How Do I Stop Procrastinating?
I don’t think I have ever written a newsletter article other than when I have been offering Life Coaching deals that has generated as many e-mail responses as my article on beating procrastination in Mays newsletter.
It didn’t really surprise me that it struck a chord with so many people because as a Life Coach I have had clients coming to me with procrastination issues for the last 6 years.
It seems a very large percentage of people procrastinate on dealing with important tasks until the deadline is looming large.
I’m not going to repeat the post here because that would be redundant, and anyway, you can read it by signing up for my newsletter if you really want to.
However, on the back of the post I did film a short video explaining the principles behind it and you can watch that below.
The e-mail responses I got were largely follow up questions along the lines of this one:
“That’s all well and good Tim, but what can I do to stop procrastinating on all my tasks and not just the really important ones?”
Let me think carefully about this and how I may best frame the response to make sure I don’t disappoint you.
The Myth About Procrastinating
Procrastination is a human condition that Life Coaches, and even more shockingly, Productivity Coaches, suffer from.
And the reason we do so is because we are hard wired to choose pleasure over pain whenever possible.
Therefore, getting your brain to do something it associates with pain (and by that I mean anything you don’t enjoy) whilst turning its back on something more enjoyable takes a lot of emotional energy.
That emotional energy is finite and as such there will be times when you are running low and procrastination is the easiest option.
I sometimes procrastinate over writing client notes up until the end of the day, but so what? It’s not a big deal as long as I get the job done, and I always do.
I often procrastinate about unloading the dishwasher, but so what? I don’t enjoy emptying dishwashers, but the dishwasher always gets unloaded before the end of the day.
I frequently procrastinate on scooping dog poop until I realize the guy is coming to mow the lawn, but so what? I don’t want the poor guy to get splattered with it, so I go and do it then.
The deal is not that you procrastinate, but that you stress about procrastinating.
And then feel like there’s something wrong with you because you do it.
There really isn’t!
If you suffer from genuinely crippling procrastination, even on important tasks, then the method I explain in the video and newsletter will come in useful. However, it’s not meant to be used multiple times per day.
For the trivial stuff you procrastinate over I recommend a daily dose of chilling, deep breathing and a general acceptance that you’re not a weirdo who can’t get their shit together, but a perfectly normal Human Being.
I’m still looking for your best piece of self development advice for a blog post coming next week.
And remember somebody will get either an hour of my time or a $25 Amazon Gift Card and every one I publish will get a link back to their website presuming they have one.
Image: ‘Taking A Nap After Waking Too Early’ Courtesy of m01229