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Fascination with Procrastination

It’s taken me a while to get this blog written and posted, but I’ve been very busy.  My sock drawer needed reorganizing, I had to pick the dead leaves off my house plants, organize the stack of unread books on my night stand, pick the lint off an old sweater. You see where I’m going with this, don’t you?

At some point procrastination gets the best of us. You promise yourself that you'll get to it today, but it doesn't happen.  Guilt and shame set in as the days pass into weeks, and it's still on your to do list.  But instead of beating yourself up over it, let’s get curious about it. What are you avoiding and why? 

Here are some reasons why we procrastinate and how to get into action.

Overwhelm: There is just so much to do, you don’t know where to start, so you never do. How will it all get done? One task at a time.  Instead of focusing on the big picture, focus on one small piece. Working on a huge project? Pick just one task, no matter how small, set a time limit to it, do it, them move on to the next task. It's much more manageable to think in terms of spending one hour writing a bio page than about writing content for your entire website.  Need to lose weight? This week, commit to drinking 8 glasses of water a day. Next week, start eating more greens.  Small, incremental changes do eventually add up to big wins.

Resistance: There are some things you know you have to do but you just don’t want to. Clean the house (Ugh) or work out ("I'm too tired/busy"). You know you have to do it eventually, so how do you get past the resistance and just do it? Reframe your thinking. Instead of thinking about how much you hate cleaning, focus on how nice and relaxing the house looks and feels when it's clean and tidy.  Instead of thinking about how much you don't feel like working out, think about how much more refreshed and energized you feel after a good sweat.  

Fear: Oh this is a big one folks. It’s closely tied to perfectionism, which is something I personally struggle with. You want to try a new career, write a book or move to a new city but are afraid to make it happen. You talk yourself out of it with thoughts like “I don’t know how to that!” “What if I do it wrong?” “What if I (gulp) fail?” “What will they think/say? “ The fear becomes paralyzing and holds you back from growing and realizing your goals. So how do you get past the fear? Acknowledge it. Say it out loud - to yourself or a trusted, supportive friend. When it's out in the open, you can talk it through and get past it.  Don’t know how to do something? You’ll figure it out. What if you get it wrong or fail? You’ll fix it or learn from your mistakes and move on.

Passing Fancy:  Sometimes you just have to let it go and know when to say when. What you thought was important at one point no longer speaks to you.  A year ago you thought learning to speak Chinese and going skydiving were good ideas, but now, well, not so much. Maybe the reason you're procrastinating is that the goal you set no longer serves you.  You have my permission to cross it off the list.  

So the next time you're avoiding something, get curious and ask yourself why.  

Tell me: What have you been avoiding and how will you overcome your procrastination and get it done?


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