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Are You Procrastinating Again?
We all do it, we set goals, create actions to take, say we are going to do something but somewhere along the way we lose sight of the what inspired us, our commitment and we don't do it. We come up with endless reasons and excuses why, we stop doing what we said we would and then later when we are fed up we start all over again. Ha ha, how fun!
I'll admit it, I've been procrastinating myself posting this blog. I've had all kinds of excuses, I'm busy taking a coaching program for myself, don't have time, it'll take so long, I'm not sure what I should write about.. blah blah blah, like my partner said to me I've spent more time thinking and worrying about it then doing it! Now that is a waste of energy.
So, Why Do We Procrastinate?
Crazy thinking (I can’t do it, now’s not a good time, it’s too hard - any excuse we can come up with so we don't have to do what we said)
Overestimating time or lack of scheduling
Lacking inspiration, not keeping your bigger vision present
Waiting to be in the right mood
Perfectionism (it's not good enough yet, worried about not doing it right)
Disorganization or lack of structure
Not honouring your commitment (doing what you say your going to do)
Not getting the support or help you need
Really; we have a lot of excuses and reasons for why we procrastinate but how do we move to productivity?
I have a simple three step process for you: Inspiration - Commitment & Brainstorming - Structure & Action
Have an inspiring vision and a goal bigger then yourself. What do you want to contribute to the world? In other words, why are you on the planet? If things become mundane and hard work, it’s likely that you’ve forgotten your inspiring vision. What's the real reason behind why you're doing what you're doing? Connect to that and have fun. You can choose to have fun with things, be intentional. Life's short, why waste time doing things if you're not going to enjoy your time doing them. Create your actions from this place. Keep your inspiring vision present for yourself with a statement by your desk, vision board, affirmation.
Commitment & Brainstorming
It's great to have an inspiring vision but you have to be committed to it to make any progress otherwise it'll just be another great idea in your wonderful imagination. Set an end goal to work backwards from, brainstorm all the things you could do, then pick a few to follow through on. I like to mind map circling and connecting ideas. Remember to tell other people what you're up to so you can stay accountable to someone.
Structure & Action
Now that you know have an inspiring vision, an end goal set, you've brainstormed actions to take and you're committed and have told others what you're up to, you need to have a structure that works for you. Those actions you brainstormed, schedule them in your day timer with the actual time you will do them. If you notice you start doing something else in that time you might want to log your distractions in a time journal. Or just be honest with yourself as to why you're doing that, if you need something for support, if you've forgotten your inspiration and then shift your focus back. You may want to join a group or something associated with your goal that helps keep you committed, like join a running club if you say you want to run three times a week.
Some Task Tips for You
1.Work backwards from a due date
2.Break tasks down into parts. Each task should have milestones, dates you should set for yourself when parts of that task will be completed. For instance, writing an article might have 5 or 6 milestones: (1) select topic; (2) research topic; (3) organize notes into a paper outline; (4) write rough draft; (5) have someone review; (6) write final draft and review. Each one of these should be noted in your calander with a due date.
3.Schedule other activities and dates (vacations, social events)
4.Start every day by working on a high priority task first
5.Keep track of time relative to your due dates
6.Keep Up-to-date From the Start
7.Keep a Daily To-Do List
Action creates results and you will take actions naturally when you are inspired and committed to your goal. If you’re not inspired then it’s no wonder you’re not taking actions! How long do you have to be inspired to go to the beach when it's sunny out? Not long because it's enjoyable and fun.
Celebrate and acknowledge your successes. It’s demotivating when we go from one task to another never reflecting on all we have accomplished and where it’s gotten us. Give yourself a pat on the back, acknowledge and celebrate all you have done in your commitment to your vision, purpose and goals.
If you need help moving through what stops you and creating your inspiring vision and a structure to fulfill on your goals I’d love to assist you.
My commitment is that you are empowered, enlivened, present to your own greatness, are able to see and create bigger possibilities for your life and what you really want and that you get profound results.
Please visit my blog here: www.authenticallyu.ca/index.php/blog/entry/are-you-procrastinating-again
© Copyright 2014 by Christa Stubbington, therapist in Vancouver, British Columbia. All rights reserved.