10 Steps to Beat Procrastination & Feel Good About yourself
Everyone procrastinates to one degree or another but you can beat procrastination…
What you may not realize is that as outstanding tasks mount, you can become resigned, depressed and inactive, BUT it doesn’t have to be this way. Use these 10 easy steps and finally get relief from procrastination.
1. What are you afraid of?
Believe it or not procrastination is almost always based on some kind of fear.
Start by asking yourself the following questions
What could I be afraid of?
Am I afraid I’m just not good enough?
What would success in this endeavor mean to me?
Am I afraid that succeeding will just cause me more work to do, or more to live up to?
Make the fear conscious
By becoming conscious of the fear it no longer has the power to control you. Once you take a closer look you can decide if it’s based on reality or imagination. In either case you now have the power to deal directly with the fear itself. You can beat the fear and therefore beat procrastination with information and awareness.
Deepak Chopra says:
“Awareness isn’t passive. It leads directly to action”.
2. Determine what your excuses sound like and write them down.
“I’m too broke”
“I’m too tired”
“I’m too sick”
“I’m too inexperienced”
“I’m too old”
“I’m too young”
“I’m too scared”
It’s very important to be aware of the words you use after the powerful “I AM”. Wayne Dyer has written an entire book on how to consciously use the words “I AM” to powerhouse your manifestations. http://www.drwaynedyer.com/blog/the-power-of-i-am. The king of affirmations, R. J. Banks has devoted his life to empowering others with his “I AM” audio programs. http://www.loaaffirmations.com It’s to your benefit to really understand how important it is to be conscious of the words you put after the “I AM”, because of the creative power of the words themselves.
The simple act of unearthing and seeing on paper the words you’ve been saying to yourself can be enough to change your thinking. Shining the light of consciousness on your thought process makes it clear why and how you’ve been manifesting or creating your life thus far and can help you take responsibility. Now you have the power to re think those disempowering thoughts and change them. Now you have the power to beat procrastination.
3. Write a list of everything you’re procrastinating about
- Cleaning out my closet
- Preparing that report
- Sending a thank you note to Aunt Betsey
- Getting the car washed
Getting your to do list out of your mind and onto paper takes a heavy weight off your shoulders. This simple act is a proactive move toward getting something done and enough to begin feeling better about yourself. It’s now on paper and not simply rolling around in your mind and energy field and that takes some of the pressure off and helps to beat procrastination.
4. Prioritize your list starting with the most time sensitive.
Get my tax information to the accountant – A1 priority
Send mom her birthday card- A1 priority
Fix the roof- A1 priority
Clear out the garage – B2 priority
5. Use your imagination to beat procrastination
This is a sneaky way to get yourself to use the extremely motivating force of fear to beat procrastination and it’s VERY effective.
Pick the first thing on your to do list and spend a few minutes imagining how you’ll feel next month if you still haven’t completed this task. Now project the picture and the feeling into a year from now, and then 5 years from now. Imagine what the effects of that look like. Will your health or well-being be compromised? How will it affect other people in your life and your future in general? Expand on that with color, sound and feeling. You can learn this technique of visualizing the outcome of your procrastination quite simply. Check out my Happiness Teachings post, Creative Visualization – A guide and sign up for my Visualization E book to get you started.
6. Visualize success to beat procrastination
Take one thing from your to do’s and make a list of the benefits of completing the task. Even a tiny benefit feels better than the undone task does.
“I’ll be saving money because I won’t be writing a check to the government as a penalty for a late tax payment.”
Close your eyes, breathe deeply into your belly and take a journey into your imagination. First try and see yourself standing proudly knowing you’ve completed the task. Notice how that feels both physically and emotionally. (Refer to my visualization book or guide) For example do you feel lighter, proud, freer, accomplished, confident, relieved? Just find the feeling and enjoy it as if the task has been completed.
Beat procrastination at home!
Now, see what the completed task looks like. If it’s a clean kitchen see your kitchen sparkling, dishes put away, stove top clean as a whistle, everything bright, shiny and spotless. Do the same thing for any type of housekeeping. You can even bring in the smell of something fresh like lemon or pine to add to your visualization.
Beat procrastination at work!
If it’s completing a task at your job or work try seeing yourself handing the finished report to your boss, or putting it up on the web, or publishing it out as your blog. Adding feeling to this is very important. The more you practice this the more you can add the feeling of accomplishment you’ll have when you cross the last T on that report. You’ll experience feeling lighter and freer as you see that clean desk instead of a stack papers, or opening your desk drawer and seeing neat, organized supplies and paperwork.
Beat procrastination over your health!
If it’s starting that exercise program first see yourself at the end point. You’re physically fit and feeling good. Imagine how that feels and how you look in new form fitting clothes, or how your blood pressure and cholesterol levels have gone into the healthy range. Notice the look on your doctor’s face as he reads your results and compliments you on your new found health. Imagine how that feels.
7. Break the items on your to do list into small manageable size chunks
Now that you’ve gotten the feeling of the task being done make a list of bite size chunks that will get you to the end point. For example if it’s starting an exercise program, don’t write down, run three miles a day and do weight training 5 days a week. Write something like, walk/run three blocks away from my starting point and three blocks back. Every week I’ll add another block, run a little more and walk a little less until I build up to the three miles. When I get home I will do some light stretching and work with my hand held weights for 10 minutes. Each week I will add heaver weights and another 5 minutes to my routine until I’m at 30 minutes 3 times a week.
For home organization, instead of, tomorrow I’m going to clean out my entire closet, change that to, tomorrow I will go through my shoes and donate those that I’m no longer wearing. Then the following day or week I’ll go through my shirts and do the same thing, etc until the closet has been entirely gone through and reorganized.
8. Do the first manageable size chunk.
Go ahead. Look at the bite size chunk you’ve just determined and DO IT. Don’t think about it. Just do it. If you’re once again procrastinating about doing the one tiny thing go back to your visualization. This time see yourself having finished this one bite size chunk. See it, feel it, smell it. (Refer to my visualization book or read my Creative Visualization Guide)
9. Feel your success
Spend some time feeling good about what you’ve just accomplished no matter how small you may think it is. Appreciate yourself for getting the first step done. Stand in front of the mirror and congratulate yourself. Yes, I know you’ll feel silly and that’s good. Laugh and make it fun. Reach around and actually pat yourself on the back. Call a supportive friend and tell them how good you feel having accomplished that small step. It’s very important to reward yourself with each small success because feeling good about yourself gives you the confidence and the energy to be more proactive and finally beat procrastination.
10. Observe your thoughts and words
You have the power to motivate yourself or cause yourself to feel so disheartened it can paralyze you. You’re either your own best friend or most feared enemy and it’s most important to observe your words, thoughts and beliefs in order to delete the disempowering ones and enhance the positive. Read, The Inner Observer
Here’s a picture and quote from one of my favorite philosophers.
Follow my ten steps and you CAN beat procrastination!