Overcoming Procrastination

by Cheryl Vallejos, CPBA, CPVA

What is Procrastination?

Procrastination is a strange phenomenon, and none of us are immune to it. Take a moment to look at why you procrastinate. Are you overwhelmed by all the commitments in your life? Do you fear having a successful life or career, therefore you hesitate to make moves each day to bring your dreams to reality?

Procrastination at first sounds like a simple behavior, but in fact, it's quite complex. It involves emotions, skills, thoughts or attitudes and factors we are sometimes completely unaware of. Though it's easy for us to put things off over and over again, in the end, procrastination will only add stress to our lives, making us feel disorganized, inadequate, and constantly behind the eight ball.

So What Then Is The Opposite Of Procrastination?

Urgency is the opposite of procrastination. When we have a sense of urgency to get things done, we do them. Something inside motivates us to carry through. One of the most valuable habits you can develop in life is a sense of urgency, an inner drive to get on with it, to get the job done now.

Procrastination Awareness

  • Recognize self-defeating patterns such as fear and anxiety, difficulty concentrating, poor time management, indecisiveness and perfection.

  • Identify your goals, strengths and weaknesses, values and priorities.

  • Compare your actions with your values. Are they consistent with each other?

  • Discipline yourself to use time wisely. Set priorities.

  • Motivate yourself: Dwell on success, not on failure. Break large assignments or projects into small, manageable tasks.

  • Set realistic goals.

  • Modify your environment: Eliminate or minimize noise/distractions. Ensure you have adequate lighting and all the necessary equipment at hand to simplify and organize your workplace so everything's within reach.

  • Hire a coach to help move you through the blocks to motivation and that sense of urgency.
Ways to Be Aware of Procrastination

  1. Create a detailed plan of action
    Begin by creating a clear, written plan with each part of the plan and each step organized in order of priority. Put an "A," "B," or "C" next to each step. Determine the most important thing you can do to get started and put a circle around that item. A written plan will lead to action.

  2. Clean up your workspace
    Begin with only one thing, the most important thing in front of you. A clean workspace is a real motivator for action. A good time planner can be very helpful in this regard because it keeps you focused on the next task.

  3. Separate the urgent from the important
    Remind yourself that important tasks are usually not urgent. An urgent task is usually not important. Start off working on the tasks that are both urgent and important. Ensure you don't leave anything until the last moment.

  4. Start with your most important task
    People tend to procrastinate on large, important tasks with considerable future value. Successful completion of these major tasks can make a major difference into your life, so plan for them in ways that are manageable for you.

  5. Practice creative procrastination
    This requires that you consciously procrastinate on those tasks that contribute little or nothing to the accomplishments of your major, high-value goals. The difference between effective and ineffective people is that effective people only procrastinate on the things that don't really matter.
Action Exercise

  1. Select one major task where procrastination is holding you back.

  2. Create a detailed list of every single thing you will have to do to complete that taskā€¦.think on paper.

  3. Identify the single most important item on your list and gather everything you will need to start and complete that one item.

  4. Set a specific time when you will start and work single-mindedly on that task until it is finished.

  5. Break your largest tasks and goals down into bite-size chunks, and concentrate on starting and completing one part of the job at a time.

  6. Accept 100 percent responsibility for starting and finishing your major task; refuse to make excuses or rationalize pitting it off.

  7. Visualize working with a sense of urgency; program your mind by repeating the words "Do it now!" over and over.

Cheryl Vallejos is a certified in Law of Attraction practitioner who imparts her wisdom on attracting happiness, success and prosperity - mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Cheryl is author of "Injecting the Juice into Leadership" and "Time on Your Side" is a professional business coach and consultant with over 22 years experience in business leadership. She works with professionals who are ready to attract more success, happiness and abundance in their life as they combine The Law of Attraction with business building techniques. Click here to sign up for the FREE electronic book,"Using the Law of Attraction for Personal and Professional Success" or contact her for more information:

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