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3 Telltale Signs You’re Procrastinating and How to Overcome this Problem

3 Telltale Signs You’re Procrastinating and How to Stop

I don’t know about you, but I can find myself in a tight spot once in while – all because I procrastinated about something I knew I needed to do.

And then of course, I am frustrated with myself because now I need to drop everything else I’d rather be doing and I’m stressed and not happy at all.

Again!

In this article I will help you understand how to recognize procrastination when it comes up for you and learn how to reach your goals.

Is it really procrastination… or are you making the right decision because something else is more important right now? If it is really procrastination these strategies will help you recognize the early warning signs and give you strategies that will work for you so that you stop playing small and live your life to the fullest.

The end of the year is quickly ending so this is a perfect time to reflect over the year and see what you had planned to accomplish compared to what you did accomplish. Think back to when you planned out your goals.

Remember how excited and dedicated you were? And then life happens and the day-to-day gets in the way and before you know it another day has gone by without reaching your goals.

When asked recently in an Internet survey the top five reasons people gave for procrastination was: fear of failing (19%), lack of motivation (13%), lack of focus (12%), feeling overwhelmed (10%) and the task was unpleasant (9%.)

1st Sign You are Procrastinating

You indulge in distractions such as watching TV, surfing the web, social media, playing video games, taking naps, reading books, or hanging out with friends instead of working on your goals.

2nd Sign You are Procrastinating

You make excuses for not doing something you know you should be doing such as…

  • It’s been a rough week or
  • I need more time / money / resources / sleep or
  • I have too many other things going on right now – I just can’t fit this in or
  • I’m just not feeling it right now
  • Yada, yada, yada…

3rd Sign You are Procrastinating

Feelings of despair that can paralyze you from taking positive action towards your goals. This often sounds like…

  • Why is my life so unfair?
  • Why am I always the one that must do everything?
  • Why are things always so difficult?
  • Why can’t I be more organized?

If you can see yourself in any of these warning signs, then you are definitely procrastinating in a detrimental way.

Here are ten strategies that will help you overcome this problem once and for all:

  1. Vocabulary is important so choose your words wisely. Positive words yield positive results; negative self-talk gets more of what you don’t want.
  2. Reverse your calendar and start with the deadline and work backwards so you space out the work in smaller steps. Make sure the interim deadlines are realistic and allow space for unforeseen things to come up without jeopardizing the project.
  3. Fill your calendar so that you reduce the time you think you have available to work on the important tasks. Look at elapsed time versus effort time.
     
    For instance, it might take you 3 hours to complete a project step but you won’t have a 3-hour block of time all at once. So, give yourself a deadline of completing that task over 3 days so that you can find 3 hours of time spread over the 3-day period.
     
    Include recreational and family activities, too, so that the time you can dedicate to the project is realistic and achievable.
  4. Work in a state of flow because we’re most productive when fully engaged. Distractions, emotions and other concerns undermine our ability to focus. Consider spending 2-minutes in meditation to empty your mind and visualize yourself celebrating completing the task.
  5. Fully embrace your goals so don’t spend time working on things you don’t care about if you have any choice in the matter. There are some things we all must do regardless of how much we dislike them – so do those things first and get them out of the way so that you can enjoy the rest of your day doing what you really want to do.
  6. Look at the tiny steps if the big picture is overwhelming. Break each big step into smaller steps and before you realize it, the project is finished. And share the load by delegating as much as you can to someone who loves doing those types of things.
  7. Make your own rewards and treat yourself once a specific task is completed. Relish how good it feels to have that step completed and then do something fun before moving to the next step.
  8. Reframe its importance even if it’s not important to you. Remind yourself of how important it is to someone you care about or think about how good you will feel when this project is completed.
     
    I do that when it’s time to prepare my annual taxes because it is the one thing I dislike more than anything – but once it’s handed off to the CPA I feel wonderful knowing I won’t have to do it again for another year!
  9. Sleep, eat healthy & exercise because unless you feel good physically and mentally it will be almost impossible to focus on completing the task at hand.
  10. Uncover start and end points because once something has a beginning and an end, it’s a whole lot easier to start filling in the middle. That’s a lesson I learned from my home economics teacher in grade school when she made us measure twice and cut once.
     
    When I was learning to sew, I had to take out each piece of the pattern and lay it out on the fabric so I knew exactly which pieces I needed before I was ever able to start cutting. Of course, I wanted to jump right in and make a dress, but I’m so glad she enforced me to do it right the first time!

So now that you understand why you might be procrastinating, how to tell when it’s happening and some methods to develop some winning strategies it’s a perfect time to start planning for the new year.

About the Author, Katherine Hartvickson

Kathryn Wilking

Katherine Hartvickson is the founder and president of Hartvickson & Associates, Inc. dba Quantum Ascendance. She is an experienced business consultant and success coach. Since leaving the corporate world in 2009, her clients include business owners and other seriously committed professionals and entrepreneurs who want to gain the confidence and skills to break through the barriers of success and achieve their ideal life.

What separates her service from others is her experience in leading large teams and developing top performers in corporate environments and because of this, clients achieve individual & financial rewards and the recognition they earned without sacrificing their personal life. If you are interested in knowing more, she can be reached at www.QuantumAscendance.com.


An Unlikely Cure for Procrastination

An Unlikely Cure for Procrastination

Our lives are full, let’s face it. We‘ve picked up a few habits along the way, good and bad.  We have goals. We’ve made connections, plans and we are moving along.

But things could be better.

Something is stopping our progress; over time, projects and dreams can end up on the shelf.

Often, the problem is allowing oneself to procrastinate.

My experience through feng shui has taught me that many of our distractions can be traced back to the disorder in our homes.

Clutter has many effects: emotional, mental and physical.  A build-up of clutter in your home can affect your office and your work.  It can be the root of your frustration and procrastination. It can also represent a ‘stuck reality’.

Clearing clutter can help you break through procrastination and move forwards.

It is all about the energy. Clear the clutter and you free the energy!

A house is an extension of your life,

and that includes your business life too!

If there is an area of your home that has been neglected, it is time to go in and have a peek. You will need to apply a bit of discipline, and you may need to get ruthless.

  1. Does your attic harbour the past?

    It is great to display certificates, awards and achievements, but when they are decades old, it will be hard to find motivation through these items.

    Much of this type of memorabilia ends up in the attic; high-and-dry is the best place for these items, but this type of clutter can keep you stuck in the past. The items that are stored overhead and out-of-reach are most likely high-school yearbooks, past trophies and collections or items inherited from others.

    CURES: Take the time to evaluate the clutter from yester-years. Copy and store items that you want to remember, and pass along the rest. When you’ve sorted through these items, take a step into the present.

    In your office, bring in updated items that show recent achievements and endorsements. Display up-to-date personal photos and images, with a goal of moving forwards.

  2. Are you a person that starts projects and then relegates them to the basement?

    Creativity can get interrupted, but when projects get set aside for too long, they end up below-grade.

    Many basements, lacking light and energy are a logical place to harbour these unfinished projects. The mental angst connected to these projects (collecting dust bunnies and taking up space) can be traumatic. Time to deal with them once-and-for-all!

    CURE: Get down there and have a look. The ones you can finish, organize their completion within a reasonable amount of time. As for the far-fetched inventions, perhaps it is time to admit defeat. Cut your losses, clean up the mess and move forward.

  3. Is your garage an expensive storage unit?

    The garage is a place where people store much more than their cars; it tends to collect a plethora of sports equipment, tools and seasonal items.

    Many of these items cost big-money and if they are seldom used, the guilt of seeing boxes and heaps-of-plenty can be a reminder of the cost.

    This type of clutter is not motivating and rather mournful of a bad decision. With guilt, you will not be able to reach your full potential, with anything.

    CURE: Would you consider selling a few things? Or, donate to a good cause? Have another look into your storage area to assess the emotional, mental and physical restrictions these items are having on you.

    Make room for new hobbies and interests to enter your life in the present.

  4. Are you a little depressed?

    A woman’s closet is full of self-esteem issues. Often cramped with miss- matched outfits and multiple sizes, it is no wonder that this is an emotional issue every morning.

    Trying to figure out what to wear to the office can be depressing.

    CURE: Clear out your wardrobe. Go through your belts, shoes, and dresser drawers; and especially your jewelry. Examine those emotions. Only keep the items that will support you, and help you to move forward.

Hanging onto clutter may represent a reluctance to ‘move on’, or even a way to escape from the present.  Have a look around your space with fresh eyes.

The places you DON’T want to look at are probably the first place you SHOULD start.

Dealing with clutter issues in your home will unfold into other areas; you’ll be able to address the procrastination and stuck areas of your life.

Many people begin to clear an area with guilt and remorse, and then, report a positive uplift when completed. The unloading of emotional baggage comes with the action of taking charge.

The challenge is getting started!

This fresh New Year, 2016, is a great time to ruffle the procrastination-dust-bunnies and recognize what is cluttering your home, and your life. Let’s move forward together!

All the best for a Fabulous New Year!

~Kathryn

About the Author, Kathryn Wilking

Kathryn Wilking

Kathryn of Kathryn Wilking Designs is a Professional Member of the International Feng Shui Guild, and Author, Teacher and Feng Shui Consultant and is available for innovative talks for workshops and Lunch 'n Learn programs.

Sign up to receive a FREE copy of her "Bucket or Chuck-it" PDF report as well as monthly tips on creating a healthy and happy environment at www.kathrynwilking.com