I’m too busy to procrastinate!

Abraham Lincoln once quoted “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” Easy words to read but often hard to action

Speaking to a colleague only today about how I have certain tasks I need to accomplish but that even I was allowing procrastination to sidle in next to me and lure me away from starting.

Knowing that the task was going to be quite time-consuming yet also aware that it could be broken into parts, I still avoided that initial step thinking other jobs took priority (including a quick game of PC Solitaire!).

I recognised the signs, even so, still managed to avoid starting. Fortunately for me, having this other person to make me accountable gave me the required kick-start.

If like me, you have been putting things off or simply wish to create then stick to a new objective, here are my tips to help you get to grips and move positively forward:

Why can’t I start this? – Find the core reason that is holding you back. What problems, perceived or otherwise, are there that hinder you from getting on with it? Look at the situation, yourself, the task/project/objective and ask yourself why you keep procrastination. Dig deep and answer honestly.

“Begin with the End in Mind” (Dr. Stephen R. Covey) – Start the day as you mean to carry on. There are some great Time-Management tools that can be found on our web site that help here. Consider planning your day’s activities in advance and if you have to have a Social Media fix, set a time to do this rather than having it/them keep pinging on your device as a distraction.

Play indoor football! – Not literally but consider the ‘Goal’. Indoor has ‘Mini-Goals’ so set attainable targets that you can reach within the allotted time.

If the overall task is large, as is the one I mentioned previously for me, look to break it down into smaller parts and set time-lines to complete each. Procrastination feeds off boredom if a reachable end is out of sight.

Self-appreciation – With each completed task or segment of a larger goal, reward yourself accordingly as recognition for what you achieved. Lack of appreciation is often a main cause for procrastination so refrain from relying on others to offer it. Know that you have accomplished your set objective and reward yourself with something that’s relative to the task. One client rewarded himself with an iPad once he hit a set target but that was relevant to the order he achieved. I reward myself with a decent cup of coffee when finishing features such as this. Make the reward relevant but also meaningful.

Break the Habit – As with many other factors creating who we are, procrastination may well have now become a habit for you. Reminding yourself of the consequences that are attached to it may well be the first step to take. We all know the motivational use of carrot and stick scenario and although not PC as a tool to use, the principle is a good way of looking at what drives you. Are you tempted more by reward or reprimand? Look at the consequences of failing to reach your objective then assess what you need to do to give you the motivation to reach your goal and then you can get a ‘free time’ card to play pc games or peruse your favoured social media site.

Also, let others know so you can hold yourself accountable to someone else!

Coaching to success work towards breaking down barriers, assessing what’s ahead and planning to succeed in whatever goal their clients wish to attain. To improve your own levels of procrastination or focus, take the first step and contact Neil on 07761 187238 or email neil@coachingtosuccess.co.uk  where you’ll be assured a warm welcome to discuss how we can help.

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