Procrastination is a dirty word everyone knows and few admit to. No matter how amazing you are, I’m positive you procrastinate. Maybe you rock it at your business but fall behind in your personal life. Maybe you put off taxes until the absolute last minute…we all do it.
Some of us become professionals at procrastination and convince ourselves we work at our peak performance when we are under pressure. Everyone knows we shouldn’t procrastinate – no one honestly wants to do it, but it can be very hard to stop.
I do it! For instance, I know I need to workout and I’ll spend more time procrastinating the socks off the ‘idea of doing it’ than I would actually just going and exercising.
Once I’m in the car something happens…I have a mind shift. I didn’t suck and tuck into these clothes for nothing, so I’m not coming home until I am a sweaty mess. I’ll grumble and want to stop for awhile and then it gets easier. I begin to enjoy it and wonder why I was dragging my feet in the first place.
It’s the initial push or momentum that is the most painful. So, what’s the answer?
How do we STOP procrastinating?
ACTION…yep, take action! You can only tame the beast by moving forward. Every step you take, every move you make (I know that song is in your head now!) you’ll move towards victory. One clear way to propel yourself into action is to TRIGGER it.
As an example, if you brush your teeth after dinner, you set a trigger. So, when you think about a snack, your mind will say “Hey! you have clean teeth, so don’t do it or you have to brush and floss all over again.” The trigger keeps you from heading for the pantry…most of the time anyway.
You might not even be aware of what you did. You set a trigger and it moved you into action – or away from an action, in this case. If you feel like you are in a cul-de-sac of procrastination and just keep looping around and around, you need to set up a trigger.
Maybe you work from home. You start out every day watching the news with coffee. You swear you’ll have one cup and then you’re going to bust a move and make the magic happen. Fast forward a few hours to you still on the couch. You’ve had 3 cups of coffee and are watching game shows. You keep thinking, “Next commercial, I am going to do it! I am going to get all my to-do list items done!”
Or, you’ve pulled your laptop over and you’re half-working. Either way, you aren’t being effective and are procrastinating.
So, how can you set up a trigger for yourself to avoid this trap?
Maybe you unplug the TV each night so it is more of pain in the morning. Or, decide to take your cup of coffee out to the deck and skip the TV altogether. You could start your day with a walk and then enjoy your Joe when you start work.
It could be as simple as putting on “work” shoes – they trigger you to go to work because honestly, who wants to wear wingtips or heels while they are lounging around on the couch?
Whatever you choose, make sure they aren’t hard to implement and lead you with ease to the end result you want. Triggers should be rewarding so you can actually accomplish what you set out to.
Here’s to your success and taming the beast!