I’m not entirely sure how it started, maybe it always existed, but humans seem to be the best procrastinators out there. I mean, the animal kingdom doesn’t put off until tomorrow and all that because they would starve. They don’t say, I’ll get to that after this next video, because they would in all likelihood face being eaten if they did. So, humans, acting all smart and greater than thou actually have less going for us the more we delay whatever is on the ta da list.
I’d be willing to bet that when we were responsible for procuring all of our food and shelter that there wasn’t a lot of natural procrastination built in. Again; survival. Now maybe Because we followed the cycle of the Seasons in the Sun, the rest periods were built in and we didn’t need to create a procrastinative process. Whatever the cause, we can all be afflicted with it. I, myself, am a brilliant procrastinator when the people I follow on YouTube have uploaded a new video or House Hunters International has released a new season. Which seems to be every other day So they are definitely not helping my cause.
True taking a look at my own habits and working with thousands of clients over the years I have come to find a common denominator which is, procrastination happens when there’s no plan. It can be rather easy to Simply float and Flash or avoid what needs to be done if we’re not clear on what the objective is, if we have the skills to pull it off, and if it’s really in alignment with what we want.
Here are some of the ways I have found to be effective for myself and for others. We are all individual and therefore having a few different ways of approaching procrastination can help to bring whatever it is we want or need to do into fruition.
Create your plan Stan! Literally sit down with a pad of paper and a pen and write out what’s your objective is, what is the time frame in which it needs to be completed, and what is the first step to be taken. Don’t get too far ahead of yourself. Simply identify what the first step is to be.
Ask yourself if there are any blocks emotional or otherwise that may be in place to creating and taking that first step. Do you have any belief systems that are acting as the parking brake and not allowing you to move forward. If you do, address them. Most of our beliefs aren’t as difficult to deal with once they are brought to light.
Get your calendar out! Whether you use a paper calendar, digital one on your phone or one attached to your email system, block out the time to address the first part of your goal. Once you’ve decided on a Time 2 meet with yourself, put in a few more blocks during the week. I have found that if there’s not a commitment it is way too easy to go through the week in Wonder at the end of it what happened to all the time.
Tell someone else that you have planned to address whatever it is be it, the laundry pile, answering your emails, getting all those blogs written you said you would do 4 months now (this one might be mine!) or reaching out to the influencers who could help you grow your platform. Oh, that one might be mine too. Would you look at that? And accountability buddy is incredibly important. It can be someone that you hire as a coach or a good friend who is willing to check in with you to see how it’s going. (Thank you Kelly. I’ll be calling you soon.)
Sometimes the way to approach procrastination is to use a phrase such as “drag your arse!” or something equally as motivating. I am all for using inspiration to help us honor the commitment we made to our soul and our personal cells, however, there are times a good ole boot in the butt is necessary and effective. I use this just two nights ago when there was a fitness test at the gym that I was required to participate in and there was an option to do it later in the week as well. I was tired after a full day of sessions and thought “ I’ll just stay in and go do it another day.” luckily, I am well versed Andy Vicky, drag your arse conversation. I ask myself which would feel better , completing the test on the night it was scheduled to be done or thinking about it for a couple more days and still having to fit it in my schedule somewhere when my evening was already blocked for the test. That conversation alone allowed me to get up, get dressed, get to the gym and kick butt on the test. Honestly, sometimes we just have to act like it is about our survival and then we do it and then we can celebrate.
These are some pretty simple ways to approach the habit of procrastination because it is a habit. And just like any other habit, once you look at all the layers and you decide that you would like something different in your life, things begin to shift and the rewards will be evident.