Procrastination. It’s the way we all become escape artists, like the great Houdini.
We delay. We make excuses. We justify. We get distracted. We allow fear to dictate our lives. There are an unlimited number of ways that we can put off or avoid doing something we don’t want to do. Even this blog post is me procrastinating because I had planned to workout during this particular time slot.
I don’t know if any of you are like this too, but, I used to whine and complain that my life wasn’t how I wanted it to be. I would constantly be feeling sorry for myself, poor l’il ol’ me, and all that sort of thing. That is, until I realised that my life was the way it was because that’s how I shaped it to be.
So I stopped the pity party. Stopped playing the victim waiting to be rescued. Stopped existing with my head buried. Stopped spending so much time planning and imagining and started DOING more.
If something in our life isn’t what we want it to be we can either choose to do something to improve it or we can choose to do nothing and let it continue. Either way, it’s our choice. Waiting around, hoping it’s just going to go away, usually doesn’t work.
There are of course things that don’t serve us and we need to quit beating ourselves up about not doing them, just let them go, and move on.
But, for the things that we decide are worth fighting for, how do we reduce procrastination? The short answer, Decide to act! Keeping in mind that not everything has to be revolutionized all at once. Baby steps are perfectly acceptable and even worth celebrating; also, that set backs will happen but they are not cause to give up.
Sometimes it helps to break stuff down into bite-size pieces. I try not to plan my whole life in one shot, because it paralyses me. For example, I don’t use statements like “from now on I’m going to…” or “no more…”. Instead I say “today/this week I will…” or “for now…”. It’s less intimidating for me and easier to move forward on. One day, plus one day, plus one day…it adds up to a week. One week, plus one week, plus one week…adds up to a month, a year, a decade. Soon you find that “from now on” has been achieved one day/week/month/year at a time. As long as you’re DOING something about it, on a regular, fairly consistent, basis.
I also noticed that it’s easier to do things if I don’t give myself the chance to think about it first. When I think about it, that opens up the opportunity to talk myself out of it. For those of you who remember “Participaction” they had a slogan that went “Don’t just think about it, do it, do it, do it!”. I would take it one step further and say that once you’ve made your plan of action, “Don’t think about it, do it, do it, do it!”. Don’t sit there moaning and groaning and dreading, just get up and do it. Start small, if you must, but start.
The other thing that helps is to reframe how you view something. It’s natural to want to avoid something negative, so, if possible put a positive spin on it. Have a visual reminder of the outcome you’re working towards. Give your “suffering” a purpose. Find a way to make it fun, if at all possible. For example, working out with a friend.
OR you can delegate the task to someone else! Pay someone like BrAVA Services to get the task done for you. Or barter with someone.
Bottom line…Decide. Do it. Don’t quit till you get there. You know the old saying “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Now, if you’ll all excuse me, I have a date with a yoga mat.