Sometimes it even feels good. Many of us wait until the very last minute before we do something, and find major motivation knowing that it is now or never. (I did a whole Bachelor’s Degree this way – not that I recommend that.)
But it can also cause major problems in our business and other parts of our life. It can affect our mood and state of mind by generating worry, fear, or added stress.
Here are 7 things you can do to challenge your procrastination head on, and help you get those things you are avoiding, done.
1. Put it in writing
Write down everything that you are stressing about – everything. The work things, but also the home things and personal ones too. While they are all jumbled in your brain, you add them all to the pile, called – this is too hard, I can’t do it. This makes procrastination seem like a good idea.
2. Break it down
Now that you have all the things that you need to get done down on paper, it is time to look and see which ones are bugging you. It could be as simple as a health test that you are worried about, but you feel that you need to keep working and don’t have the time to do the test. Or maybe it is a tech question that you don’t know, and it requires you to phone up and get expert help. I know that getting the bookkeeping done is something that stresses me out each year at this time. I keep meaning to do some each week, but somehow I didn’t, and now I have nearly 12 months to do!! Sometimes it is worth hiring a professional. This is their area of expertise and can get the work done so much faster than you can and they might even have some ideas that will help you. If that is not an option, then break the job down into doable sections. Maybe 1 hour of bookkeeping each day for the next week. Or if writing a blog weekly is an issue for you then writing down 52 blog topics in one go, so that each week all you have to do is choose from the list, and this might help take away the stress.
3. Name your feelings
Procrastination is an emotional reaction and one of the three core emotions drives it. Which one is yours?
Fear – fear, that you won’t get the job done well enough, that you might make a mistake on the tax form, that someone will judge your website, or your Facebook live.
Anger – anger that you have to do something that you don’t want to do. You feel that you are being made to do something that you don’t like and why should you do it anyway.
Sadness – sadness because you feel that you are not good enough, that you will mess up and get it wrong, or you are doing things you don’t want to be doing.
4. Release the emotion
Fear, anger or sadness or any other emotion, are sensations getting stuck in the body. If they are not expressed and released constructively they build up in the body and cause physical symptoms or can be released in a non-constructive way, like losing your temper, yelling, being aggressive or making poor decisions, from messing up the next thing you do in your business, or eating too much chocolate, or drinking too much wine.
The quickest and easiest way to release emotions is using EFT Tapping. Tap on the feeling and then on the thoughts behind it. Sometimes there can be so much emotion around that it is good to get the energy out in other ways, and there are lots of other ways, like punching pillows, yelling or screaming when no-one is around, doing exercise, shaking your whole body and these are all good ideas. But I find that using EFT works so well and so quickly that it is possible that you will not need any other actions. Let’s tap away the feeling and the thinking that goes on behind the emotion.
5. Tap away the negative thinking
There are always thoughts behind the emotions. For example, if you are angry that you have to do something that you do not want to do, what are the thoughts behind that? Who is making you do it, why do you feel that you have to do it, why is this important? Keep looking for the thoughts behind the feelings. Tap on all the thoughts that come up, all the memories of what people have said to you in times past, right back to school days, and even earlier if you can remember. The times people have said that you will not be able to do something, that you are not good enough, that you can’t do numbers or write. Tap away all those thoughts, and the feelings that come up.
6. Notice the resistance when it crops up
OK, it is time to start the project that you have been putting off. When you do, it is possible that more thoughts and feelings will crop up. Go through the above steps again to clear the blockages and the negative energy, and get the job done.
I heard of one woman who had been avoided doing her tax return. All the negative thoughts about how hard it will be, how she is not smart enough to do it, that she is not good with numbers, that her ex-husband had never thought she could. So many reasons why it was not possible. She finally sat down to do it…… it took 15 mins and was a breeze!!!!
7. Enjoy the win
Time to celebrate. Celebrate each step. Pat yourself on the back. Enjoy ticking things off your list, enjoy the feeling of conquering your fears. Congratulations. Procrastination be gone.