I’ve been meaning to write about this topic for ages and I’ve finally got around to it! The struggle with procrastination is real…!
Procrastination is a defence mechanism, the problem is, it’s often misguided. I used to procrastinate a lot for many reasons: a lack of self-confidence – not believing that what I’m doing is good enough, trying too hard to be perfect (whatever that is), and just generally not believing in myself.
Procrastination happens when you envisage a negative outcome. A negative outcome that is generally irrational and completely made up. The actual effects of procrastination though, are unfortunately very real. Anxiety, stress, and poor performance are very serious by-products the career procrastinator struggles with. It’s a double problem…
- The thing you fear is unlikely to be a valid concern at all
- You will suffer as a result of trying to subconsciously protect yourself!
Therefore, procrastination is a trait that top performers everywhere are trying to eliminate from their lives. And with good reason.
Procrastination: the deception
Maybe your internal procrastinator is that powerful they’re actually telling you, ‘don’t worry, you can look after your health later, you’re too busy doing nothing!’
Seriously though, being busy does not equal being successful. A lot of people hide behind ‘busy’, but this is just procrastination in an alternate form. Procrastination comes in many shapes and sizes and is often hidden in a web of self-made lies and deceit.
A lot of my clients come to me because I give them more time whilst helping them relieve stress. Not by increasing the hours in the day, but by helping them get things done quicker through effective procrastination avoidance techniques.
The trick is to recognise procrastination and then oust it from your resulting actions
As it’s a habit I’ve been trying to overcome most of my life for myself, I’ve spent years honing my skills to defeat procrastination. Skills that now help all kinds of procrastinators break free and start living to their full potential. Not only have I practised what I teach, I’m also a consistent learner of all things personal improvement.
A breakthrough moment came for me when I read ‘The Chimp Paradox’ by Professor Steve Peters. The book was fundamental in helping me realise that in order to change my habits I needed to start doing the things that I feared.
I had to start taking action rather than overthinking. As well as helping to get things done, putting thoughts into actions helps me to reduce anxiety and stress versus the sleepless nights that come with long-term procrastination.
The 3 A’s
Attitude + Action + Accountability = Results.
Having a positive attitude towards challenges outside your comfort zone can help you take the step forward that you need. Then, if you follow this attitude through with actions whilst being accountable to yourself, you end up in a very powerful position. A position that enables bold moves. A position that will help you defeat procrastination and deliver the results that you are working so hard to achieve.
Nothing good ever comes from comfort zones. If you give in and take the easy road every time your destinations will remain the same.
To be fulfilled and make progress you need to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. Don’t worry though, it gets easier as you get more accustomed to taking action.
‘Why was I so worried about that?!’
Take comfort in the fact that many of the challenges we imagine are going to be difficult, are often surprisingly straight forward when it comes to actually doing.
In the past I often fretted about things for far too long and then when the time came to deal with the situation it was a non-event. It all went well. I’d ask myself later, ‘why was I so worried about that?!’
Make today the day you get to ask yourself the same question.
-Liz Pollard, Enabling Bold Moves since 2016
I hope this helps you on your journey to a place beyond procrastination. As a business coach, I work to empower teams to become the best versions of themselves in order to succeed. If you think that your team would benefit from some coaching to help them perform at a higher level, or if you would simply like to find out more about how I could help you, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can also be found here –[link to brochure]