I’m starting to write this week’s blog at 5 pm on Saturday knowing that my weekly email to my readers goes out tomorrow. It’s not that I’ve been overwhelmed by bigger priorities it’s because I’ve spent the rest of the week procrastinating about what to write.
I know that everyone loses precious moments of time putting things off, delaying and faffing about, but, if you’re more of a chronic procrastinator then you’ll understand how self-sabotaging this can be.
The number of women I talk to who are currently struggling with procrastinating has increased rapidly during a lockdown. That sense of sameness and repetition about our days has led to demotivation which results in putting off difficult or tedious tasks. Or like me, you could just be missing that creative spark of inspiration.
What can you do if you’re wasting time procrastinating?
- Is it down to unrealistic expectations? Perfectionism and procrastination are very closely linked and the reason you’re struggling to start a task could be a fear of failure or disappointment. Your inner critic thinks it’s protecting you in case what you produce isn’t good enough, but check in with yourself are you setting the bar so high that you’re scared to even get started?
- Don’t use research as an excuse. Are you the sort of person that can happily spend hours trawling the internet for the exact information you think you need before taking action? That can lead to minutes and hours bing sucked up as you get drawn down a rabbit hole of clicking. Instead, set yourself a specific period of time to do the research and when that’s up get started.
- Get rid of all distractions. This is an obvious one but so important. I’ve switched off all notifications on my devices as the slightest “I’ll just check that email or message” can easily derail me. Set yourself a specific time once or twice each day to check your emails and avoid getting distracted at other times.
- Eat the frog first. You’ve probably heard of this saying that means do the toughest task first otherwise it hangs over you. If you don’t that nagging inner critical voice keeps reminding and criticising you for not getting on with it.
- Chunk down the overwhelming projects. Our brains like to reward us when we achieve something so by breaking down bigger tasks into smaller actions we get that sense of success more often.
If you find you’re affected by procrastinating, show yourself some compassion it’s a difficult time to stay motivated and focused. Then book a call with me and I can share more strategies with you.