5 steps to kill the engine of procrastination

Shutterstock

Sometimes, when you’re deep in the depths of procrastination, there is no obvious way out of the haze. These five essential lifestyle habits may help you to re-evaluate the root of your procrastination.

1. Get the car inspected

Is your engine healthy – do you have good sleep habits, diet, and exercise? What value will completing this task move you closer to? Notice when you started procrastinating and why.

Think back to a time in your life when you started avoiding what needed to be done? How long have you been repeating the behavior? What can you release to clear the way?

2. Kick the Drama Queen to the back seat

What do you get from the drama of procrastination? There is something you get from this or you wouldn’t repeat it.

Do you like the heroic feeling of finishing the work at the last minute? Do you like the attention that comes from complaining about the task? Does last-minute work conjure up a sense of urgency and hyper-focus that makes you feel valued?

3. Name the fear that blocks the window

Is it failure? Is it that success will only be short-lived and backfire or bring on more responsibility? Fear of abandonment? Fear of boredom? Is the project a letdown from previous ways you shined? Name the blur in front of you to desensitize to it.

4. Stop checking the oil and fluids and buckle yourself in

Are you overthinking things in a perfectionist fashion to avoid this task? Are you using “I’m too busy” as an excuse not to reorganize your work style? Are you waiting for just the right time only to find that it never comes?

Bar yourself from distractions that busy your time by turning off your phones and computer email notifications. Tape a hand-drawn picture of the completed project or a big smile on your computer screen, door or TV if they are distractions to remind you of the feeling of completion.

5. Put the key in the ignition

Set a timer for 15 minutes and work on the project for a limited period just to get started. Write down how this project can better position you for where you want to be? Tell someone about it to further cement this in your mind.

Now fill in the blanks:

1. I realize the main reason I procrastinate is ________________?

2. The so called benefits are ___________________________?

3. The physical actions I will take to improve work performance are ________________? (Stop eating sugar, go to bed earlier, exercise three times a week, study mindfulness on Saturday, meditation once a week)

4. I am willing to lean in and accept this fear/vulnerability _________________________? (Fear of failure, boredom with task, the drama of the close call, fear of success)

5. Two concrete rewards I will give myself for organizing and executing the task in a timely manner 1) _________________________ and 2) _______________________.

Get the Pause Cafe Strategy Tip Sheet to help you decrease drama and stay focused on Maryleegannon.com.