It’s been some time since I wrote about ‘procrastination’ but as I realise that I have already broken all my new year’s resolutions, maybe this is a good time to take another look at it!
Grab a pen and let’s work through this together:
1. Write a list of the things that you have been avoiding
For me it is reviewing my marketing strategy, review a back log of webinars, and I know I should be more productive on social media.
Ok, there it is in black and white (or rather blue and white!) – difficult to avoid now!
2. Get rid of the “shoulds” because who says that you should do something? You either want to do it or you don’t, there is no “should” about it. All the word does is drain you of energy!
In my case, I can remove the word but not the actual task because really, I know that I have to make more productive and effective use of my time on social media.
What about your list? Are there any “should” items that you can completely delete? If not, re-phrase them in a more positive manner without the guilt laden word “should”.
3. Does your list look more manageable now? If so, are there any quick tasks that need to be scheduled? Set a date and time now and put them in your diary so you can cross them off your list. Now you have committed to doing them!
I have just blocked off an hour a week for the next 4 weeks to view and evaluate the webinars that I have wanted to check out but haven’t had the time.
4. Take another look at your list. What do you hate doing? These are the tasks that you have probably been putting off doing for some time now.
For me this has got to be my marketing strategy – while I love working on other peoples marketing plans, I hate doing my own!
The solution, think about how not having done this task makes you feel; stressed, annoyed? These emotions are energy draining so let’s get these tasks done so we can stop feeling stressed and annoyed with ourselves. Try to come up with a way of making it fun or at least promise yourself a reward for completing it. If it is a big task, then break it down into small chunks and do one a day until you have completed it – rewarding yourself every step of the way! For example, if you are really fed up in your current job but just can’t get round to looking for something else because it means that you will have to update your CV first and that just seems too big a job, begin with your career history as this is the easiest and then schedule time to review your achievements and another to write your profile.
Of course, the easiest way is to delegate the task to someone else or hire someone to do it for you but that isn’t always an option.
5. Is fear holding you back?
Sometimes we procrastinate over doing things because we are afraid of making mistakes or of the results we may or may not achieve. Maybe you haven’t started writing that CV because while you are really unhappy in your current job, it’s ‘safe’ while the idea of doing something new can be scary for some. Try and identify what lies at the behind the fear and what is the worst that could happen?
Hopefully your to do list looks more manageable now?
If not, it may be that your reason for procrastinating is lack of time?
This is definitely me when it comes to making more effective use of social media.
The answer:- you are doing too much; stop trying to do everything and set aside some free time for yourself. This is a great way to recharge your batteries and give you the energy you need to tackle those things you have been procrastinating about.
I’ve just scheduled an appointment with a social media specialist so I’m off for a walk on the beach – how’s that for taking action!
…And what are you doing?
Read more articles on taking action and avoiding procrastination:-