Do you sometimes struggle to get things started? 

You’re not the only one as there are many people out there who suffer with the same issue.  

We get an idea of something that we need or want to do, we think about how we’re going to do it, and we come up with a great plan, but we don’t act on that plan.  This is called procrastination. 

What is that? I hear you ask, well, it’s where we delay or postpone doing a set of tasks and this prevents us from following through on what we’ve set out to do.  We all procrastinate at some time or another.  

I have been procrastinating about doing this video as I’ve been thinking about what to say, but feeling I want to say more and that I can refine it to be better and it doesn’t matter because I’ve got lots of time to get it done, then I realised I have not done it.  

It was then with this realisation that this was the next video in the series and that the time I’d put aside to make it, was gone, then the panic set in and I felt pressure to get it finished, which in fact made it harder to do.  I’d been putting it off until it came to the point when I could put it off no more. 

Can you see what was happening? Because I’d procrastinated and not taken action when I had time, time disappeared.  Has this ever happened to you?

 It’s about future and present consequences.  This is where, when you start thinking about the task, but not doing anything about it, there is not a lot of pain for not getting the task done in the present, but as time progresses and the deadline for the task to be complete gets closer, as does the pain in the future in the form of anxiety, shame, and guilt that you haven’t got the task done.  It is only when this pain peaks, usually just before the task needs to be done, do we pass the action line, and you get the task done.

It is when you reach the action line, that you’ll be feeling the most pain and anxiety, but once you’ve taken the action, this will then start to subside, the energy and effort you put into getting the task done is usually less than the guilt, shame and anxiety you feel while you were procrastinating.  

Remember that the problem is not actually doing the task you have to set yourself but starting the task for whatever reason you tell yourself.  

We have all been in this position, but only when we realise that we want to stop procrastinating, that we can make the changes to get things done.  A good way to stop procrastinating is to create a plan of what you want to do to complete the task, then to make the steps as easy as possible to get started.  Once you get started, you will then find that the motivation and the momentum will follow, it is often the case that motivation will come after you start.

Here are four strategies to help you stop procrastinating that you can look into, but I will be covering them in more detail in later blogs.

  1. Make the reward for taking action more immediate.
  2. Make the consequence for not taking action more immediate.
  3. Plan your future actions.
  4.  Make the tasks more achievable.   

As I’ve said, it is not usually doing the task that is the problem, it is starting the task, which is where we fall down.

Everyone procrastinates in their life, it is realising that you’re doing it and making the decision to get started, that sets us apart from others.  

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Also, please feel free to contact me on any of them as I would love to hear what you’ve procrastinated over and how you’ve managed to get started on any tasks you have set yourself?

Thank you.