So many of my patients, prior to seeing me, have a hard time getting started with projects and getting things done. They do everything but what they need to be doing. They go shopping instead of cleaning their house. They socialize instead of finishing a work project, or they call friends instead of looking for a new job. They essentially avoid that which they deem to be uncomfortable. It's an adaptive response to stress, anxiety, and fear. The problem with this tactic is, by putting off an important task, it ultimately leads to more stress, more anxiety, and greater fear. This procrastination can lead to feelings of guilt, inadequacy, and depression -- all of which can kill motivation and perpetuate the unproductive cycle. Poor time management, feeling overwhelmed, unrealistic standards or plain laziness are just a few possible reasons for procrastination.
Here's How to Kick It in the Butt:
- Understand your motivation. Are you the type of person motivated towards things that are positive? For example, you work really hard knowing there's a bonus at the end of the quarter. Or are you a slacker sitting on your rear until your boss comes around and threatens to fire you, only then making your move to avoid the negative?
- Whichever the case, use it to your advantage. Think about the amount of stress that's been caused by putting things off and how much frustration will be caused if you continue not to take action. Imagine how good you'll feel once you finally do act. Compare the cost of taking action to not taking it at all. This will motivate you in the right direction.
- Set goals that are fueled by passion and represent what you truly want. Break the larger goals into smaller ones and make certain they're realistic. Then write down a reasonable plan with a deadline and reward yourself for each accomplishment.
- Change your language. Avoid phrases such as "I can't" and "I have to" and replace them with results-oriented language such as "I will do this now" and "I choose to do this."
- Still procrastinating? Try this: Draw a line down the middle of a page. On the left side list how life will be different in one year should you accomplish your goals and on the right how it will be in one year having not accomplished your goals. Both will yield powerful information that will drive you forward.
For more fearless butt-kicking tips check out my book BE FEARLESS: Change Your Life in 28 Days.
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