How to Stop Procrastination in its Tracks

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Contrary to popular belief, procrastination isn’t the domain of lazy people. It’s very often a fear based response that rears its ugly head when you’re about to take some sort of action that will move you out of a comfort zone. 

Comfort zones are one of life’s greatest paradoxes; you’ll likely feel fed up and stuck when you’re in one, but the thought of taking a big step or risk or creating the necessary change to get out of one fills you with paralysing terror.

And so, you remain stuck, procrastinating and playing it safe.

From one procrastinator to another, I fully understand what it’s like to be torn between the desire to make a change and the uncertainty of what might happen when the change occurs. I coach people on this regularly and I’ve done a huge amount of my own inner work to both understand and overcome the inertia and frustration procrastination brings.

Here are a few ways you can get a handle on your own personal style of putting things off:

Get clear on how procrastination shows up for you:

Everyone is different and the art of ‘not doing what you know you should be doing’ will arrive in a form that’s unique to you. What do you do when you procrastinate? I have a tendency to fidget, get up, wander around, think about a drawer that needs to be tidied or decide that I need to make a hot drink for the bajillionth time in an hour.

Often the act of procrastinating is not a conscious choice, it’s a habit. When you can recognise that you’re in the midst of being distracted, you can pull up the handbrake on the behaviour. To go back to my tendency to make drinks rather than do actual work, I’ll notice I’m wanting to get up and wander to the kettle and instead of being pulled by the prospect of tea right now, I’ll complete the task I’m working on and then go and make a drink. 

Take an inventory of what your procrastination costs you:

A lack of action comes at a cost. What does your inaction cost you? This might be a monetary cost, for example if instead of taking 3 hours to reach out to clients with a new offer your procrastination leads you to a Netflix binge, you’re missing out on income. Or perhaps you want out of a relationship, but you keep putting off the difficult conversation that will start the ball rolling. In which case, you’re wasting your precious time when you could be moving on towards a life that attracts in the person of your dreams.

The action you take now determines where you’ll be in 6 months time. Read that again.

Reframe your past ‘failures’

Fear of failure, rejection, humiliation and criticism can all fuel a procrastination habit, understandably so. But, there is always an opportunity to learn from ‘failure’ and when you can reframe it and get the learning, you’ll know how to do better next time. 

My first marriage failed, in that it ended in divorce. I take full responsibility for my part in the relationship’s downfall in that I didn’t effectively communicate my needs or expectations. Not surprisingly husband #1 was not a mind reader and failed to meet my expectations so I called time on the marriage (in a nutshell). In order to not repeat the same mistake again, I have made communication a priority in my second marriage. So far, so good.

Decide what you want out of your life, business or career

If you don’t know what you want, or which direction you wish to go in, you’’ll never make progress. Action is easier if you have a clearly defined goal to work towards. The trick to taking action, even when the going gets tough, is to make sure you have a clear ‘why’ behind your goals. What motivates you? Why does your goal matter? How will life change when you achieve your goal? Make your goals meaningful and you’ll have a bigger reason to take action than to procrastinate.

If what I’ve shared here has resonated, I’d like to invite you to take your procrastination hacking to the next level by watching my FREE online workshop: 4 Signature Move to Stop Procrastination in its Tracks. I take what I’ve shared here to the next level so you can fast track your progress.

Access the FREE procrastination busting workshop here.

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I'm a coach, creative, mentor & photographer with over 18 years of experience as a successful entrepreneur.

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