Seven steps to overcome procrastination

Procrastination is one of the most successful ways to sabotage yourself. More than 20% of our nation would mark themselves as chronic procrastinators: very skilful at putting obstacles in the way, finding all excuses under the sun to avoid doing what actually needs to be done.

Procrastination is not only a fantastic time waster, it is also a brilliant creator of inner tension, or stress, as the result of an internal dialogue. The internal dialogue, where one part of you is giving the orders – the adult part of you – and the other part is rebelling – the child part of you.

If you want to stop yourself from stopping, in other words, if you want to overcome your procrastination - just follow the steps below. Don’t try to understand or analyse because that allows the procrastinator to pop in. Just do it and make an improvement immediately after you have finished reading this.

1. Write down the three most important jobs that need doing and that you have been putting off.

2. Of those three, list all the action you have to do in detail (baby-steps)

3. Then re-order the actions in three columns: immediate effect, middle effect, long term effect. An example: if admin is the job, the tasks will be documenting expenses (long term effect), answering emails (middle effect as you will see your inbox reducing), filing away (immediate effect as the piles of paper visibly disappear).

4. Start with an action with immediate effect, then do a middle effect, and once you have sensed the satisfaction of completing two tasks, get on with a long term one.

5. Ask for help, especially for the tasks you hate.

6. Visualise the result and be motivated by the outcome, not by the thought of the process.

7. Don't wait till you feel like doing it - the feeling will come only when you start doing it

Now, pick up your pen and paper and start! Good luck!

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Written by Dr. Mariette Jansen

I help people to overcome anxiety, build confidence and find their purpose (personal mission statement) through coaching and mindfulness
When it feels as if 'life gets in the way', it usually is you getting in the way through your way of thinking and behaving. So-called self-sabotaging. My coaching focusses on understanding what is going on and more importantly how you can take control of y… Read more

Written by Dr. Mariette Jansen

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