Put Procrastination Off Until Tomorrow

Procrastination hinders your progress toward your best life. You procrastinate for one of two reasons.

1. You don’t want to

2. You’re afraid to

Either way you probably spend a ridiculous amount of time lecturing yourself about what you “should” be doing. “Shoulding” on yourself wastes time and energy. Spending energy and time badgering yourself about what you should be doing gives the illusion you’re accomplishing something. However in reality you’re spinning your wheels, which accomplishes nothing. Just because it’s a verb doesn’t make it an action.

I learned the remedy for procrastination from my husband, Cliff. When we were in college I would occasionally put off schoolwork in favor of watching TV. Of course I’d pause to complain about how I “should” be studying. I didn’t even really enjoy the show because I spend so much time distracted with thoughts of the work I “should” be accomplishing. Finally, Cliff said, “Just pick one! Either choose to watch TV, stop complaining and enjoy it, OR shut off the TV and study.” Irritating, but wise.

If you find procrastination gets in the way of climbing the steps that will lead to your dreams (or finishing your taxes or confronting your co-worker or whatever) follow these steps:

1. Determine WHY you’re procrastinating.

Do you not want to? OR Are you afraid to?

If you don’t want to you have several options:

• Hire someone else to do it.

• Choose not to do it and accept responsibility for the consequences. (No excuses!)

• Suck it up and do it anyway. Take the first small step today!

If fear is fueling your procrastination, follow these steps:

• Speak your truth out loud. (I’m afraid of being rejected.)

• Ask yourself, “What experience from your past does this remind you of?”

• Remind yourself you did the best you knew how to do when handling this kind of fear in the past. Be kind and compassionate with yourself, as you would a small, scared child.

• Let go of your connection to this past pain. Take a deep breath and let it out. Repeat to yourself, “I release and forgive my fear in favor of peace.”

• If the fear persists, ask yourself, “What would I do if I weren’t afraid?” Take the first step today. Feel the fear and do it anyway. We don’t always get to be comfortable along this journey. (Also, consider checking in with me about more tools I can offer you.)

2. Remove the word “should” from your vocabulary. Replace it with “will” or “choose not to.” For example, eliminate “I should get started on that grant application.” Instead, say, “I will get started on that grant application this afternoon.” OR “I choose not to get started on that grant application.” Be accountable and responsible for what you say you “will” or “choose to” do.

Stop “shoulding” on yourself and take action today! Your best life is waiting!

Author's Bio: 

Stephanie Owens, founder Pleaseaholics.com and creator of the Better Boundaries, Better Life System is dedicated to bringing products and services to busy, purpose-driven women attempting to juggle work, family and their own (usually rediculously ) high expectations. She provides step-by-step guidance to help her clients on their journey to create the life they were born to live. She developed the “Better Boundaries, Better Life” system to show busy women the keys to unlocking a life that honors their talents, passions and purpose by ridding themselves of the disease to please.