Heart-based time management is all about finding time, increasing productivity, and deepening your experience of each and every moment. And heart-based time management works best when you use your time effectively, because procrastinating won't help you complete important projects, let alone live your values as fully as you can!
Now, it may seem counter-intuitive to you, but the absolute best tool for overcoming procrastination is compassion. Not harshness, self-criticism or urgency, but compassion.
Why? Well. when we soften our hearts we step into a more expansive place. Rather than fighting with ourselves, we ally with our best energies and, therefore, have access to more of our power, creativity, and problem-solving skills.
The reality is that self-criticism ignites a debilitating vicious cycle that will keep you mired in procrastination. On the other hand, seeing and speaking to yourself (and your procrastination) from a compassionate place will stimulate and free up your ability to get the job done.
Sample these 5 Compassionate Questions to End Procrastination, and see how they work for you. (And of course, feel free to adapt them to your own circumstances; the more specific your questions can be, the more likely they are to strike a chord!)
1. What is a more satisfying alternative to procrastinating? How can you give yourself the success and happiness you deserve? Scan your To Do List and select one task that you keep putting off “until tomorrow.” Then, give yourself 3 options: Do it, drop it from your list or delegate it? Then ask yourself, which resonates? Which is the most rewarding? Why? Putting the choice back in your own hands undercuts the "I have to but I don't want to" resentment that can feed procrastination. If you decide to go forward and do the activity, use the following additional questions to stay on track and keep yourself mobilized:
2. When do you want to complete this task? Select a realistic date and envision successfully finishing the task within the time frame. You've given yourself a sense of how taking the initiative provides a more spacious way to use your time. How does it feel?
3. Now, how can you make this work as stress-free as possible for yourself? What size steps make sense? Break your task into chunks or steps and build on your positive incentive by envisioning yourself succeeding at each individual stage of the project. If at first the steps seem too large, break them down even more. Remember, YOU are in charge, and comfort helps you maintain your momentum.
4. How can you support yourself through careful scheduling? You can make the process easier by integrating each portion into your daily schedule. Try marking the completion date on your calendar and working backwards from there. Be sure to enter each important step, as this will help protect you from overburdening yourself with multiple commitments. And don't neglect to reward yourself as you complete your steps. In fact, I recommend that you list each task and its reward together in your schedule!
5. How can you smooth the path ahead? Check in beforehand with anyone whose cooperation you may need to coordinate your activities. If you need to modify plans to accommodate other priorities, it's easiest to do that before you start, or during the early stages. And if you need to readjust mid-stream, don’t let it pull you off track (and back into procrastination.) Do a little revising of your plans, and pick right up where you left off. You can do it, because the choices are ALL in your hands!
Each compassionate question helps direct your focus to your power, your satisfaction and your ability to plan and follow through. Any time you balk at stepping into an activity you need to engage in, asking yourself these questions can help you regain mastery of your life and your time.
So, how can you become more effective by making the most of your time?
Here’s one idea for taking your next step. Sign up for our free gift, "The New Finding Time Boundary Template: 9 Simple, Sequential Steps to Find More Time and Recharge Your Energy!" at http://optimize.thetimefinder.com/templatesg/
This time template will help you move beyond overwhelm, disappointment, and frustration. Using a workbook format, with room to record your answers, you will discover that 24 hours really are enough!
Offered by Paula Eder, Ph.D., The Time Finder Expert.
Paula Eder, PhD, the SelfGrowth.com Official Guide to Time Management, is an internationally-known coach and published author who mentors spirit-driven solopreneurs and small business owners to align their core values and energy with their time choices and behaviors so that they can make more money, create more freedom, and find more time.
Living on a working farm in rural New Hampshire, Paula's connection with time is as organic, spiritual, and down-to-earth practical as the vitality and resiliency of the seasons. From her base in New Hampshire she has maintained a thriving coaching practice for the past 35 years; is a Certified Coach in Kendall Summerhawk's Money Breakthrough Method™ Program; and is a certified graduate of the Vanguard class of the Authentic Happiness Coaching Program conducted by Martin E. P. Seligman, PhD and Ben Dean, PhD.
Her Heart-Based Time Management System helps busy people just like you develop the skills to make authentic time choices that lead to work success, personal growth, vibrant health, and an ever-deepening relationship with yourself and those you love.
To learn more about Paula's unique, Heart-Based Time Management System and begin your transformational journey, sign up for her Finding Time Success Kit. Discover how you can find time for what matters most.