Procrastination makes easy things hard, hard things harder. ~ Mason Cooley
Procrastination just doesn’t feel good. Period. Right now, just think about something you’re avoiding doing. How does it feel when you think about what you’re not doing. If you’re like most of us, thinking about what you’re not doing, but should be doing, can trigger feelings of guilt, anxiety, and lots of self-judgement. Problem is, when you get mired all those negative feelings, it’s difficult to get anything done!
What’s important is getting clear about the reason why you’re procrastinating in the first place. Is it because you’re afraid of the outcome? Or that it’s too hard? Too complicated? Are you afraid of making a mistake? Are you afraid that you won’t succeed? Or that you will succeed?
Most times, fear and uncertainty are underlying ingredients of procrastination. We avoid what we don’t know, what feels uncomfortable or scary.
So get clear. Get clear about what you’re avoiding doing. Get clear about the feelings that get triggered because you are procrastinating. And, get clear about the feelings you are trying to avoid by procrastinating.
Here are some suggestions to help you move forward:
Focus on the benefits of doing the thing you’re avoiding. What would happen if you did it? How good would you feel? What else could you do as a result of taking this first step? Set your imagination free and imagine all of the good-feeling benefits you’ll experience once you take action.
Start Small. – One reason we procrastinate is that we tend to look at the subject of our procrastination as if it’s a great big scary monster. It looks too hard, too complicated, too overwhelming, too impossible to tackle. So, to counter this tendency, look instead at the one small step you can take in the direction you’ve been avoiding. One small step, and then another and another, keeps you moving forward. That’s all it takes.
Enrich Your Environment — Sometimes we procrastinate because we dread the experience of the task we’re avoiding. For example, you might dread paying the bills, doing your taxes, writing a report, doing household chores, etc. To make these tasks more enjoyable, enrich your environment with music or an interesting podcast, a special drink or treat, and even some aromatherapy. Or, take your work to a café, or a cooperative work-space. And be sure to get as comfortable as possible. Enrich your environment, and you’ll enrich your experience and your chances for success. You might even enjoy yourself!
Let Go of Resistance — When we resist a specific action or activity, we’re vulnerable to making it feel far more difficult than it really is. By moving forward in non-resistance, we accept ourchallenges without making them harder. Not everything feels pleasurable. Some things feel uncomfortable and even painful. When we let go of resisting the unpleasantness of an action, we’re more equipped to handle it.
Increase Your Knowledge — We often avoid what we don’t know how to do. So, if there’s something you’d like to do, but are avoiding, increase your knowledge about it. Find out what you need to know to move towards desired goal. Oftentimes, just the activity of researching your goal will peak your interest, and inspire you to take action. ( Be sure, however, to avoid overly researching your goal, since this can lead to even more procrastination.)
Release Fear – Fear is probably one of the biggest underlying factors of procrastination. If fear is an issue for you, first get clear about the fear you feel when it comes to your procrastination. Once you’re clear about your fear, you can use EFT Tapping, Heart Breath, or deep breathing to help it release. Contact me for more information on using EFT Tapping and the Heart Breath.