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Beating Procrastination – Monday Motivator 5 March 2018

“Procrastination –  How to overcome the “ducks in a row” syndrome!”

Hi Motivation Seekers, how are you?  Did you have a good week starting to reach your potential?  Did you do the exercise – the personal SWOT to help you know what to focus on first or did you not get around to it?

Have you been procrastinating?  Do you do this a lot?  I know I’m guilty of it and a lot of us are.  So often we just have to have the ducks lined up just so, before it is perfect to begin whatever it is that we need/want to do.  This is often the reason we procrastinate – perfectionism gets in the way.

We might fool ourselves about this by justifying all the reasons why we can’t get on and do something, but it is always to do with procrastinating.  There are lots of reasons why we do this, and it varies from person to person and from situation to situation.  One thing in common though is it is self-sabotage.  Why on earth would we sabotage ourselves?  It makes no sense, but we do it every time we delay doing something important or even something trivial but vital to our well being.  Why do we procrastinate and is there anything we can do about it?

Feeling overwhelmed

This is one of the main reasons we procrastinate.  All the stuff we have to do swims around in our heads and builds up and up, until it seems like there is this huge mountain to climb and we just don’t know where to start, so we don’t start.  The simple answer to this is to prioritise.  Break down the list of “to do” into A, B and C tasks and work on the A’s only.  Don’t be too ambitious about it, just one little step at a time is all that is required.  Breaking the big tasks down into small, manageable bites makes it all seem a bit more do-able.  Set a deadline and factor in a reward for yourself!

It all has to be perfect first

This is the “ducks in a row” syndrome.  We become paralysed because the conditions aren’t just so and the result is nothing gets done.  A good way to overcome this is to think of the end result.  Really visualise how you will feel, how you will look, what it does for you to achieve this thing.  Do a vision board of it to help the “emotional buy in”, so that you feel excited and motivated to achieve whatever it is.  Then you just have to DO IT.  Conditions are never more perfect than they are at this very minute. “Putting off an easy thing makes it hard.  Putting off a hard thing makes it impossible.”  George Claude Lorimer

Not knowing what decision to make

There are a lot of tools and strategies and studies around this, as it is such a difficult thing for most people.  The worst thing we can do is not make any decision.  It may be as simple as doing a “pros and cons” analysis, which helps clarify the decision.  Going back to basics and getting clear on where you want to be headed, what your values are and what is important to you helps too.  The simple act of doing something is better than nothing.

The thing is when you make excuses and just don’t get around to taking action, it weighs you down.  It hangs around in your head, taking up space that’s needed for better things.  It can make you feel bad about yourself and guilty…..never good to feel guilty!  It’s easier in the long run to tackle the stuff that you’ve been putting off.  Make this the week you do that.  Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect, the ducks don’t have to be in a row, you just have to start.  Have a great week!