Getting Through Procrastination

We all procrastinate from time to time. I’ve been procrastinating on writing blogs. So, what is getting in the way? Why do we procrastinate?

The common response is “I don’t feel like doing it”. Ask yourself, how come you don’t feel like doing it? It may be that you are tired, you’re not motivated, that you don’t have the time, that other things are more important or that you just don’t like doing whatever you’re putting off. Go a level deeper. How come you are tired, don’t have the time, aren’t motivated, etc.?

Say for example you are feeling tired. Write down all the reasons you are feeling tired. Now, for each reason, what actions could you take to solve this problem? From this list of actions you could take, which ones are realistic and achievable? Pick one or two from this list. Now, set a goal for yourself. When are you going to start this action? What small steps need to be taken to reach this goal?

1. Write down all the possible reasons for the problem? Pick one that seems most likely.
2. Write down all the possible actions you could take to solve the problem.
3. Which one or two actions seem achievable and realistic? What small steps can you take to achieve it?
4. Set a goal to complete each of the steps.

This approach for problem-solving can be used in all facets of your life. The challenge becomes when the goal is not achieved. That’s when the critical part of us can come up and make you feel guilt or shame about not having achieved the goal. Often, people say this “critic” is a motivator. It reminds them to do the things they put off or the things they “should” be doing. However, this critic can be harsh. Is it okay for this part of you to make you feel guilt and shame? There are probably many valid reasons why you didn’t achieve your goal.

Tell that critical part of you why you didn’t achieve your goal. That is, here are all the valid reasons why it wasn’t achieved. And, it’s okay if you didn’t achieve it. Ask yourself if it’s really a necessary goal. If it is, you can try again. We are all human and procrastinate from time to time!

If it’s really important to you, then go through the problem-solving approach again. Things that are truly important to us will get done. Reward yourself by telling yourself you did amazing. You achieved something you’ve been putting off. See if you can call on your inner “cheerleader” to congratulate yourself! Tell a friend or loved-one what you accomplished. Call on your inner-cheerleader, and ask your inner-critic to step aside.