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I think I should try to.... procrastinate!

I'll say it right away with Master Yoda: There is no try, only do. And no matter how long you browse the web for '10 great ways to stop procrastination' (are you procrastinating??) - at the end of the day there is no magic fix other than to simply roll up your sleeves and get it done.

That said, this wouldn't be a very helpful post if I didn't have a few things to share with you about this... which will hopefully help you shine a brighter light on your procrastination habits:

1. Procrastination = not important

The first useful thing to establish is that if you find yourself procrastinating, you brain very likely has somehow marked the task you're putting off as 'not important' - no matter what you REALLY think. Or, at the very least, it has marked it at as 'not as important as... (insert the other thing you're doing). So the first thing you can do is work on a bit of leverage by asking yourself:

  • Why is this important?

  • What is it going to cost me to not get this done?

  • What are the consequences of that?

  • What will be the consequences in 1, 5, 10 years time?

  • Who else is this affecting?

  • What good thing is going to happen when I get this done?

  • Where else is 'putting stuff off' showing up in my life (how we do one thing we do everything!)

  • Am I really the person I want to be right now?

2. Procrastination = stress and confusion

Maybe the only variation on the 'not important' rule above is when you are actually UNCLEAR about what exactly it is you're meant to be doing, HOW exactly you're meant to go about it or what exactly the NEXT STEP you need to take is. This is merely a corollary to the rule above however, because - if it REALLY was this important - you'd go and find out, right?

Still - check in with yourself: Do you know EXACTLY what it is you need to do and how to do it? - Getting really clear and defining your step-by-step process, breaking it down into manageable chunks if necessary, will help you get over the procrastination hurdle. Just take a moment and really think this through - is there any additional information, support, resources you need? You may not actually be procrastinating - maybe you're just waiting for something or someone else?

3. Procrastination = justified

Another variation on the 'not important' rule is if - in all honesty - you actually HAVE TOO MUCH TIME to complete whatever task it is you're meant to be doing. Which means, this is important - but not YET, because you know full well that you can get this done in 30 mins if you really set your mind to it - but you've been given a whole day or more.

Estimating the exact amount of time something takes from start to finish is a useful habit to incorporate into your planning and scheduling - it means that you can actually use 'additional time' deliberately, rather than filling it by undirected tasks - or procrastinating.

Just do it!

After all of this, however, there is only one thing left to do: DO IT! And break the habit of procrastination.

Mel Robbins has the following to say about this:

Seeing that procrastination is a habit and a response to stress, the first thing to do is to

  1. Acknowledge the stress (or whatever other emotion is going on for you - the confusion, the overwhelm, the uncertainty)

  2. Count yourself out: 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 - this is to delay your fast automatic response - so you're counting, instead of opening Netflix

  3. Do only 5 minutes of the task you've been putting off - this is to tackle any overwhelm you may be feeling - because you can do 5 min of anything, right? - Most people will then naturally carry on and finish the task.

How you do one thing, you do everything...

Last not least it can be helpful to take a quick look at the big picture... How else is 'procrastination' manifesting in your life? For example - are you generally impulsive (maybe you're also finding yourself often buying things you don't really need or changing plans a lot etc)? Do you have a habit of second guessing yourself or endlessly negotiating with yourself instead of making - and sticking to - decisions? What are the consequences of that? - Train yourself to do what you said you would and you'll reap the rewards in more ways than just ending procrastination.

I hope you didn't just read this as a way of procrastinating!!

Much love,


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