5 Tips to stop procrastinating
I wanted to write something like this for a good while but I kept putting it off (haha) It was a long finger post – but there are ways to keep things within our reach and not on the long finger.
We can all put things off from time to time and that’s fine. But what about when you actually start to call yourself bad names or even worse start to believe that you are lazy. We all have gifts to share and things that we want to put out into the world in order to live more fulfilled and contented lives. But sometimes motivation doesn’t just come knocking on the door.
What are you constantly putting off? is it calling a friend back? Exercising? Eating healthier? What is it that always gets left by the wayside?
Is that thing that you are putting off in line with your values? Is it important to your legacy? Is it finishing a project or writing a book, or asking some questions in order to get to some conclusions that will add to your life.
Whatever it is, if it is important then what is stopping you? More often than not – what stops most people and the majority of my clients is the thoughts around the thing that they really want to do. These thoughts come from our belief systems. I had a conversation with a client this morning about being in pursuit of contentment and do we sometimes like being miserable? Do we relish in it. For example if health is something that you are putting off and doing fruitful things to help with your health (but no one actually knows about it) is it actually worth your while doing it at all? Is that why we reach for the bottle of wine and the chocolate and say that ‘We will start on Monday’ because a goal that is not shared is a little like screaming into an empty forest. It wont be heard and wont get anyone’s attention.
The interesting thing about working with a coach is that the coach has your back and knows through you and by working with you what is in turn congruent with your values and beliefs. So if you are accountable to your coach, you are more than likely not going to procrastinate as it will be too costly.
My point is that we need to be in pursuit of something most of the time, be it a new job, a new project, a new partner, a new home, new self belief system etc. Once we are in pursuit of that then there will ALWAYS be an anti climax when we get there because our expectations are too high. If you are putting something off and you don’t really know why, then these steps can help.
Many of the individuals that I work with spend the majority of their time wanting something else and because they have a coach there, they want to share this want and need so that the coach can help them bring it to fruition – with distinct and deliberate attention of focus – and by helping them come to the realization that by NOT doing it, their goal is becoming further and further away and also that the deliberate attention to focus will bring its own discoveries because the person is in such a receptive mode that they will be open to new possibilities and this is why when they achieve the said goal, they wont experience an anti-climax because the journey has been so eye -opening.
These 5 ways are a way to ensure that you are doing what you say you are going to do that is inline with what is important and connecting with meaning of what you say whilst also saying what you mean.
- Get up when you wake
I am not talking about 6am starts that are unsustainable but more about get up when you wake up, lying on can make the day stretch on ahead and fill you with worry, dread and fear. When you wake, regardless of what time it is- make a point to sit up and stretch. Take in a big deep breath and be grateful for your sleep. Take the morning moment by moment.
- Even when you can’t be bothered – Do it anyway
The minute that you find a reason not to do something, quickly check yourself and tell yourself that you will do it for 5 minutes. You will get engrossed in the act that you are less likely to want to stop. Regardless of what it is just start, that is all you need to do. It doesn’t have to be perfect and it doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. Any imperfect action will give you the momentum that you need to keep at it. By telling yourself to do it for 5 minutes you are committing to it for a small amount of time and being sceptical of your thoughts that try to talk you out of it. This will create a habit that you can strengthen over time.
- Create new approaches
By creating new approaches to the thing that you are putting off or that you don’t want to do can be paramount to success. If it’s a healthier way of life, then do healthy food shopping and remove the unhealthy, processed foods from your home. If its hanging shelves, think about what you will put on those shelves so that they bring you more joy – be it cookery books or notepads. If its calling a friend back after avoiding them, don’t overthink it, just call and come as you are on the phone with no worries or guilt, you can say that you didn’t get around to calling them back and that its great to be chatting now. If its running that you want to take up again, buy yourself some nice new running pants, or download a new podcast to create more motivation about going because your curiosity will increase and you can get engrossed in the material that you are listening to and not focus so much on the dreaded length of your run, you can just go. Prepare your clothes the night before so that all you need to do is get dressed and go out the door. Or better yet – go to sleep in your running gear (I know a friend that used to do this) and it always worked for him. So that you have less excuses.
- Question your excuses
When an excuse comes in treat it like a bold child that is trying to break your balls. So, when the excuse comes in – for instance; you cant, not right now, now is not the right time changed to I can’t, I don’t want to – ask yourself what you are doing instead? Will it take a long time to do? Can you just do it for a little bit. Try to write it down, the excuse on the left and what you would rather on the right. Try my more or less technique to give you some structure to your days. This gives you an outline of what you want more of in your days – more cooking, communication, self care etc and the less side of it is the things that you want less of day to day for example: alcohol, negativity, toxic people. The excuses come in to protect us and keep us safe because WE HAVE A RATIONAL brain. So we must be sceptical to say !no, not right now – I am doing this and I am breaking this bad habit’
- Keep an ideas journal or a voice memo log on your phone
A journal is a great way to log and jot down feelings and emotions and its good for bringing you into the moment. Writing down your plans and goals using the Grow technique or the smart filter can be great for this. Grow is the overall goal, the R is for the REALITY, O is for your options – how you intend to do it, and W is for Will do – commit to action at the end. If you want a free grow model simply email me. If you want to sue the smart filter it is a goal that is SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE – how will you measure it. Achievable – how achievable is it for you with your knowledge, experience and resources available. R is Realistic – how realistic is it? T is for timely – what is the timeframe for the overall goal. The voice memo is a great way to hammer out ideas that are just for you to hear. Some people that I coach just say out loud to themselves what they plan on doing that day and why they are going to do it. This gets them to be vocal about your intentions and in turn helps you to live with intention. The journal is a safe place to keep your ideas and desires and note what you feel like when you don’t do something that you really want to do. Be your own boss, by noting the things that you want and how you might achieve them using the goal tools.
Try to stop focusing on the end goal and the end result and just try to enjoy the journey!
If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you will always get what you always got.