JUNE 20, 2017 by Aimee
7 Mindful Steps to Over-coming Procrastination
When Building Your Business
Procrastination is when you put off doing something you absolutely know you should be doing, for no apparent reason at all. However, it’s my experience that when people procrastinate it’s because they’re either incompetent at fulfilling the task requirements, or they lack confidence, or both. Procrastination can be a clear sign you’re feeling over-whelmed, and can paralyse you from moving forward in your business.
You can come up with all sorts of procrastination excuses, and find many procrastination activities of which will keep you from getting focussed and getting to the heart of what’s really causing you to procrastinate and hold yourself back. There’s always a mind-set reason for this, usually one which you’re not initially aware of. Once you can become aware of the procrastination, and the true cause behind it, you can regain your focus and take steps to move forward from what you’ve been procrastinating from in the first place.
To help you do these, follow these 7 simple mindful steps to get you taking action and moving forward to beat procrastination for good, so you are free to excel in your business and personal life.
Make a list of all your tasks putting the most important at the top. Then give them a grade from easiest too hardest. Getting all your to tasks out of your head and on to the paper makes things feel less over-whelming as you can see them more clearly. Once you’ve graded them, you can plan them in a time management way. For example, if you only have 30 minutes and low energy, choose something that’s relatively easy to knock off your list for that moment, and plan for the larger items at a time where you know you’ll have the time and focus to dedicate to them.
Practice self-awareness. This is so important for every day happy living, but particularly when trying to see when and why you’re procrastinating. Ask yourself if you’re procrastinating and if so why? Be open to the possibility of self-sabotage through procrastination. Make sure to do so in a non-judgemental way, as when you judge yourself, your confidence and self-esteem will really drop and make you less enthused and less inclined to then start or complete the task which you’ve been avoiding. It’s a chicken and egg scenario. Don’t beat yourself up, instead be aware of your fears, and insecurities around the task and take little steps to overcome them.
Look for your excuses and have courage to see them as just that. A really helpful way to start that exploration and conversation with yourself is through journaling.
We all make excuses and try to convince ourselves that it’s not our fault, that all external factors are to blame. This is rarely true, and in fact the only person who ever really hold you back is you. Get to know your excuse story, and give it a little rewrite!
Use kind and encouraging words to help you overcome doubts and fears which are causing you to procrastinate. Judging yourself harshly, and beating yourself up will just exhaust you, leaving you trapped in a toxic vicious cycle. Remind yourself you’re human and imperfect and that’s ok.
Once you have completed a task, ride the wave of good feeling and keep that momentum going, moving on to the next task while you’re still feeling positive and driven. Make sure not to take a break at this point as you may not come back to it as the momentum will be lost. Keep focused, keep going with the achieving feel good flow!
Make sure to tick your items of your list so you can see your achievements clearly. It’s a fantastic motivator when you see and feel like you’re actually getting somewhere, so having a visual aid to help keep you focused is essential.
Make space at the end of your day for a reflective practice to review what’s working well, how far you’ve come, and also to assess what changes may need to happen. Remember procrastination comes from fears and insecurities, and these can pop up at any time so keeping a solid reflective practice can help you keep that internal conversation going. It’s also good on a practical side to just keep laying out your plan and goals, as life is forever throwing out curve balls to keep you on your toes.
Using these 7 steps will help you recognise your procrastinating behaviours, and take inspired action to move past them steadily and slowly. However, it’s so important to remember great, deep lasting change really doesn’t happen overnight, therefore have patience with yourself, be kind, and accepting, letting go of judgment and harsh criticism. But also remember to recognise that sometimes procrastination is sneaky and gives you all sorts of excuses to keep you imprisoned as its companion. So be brave, have the courage to always be open and be honest with yourself. From here you’ll find great strength and stop beating yourself up, leaving you more energised and confident to tackle those procrastinating behaviours and seemingly impossible tasks.