We’re all victims of procrastination. Putting things off until the last minute, leaving the house too late for an appointment even though there was plenty of time to prepare, and on and on. We could and can literally procrastinate with everything! But these habits can affect our lives in much bigger ways. It could cost us a great job if we don’t prepare well enough for the interview, late bills destroying our credit score, gains at the gym, or just plain missing out on life. Honestly, it could cost us our dreams.
For me, I began procrastinating on my blog very early into creating it in April 2017. Finding excuses for not putting out consistent content and honestly just a plain lack of confidence in my methods for setting up the site, what content to create, and how to reach my readers. And now I just cringe at the thought of how much more content I would have if I would have jumped right in.
And I even consider myself naturally disciplined with getting done what I need to, but not without sweating and stressing myself out to the VERY LAST MINUTE.
At some point, I realized that the stress at the end was so much worse than the time I spent being my lazy self. And overall, helped me get things done timely with less worry, anxiety, and even better… TRULY enjoying my free time.
I think what we don’t realize is that when we push off our goals, we push off our dreams. And if your dreams are at the bottom of the totem pole, it is very unlikely that they will come into fruition. I believe that following through with our own promises to ourselves is a form of self-care. Making your goals a priority shows that you are making YOURSELF a priority, and nothing is getting in your way. Otherwise, the cycle of procrastination to not reaching your goal, then feeling badly about it can cause issues with our inner confidence, what we have the capability of accomplishing, and the quality of what we can truly do. Have you ever been surprised how well you could do something? With practice and consistency? Then comes the annoying thought of, “What what this be like if I started sooner?”
Yea… I hate that.
And I know we don’t want to do that!
So here are some ways that have turned my procrastination into stress-free productivity!
Without confidence, it’s unlikely that you’ll take the first step. Get out of your head! No matter what fears grip your thoughts, you must take the plunge, especially if it is that important to you. You can learn to train your brain with new habits to mow down those self-imposed barriers with every time you don’t give in. You owe it to yourself to try and see how much more amazing you can be. Growth is necessary!
Research & Plan!
You already know what you want to do. Now make a plan to get there! DO YOUR RESEARCH. I can’t stress this enough. Going in with the most knowledge you can, especially if its a goal new to you, will get you going quickly. Make a list of what you want to accomplish so it is clear to you. But if you run into something that isn’t clear, don’t stress! You can’t know everything from the jump so this is your chance to learn. Watch videos, read tutorials, peruse the internet for guidance. I am forever floored just thinking about all the times I’ve found useful information about something I swore was on no one else’s radar.
Also, prioritize your plan! It will feel less overwhelming when you’re not looking at a long list with no time frame, feeling like they all need to be completed simultaneously. Decide which are urgent right now, and schedule out the rest (but make the time frame realistic!). And stay focused on the initial steps and mastering those first. Don’t rush! This is supposed to lessen your stress, not add more to it!
Tip: One of my most successful ways to avoid procrastinating is setting reminders on my phone. Not just for that specific moment, but multiple alerts weeks and days out so I can prepare myself early. Or use Post-Its placed in places you go often so what isn’t out of sight, isn’t out of mind (or sometimes to guilt yourself into doing it if necessary).
Turn Off The Distractions
It’s time to turn off the tv and get off Instagram, and make time for you in way of your goals. I’ve spent plenty of time lounging, knowing full well that there is something of much more importance that I should doing. But why is it so HARD?! Because nothing worth it is easy or convenient. That hard word is what separates the do-ers from the want-ers. And those that choose to forge ahead are much more likely to achieve their goals.
JUST DO IT!
Nike says it best! Don’t let the fears of having to “learn on the job” cause you to back out. If this is what you want in your life, you must make it happen. It’s up to you and you only to ensure its success. This blog has shown me how creative I can be from learning code and creating my own logo to becoming more knowledgeable about social media engagement. No more stock photos!
Be Patient With Yourself
So yes! You mustered up the confidence to take the first step, made a plan and stuck to it with hardly any distractions, and you’re seeing some progress. But now maybe you’ve hit a few bumps and were met with some obstacles. First congratulate yourself for putting yourself first! And next I just ask that you stay patient with yourself and your goal. Most things worth striving for are not instantaneous. So they take some time. Keep up with your plan, tweak it if necessary, and keep researching for new and more innovative ways to get there. Your resilience and hard work will pay off if you stay consistent and realistic. You can do this!
Breaking down the habits to procrastination shows us what we really are capable of each day, and in our lives. It allows us to quell our last-minute anxiety, feel more prepared (which means more confidence!), saves us a TON of time, and less stress on our minds and our nerves. And it gives us the discipline to confidently go forward with whatever we want to do in our lives, not kicking ourselves for wishing we did something sooner.
NOW GET STARTED!