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Are you a procrastinator? Come on…tell the truth! Listen, we all have the tendency to put things off especially if it’s something we just flat out aren’t interested in. Ahem…tax time anyone? Chances are, all those things you’ve been procrastinating on like packing for a vacation, booking a flight, or filing our taxes (guilty, I still haven’t done ours!) are piling up. And then you’ll stress about struggling to get it all done in time. And here’s the crappy part; you could have totally avoided it! If you’re up for it and ready to finally overcome procrastination and get ahead of the game, let’s do this thing!
And if you haven’t already, check out my this post for my top 7 hacks to avoid procrastination here!
Forgive Yourself for Being a Procrastinator
Forgiveness. I know it seems like a strange place to start, but it’s an important first step. Here is why forgiving yourself to overcome procrastination should always be the first step.
Here’s the deal.
There’s nothing you can do about the past except learn from it. Beating yourself up about not following the plan you made for reaching a goal will not, in fact, help you reach that goal. Quite the opposite actually.
If you stress yourself out and engage in negative self-talk, you’re just going to make it worse!. Those feelings of anxiety will enforce your habit to procrastinate again the next time.
Step 1 – Identify the Why and Own It
Alright, so the first thing I want you to do is, the next time you find yourself procrastinating, stop and think about the why.
Identifying the why behind your procrastinating is key to changing your mindset.
Do you love vacations? Heck yeah! We all love vacations! But let’s face it, they can also be stressful. You have to find and make accommodations, make an itinerary of everything you want to do, book travel arrangements, and don’t even get me started on the packing!
Better yet, the unpacking and oh the laundry when you come back.
Can I get an amen!?
So even if the things you’re procrastinating on lead to something enjoyable, there’s still something holding you back, right?
So if you’re super stoked about going on vacation, why the heck would you wanna procrastinate getting ready for it!? Pack a bag and let’s get this party started!
Well, because the reality is, packing sucks! Planning sucks! (Ok this is totally not true, I love planning, duh!) But searching for hotels and flights and making itineraries…ugh that could get so overwhelming.
So here’s my mindblowing advice: OWN IT!
Own the fact that it sucks and focus on the reward. What’s the plus side of you not putting everything off until the last minute?
Now at this point, you’re probably nodding or shaking your head…”Yup Ashlie, that’s totally me.” Unless you’re a complete and total nerd planner who does everything two years in advance and in that case I should probably be taking lessons from you…(but let’s face it, if you’re here reading this, you’ve probably already self-identified as a procrastinator)
Step 2 – Trust the Process
So here is where your assignment begins. Own the fact that you do it and that doing the things you’re procrastinating on probably suck, which is why you aren’t doing them and then forgive yourself.
It’s not the end of the world.
Go on! Say it out loud and then promise yourself to try to do better. Trying is the keyword here.
Learning not to procrastinate is all about mastering new skills and creating new habits. (Post coming soon!) And we all know that forming new habits takes practice, time, and of course, failing, rinse & repeat. It’s all part of the learning process.
This isn’t gonna happen overnight folks.
So you made a commitment, fist-pumped in the air and yelled at the top of your lungs “Procrastination no more!” annnnnnnd then you find yourself staring at a blank word document for a term paper that’s due tomorrow.
You did it again.
You’re going to get frustrated at lack of progress. It’s normal. If you can, tap into that frustration and use it to motivate you. Vow to try again and do better. Look at your mistakes. Go back to the why from Step 1. What caused you to procrastinate this time? Learn from it and you will start to do better.
Step 3 – Evaluate Why You Failed
So let’s just say you kicked off your mission to beat procrastination by taking a big task and made a plan to break it up into smaller chunks. You started out strong, chipping away at it a little at a time.
Then you missed a day.
And another day.
And that’s okay! Understand it’s a setback but OKAY! You did well for a while. Practice makes perfect and now you can use this particular experience to teach you that you can’t allow yourself to skip days when working on an ongoing project. So maybe next time you make a schedule. You don’t have to work on it every day, but as long as you work on it consistently on your scheduled days, you’re more likely to reach your goal.
There’s always something new to learn whenever we fail at something or slip back into a bad habit. At the very least you figure out what doesn’t work for you. Maybe you do better with three or fewer to-dos per day. Maybe you need twenty-five so there’s always something to check off. You won’t know until you try. The most important thing when building and learning new habits is understanding that everyone is different. What works for you won’t work for everyone else.
Step 4 – Forgive Yourself
Forgive yourself for procrastinating so you can move on and practice some more. With a little time, dedication and practice you can overcome procrastination that likely causes unnecessary stress in your life.
Let’s Sum it All Up
So let’s wrap it up with a summary.
The goal here is to Forgive yourself for procrastinating.
So to kick off your journey to beat procrastination, I want you to start with these four simple steps:
- Identify why you procrastinate and Own It. When you dig deep and understand why you’re doing it and allow yourself to own the fact that it’s ok to admit that it sucks…you can start working on how to fix it.
- Trust the Process. Learning and developing new habits is hard work and it takes time. Don’t give up because you took a couple of steps backward.
- Evaluate Why You Failed. It’s ok to fail…repeatedly. View these failures as opportunities to learn more about yourself and how to improve to do better next time.
- Forgive yourself. Recognize that you do it and work on getting better.
So, are you a procrastinator? Let’s get after it together!
Much love and till next time!