over again. Yet, if you are ready to finally beat procrastination, then let’s get your into the game and start building some anti-procrastination muscles … shall we?
The intention with the challenge is that over the course of one week, that’s seven days, I plan on sharing with you some of my best strategies for overcoming procrastination. Until I started using them, I put way more off than I do now. While I am not perfect … more things are getting done in my life now than ever before. So I am sharing these with you because why keep a good thing secret … am I right?
So, let’s get started.
Over the course of seven blog posts, I’m going to share strategies for overcoming procrastination with you, and today we are going to start in an unexpected place … Forgiveness. I know it seems like a strange place to start, but it really is an important first step. Consider these reasons why forgiving yourself for procrastination should always be the first step, then make a decision for yourself. Just don’t put it off. 😉
Here’s the thing. There’s nothing you can do about the past, except perhaps learn from it. Beating yourself up about not following the potentially unrealistic plan you made for reaching a more than likely improperly formed goal does you no good. In fact, it does quite the opposite. If you stress yourself out and engage in negative self-talk, you make it worse. Those feelings of anxiety will reinforce your habit of procrastinating – and you will more than likely just do it again the next time.
Consider this the next time you find yourself procrastinating, tell yourself that it’s okay. It’s not the end of the world. Say it out loud and then promise yourself you will try to do better next time. Trying is an important keyword here. You’re working on mastering new skills and changing a long-ingrained habit. Changing habits takes practice, time, and of course failing again and again. Failing, or as I like to call it feedback, is part of the learning process.
I get it, you may feel frustrated at times about your lack of progress. However, that is normal. If you can, tap into that frustration and use it to motivate you. Vow to try again and do better. Look at your mistakes. What caused you to procrastinate this time? Learn from it and you will start to do better. Very often change work starts with awareness. That may be where you are right now. You might first have to learn to be aware of what triggers you to procrastinate. If you still procrastinate, but you now have learned what triggers it – you are moved a step closer to ending the cycle.
Maybe there’s a big task and you started strong, chipping away at it a little at a time. Then you missed a day and another. That’s okay. Not great, but okay. You did well for a while. It’s good practice and maybe this particular experience taught you that you can’t allow yourself to skip more than one day on an ongoing project. So first you learned to be aware, then you got some momentum and hit an obstacle. The good news is now you know the trigger and you know a least one ineffective strategy for staying on task. You can now avoid that particular strategy and work to see if you can find one that is more effective.
There’s always something new to learn whenever we fail, it’s all feedback after all, at something or we slip back into a bad habit. At the very least we are able to figure out that something isn’t working for us. Maybe you do better with three or fewer to-dos per day. Maybe you need twenty-five so there’s always something to check off. You won’t know until you try.
All of this is to say, start with forgiveness. First, you forgive yourself for procrastinating so you can move on and practice some more. Once you forgive yourself you can.
If you feel you need more support than just the 7 Day challenge, set up a free call to let me help you find the most effective strategies to help you stop procrastinating. You can book a call here: https://calendly.com/jackieschwabe/coachsession
If you missed the opt-in for the challenge you can find it here: https://bit.ly/7DayProcrastinationChallenge
If you missed the welcome video you can find it here: https://youtu.be/3A3WIcPcRb4