What do you do to get back on track when you find yourself procrastinating?
I recently posed this question to my community of fellow entrepreneurs – I was curious to know what kinds of strategies they use to re-focus themselves and get back on task when they find themselves procrastinating. I wanted to know what they do in real life – that really WORKS for them.
Have a look at what they shared.
set aside the need for perfection
Sheila Sims provides whole child educational mentoring to families with children experiencing challenges in school. Here’s her anti-procrastination tip:
“I remind myself that it doesn’t have to be perfect. My desire for things to be perfect right away often holds me back from moving forward. If I just get started it will eventually evolve into what its meant to be. And when I put aside the need for perfection it usually turns out even better in the end!
* It also helps to have external motivation. Like getting my website complete before anyone clicks on my link :)”
take a breath, meditate, discard the to-do lists
When you are in between the 2 worlds of never again and not yet, Barbara Ptak shines the light on solutions for such life transitions. I love what she has to say about getting back on track:
“When I am procrastinating I find my natural inclination of getting organized goes in overdrive and my list building is on high alert. I recognize procrastination by the large number of sticky notes on my wall and piles of papers with tasks. I sit down, take a breath, perhaps invoke a short meditation. gather my lists and garbage can and set a limited amount of time to discard those lists that are not going to get done because they were not a priority in the first place, but rather a result of my procrastination. While I sort the lists I usually sort out the reason I am procrastinating, and I find when my garbage can is full, my energy is renewed and I return to the original task at hand with focus and clarity.”
find out, decide, do
Liz Sumner is a Productivity Coach who helps folks who never “Just Do It” find their own productivity style. Based on her experience, she says,
“if you’re procrastinating on a project it’s often because you don’t know the next appropriate action. Ask yourself “What is it I need to Find Out, Decide, or Do?” Usually the roadblock is one of those three things. What information do you need to locate? What decision is up in the air, and what are the choices? What needs to be done so that the rest of the pieces fall into place? 9 times out of 10 these “Find Out, Decide, or Do” questions will get you moving again.”
reflect on why…
Podcast Host and self-proclaimed Goal Achieving Superstar Donna Doyon writes,
“Its important to take a few minutes to reflect on WHY I’m procrastinating. Is the task uncomfortable? Am I missing pieces of information and don’t know where to find them? Am I questioning whether I want/need to be taking action? Is it a mindset issue (fear of failure/success/embarrassing myself/showing off/etc.)? Getting to the root of the problem/admitting there is a problem is the key to getting myself back on track.”
break it in to steps and visualize
Delia Rusu is a Mother and Certified WISDOM Coach offering Life Coaching for Children. Her reply:
“Whenever I feel procrastination creeping in, I watch for two things: either the task is overwhelming or I don’t really see the benefit of getting it completed. So I stop and write down the steps I need to take to complete and then I spend a few minutes visualizing the feeling of having the task done. For larger projects, I might work with a friend to set a few checkpoints so I’m held accountable.”
She adds, “This is a great process to teach our children when they work on school projects or pursue a goal of their own. Not only will they finish their assignments on time, but this simple trick will boost their confidence too!”
add in some joy!
Life & Relationship Coach/Yoga Instructor Martina Meyer helps people learn to love and be loved more than they ever thought possible. So glad she raised the joy factor:
What helps me are 2 questions I ask myself when I feel the pains of stagnation of procrastination:
1. What brings me joy?
Getting back to the essence helps me reconnect with my priorities. Often procrastination happens when I have gotten myself out of alignment with my intention – and then I enter an area of “must”, “have to” and “should.” Once that clarity is reestablished, it becomes easier to break overwhelming tasks in to bite-size chunks and prioritize them according to how they further my overall intention and the big picture best.
2. There will still be some tasks that I just don’t like to do (like filing paperwork). So I ask myself for those tasks:
“How might I add joy to this?” And “How might I approach this, if I looked at it as an expression of self care and self love to do these things?” “How might I enjoy the outcome of the dreaded task? Let’s focus on that to get into the sense that it’s worth the effort.”
pause, breathe, look for clarity
Words of wisdom from Writer/Alchemist/Strategist Susan Jacobs who gives voice to what matters most to her clients:
“Some see procrastination as the devil, but for me, it’s part of the creative and life process. When I procrastinate, it’s not to avoid doing things; I procrastinate when I don’t have full clarity. Without clarity, nothing works and procrastination takes over. That’s when it’s time to pause, breathe, look at or step away from the situation, and see what’s off. It’s my Geiger counter: procrastination = something is misaligned or not fully conceived. I used to beat myself up for procrastinating until realizing its value and all it has to reveal. My best advice, don’t judge yourself or think there’s anything wrong with you. Instead, look at what you’re avoiding and dig deeper into why.”
assign an a, b, or c and reward myself
Megan Close Zavala, who provides editorial and book coaching services to authors ready to take their writing to the next level, says,
“I take a look at my to do list and organize everything into A tasks (most important), B tasks (important but not essential), C tasks (miscellaneous). (This usually just takes a few minutes.) Then, whenever I complete an A task I reward myself by doing a couple of C tasks or a B task. This way I am actually accomplishing things but am also rewarding myself by crossing more things off of my list!”
Eat Your Frog First/The 5 Second Rule
Health/Fitness/Life Coach Erin Salem takes a proactive approach – she likes to “eat her frogs first” which means she does her least favourite things first to get them done, so she won’t let herself procrastinate. She also uses the same strategy in her business that she uses at the gym – she calls it the “5 Second Rule.” When she doesn’t want to do something, especially if it “sounds like death” to her, she asks herself to do it for 5 seconds. And then another 5 seconds. And another, and another for as long as it takes until it’s done! Talk about being gentle with yourself:)
Did you know?
Did you know that procrastination is a sign that your Visionary Alter-Ego is at play in your business? Your Visionary Alter-Ego simply represents a pattern you fall into, that gets in your way or trips you up. And, when you know your Visionary Alter-Ego, you also discover a hidden gift! Take this quiz to find out yours so you can stop procrastinating and get things done!