This post originally appeared on SonayaWilliams.com.
4 Things To Put Off Thinking About and 1 Thing To Do Right Now
Let’s get the one thing out of the way, and that’s READ THIS ARTICLE. Right now. It’s going to give you some straightforward help to deal with your procrastination.
The rest of the items you can put off thinking about until you’re good and ready. As a procrastinator myself, I know that nothing gets done until I’m willing to give it my attention, and I need to have a good reason.
The only reason really good enough is that you want to. You sincerely want to. Enough to stop the distractions and get it done.
How To Want To – The Keys to Motivation
Guilt is a lousy motivator. Serious procrastinators have very thick skins. Our bags are always packed and ready for a guilt trip.
Same with Shoulds. Shoulds always seem to be someone else’s priority. In order to do an onerous task YOU need to buy in. YOU need to believe it’s important.
Forget Guilt and Shoulds. Here are 4 shifts you can make to stop the worst of your procrastination.
#1) A shift in Point of View
Experiment with an internal adjustment. Instead of thinking the assignment comes from somewhere outside of you– your client, your spouse, the government– some authority figure telling you what to do, try thinking of it as a choice.
Tell yourself, for example, I choose to finish this data entry project– to get it off my list, to be a person who keeps my commitments– not because someone told me to. Choosing brings the power back to you.
#2) A shift in Understanding
Sometimes we put tasks off because we don’t know how to approach them. They seem huge or vague or impossible to understand. When faced with a to-do item like this, it’s useful to identify which of 3 stages it’s in– Find out, Decide, or Do.
Do I need further information? Do I need to choose a direction? Or do I need to take a specific action? What have you been avoiding because you just haven’t figured out what’s needed to move the project forward?
Commit 15 minutes to review the task just to determine what you need to find out, decide or do. That’s all. You don’t have to complete it right now– just identify the next step. It will give you the boost you need to get going.
#3) A shift in Responsibility
Sometimes we are never going to want to do what is required. What falls in that category for you? Computer stuff? Shopping? Bookkeeping? I’m never going to be a good housecleaner, but I kind of like mindless computer stuff. Go figure.
If there is no way you are ever going to want to, get someone to do it for you. Hire a virtual assistant, a web developer, a house cleaner, or a gardener– someone to do what you can’t stand. Barter services. You might enjoy what someone else hates. Just because it needs to be done doesn’t mean you have to do it. Get it off your plate.
#4) A shift in Expectation
In the words of the great philosopher, Popeye the Sailor Man, “I yam what I yam.”
I will never be a person who gets her all her work done ahead of time and then does a little extra. That doesn’t mean I can’t grow and change, but I don’t expect myself to be something I am not. I will not learn to love housecleaning. But I want to be a person who keeps her commitments. I don’t want the anxiety of tasks left undone.
You have just about completed the one thing you had to do, which was read this article. Let the advice sink in and see what comes up for you. I’d love to hear what’s shifting for you.
Nobody else can stop you from procrastinating. We are the only ones who can do anything about our behavior. And it may be as simple as a shift in thinking. What do YOU want do.
Liz Sumner, Productivity Coach, helps entrepreneurs go from stuck, conflicted, and overwhelmed to clear, directed, and motivated. For a free “Make Me More Productive Session” visit http://makememoreproductive.com