One of the common issues that my clients seek coaching support for is getting on top of Procrastination. And they look for a quick fix—a solution overnight. Unfortunately, procrastination is not something that can be wished away just by rubbing the magic lamp. Rather, it calls for lifestyle adjustments so that Procrastination loses its vice-like grip over you, becomes powerless, and then falls by the wayside, whilst you move on. So that it never again catches up with you.
Let’s have a closer look at the issues underpinning the procrastinating habit. Things either don’t take off or fail to pick up steam for some of these common reasons:
- We are not sure that that is the right thing for us.
- We do not have the confidence that it can work.
- We don’t want it badly enough.
- We baulk at other unpleasantness that can likely crop up in the wake of going for it.
- Things don’t pan out as planned or expected en route.
- We don’t seem to have the time for it.
- We don’t know where to begin and when to begin.
- There’s too much clutter in life that it is hard to focus on anything for long.
Sounds familiar? Yet, isn’t it hard enough to not be able to get a handle on what needs to be done to overcome it? Well, it is not really as hard as it might appear. Here are some simple techniques to master the art of doing things on time. Follow them in toto, and procrastination will become a thing of the past.
- Writing down is a powerful process. Keep a journal for ideation and logging small victories. Also use it for writing down goals. Have long-term goals and short-term goals. Give dedicated time for the journal virtually every day and review short-term goals and goal-progression. Having a platform for ideation and logging victories provides great motivation, and motivation is the nemesis of procrastination.
- Use the ideation and goal-review time to decide what is really needed, what its priority is, and how to make the breakthroughs.
- Make a game plan for every goal. Schedule the action (allot a date and time for doing it). This is sacrosanct.
- Don’t make the mistake of overburdening yourself. Do not chew more than you can bite. Things are best done when they are done one at a time. Always have enough free time for all the routine but ‘must-do’ things in life.
- Don’t hurry and don’t worry. Goal-realisation is always time-bound, step-bound and non-linear. There is no other way. Do your best, but allow things to take their own time and run their own course. Have Plan B in place so that you can hold your own till the time Plan A is completely rolled out. Plan B is the key to manage the tension whilst Plan A unfolds and gets executed.
- Action is the essence of goal-realisation. The process of goal-realisation being non-linear in nature, challenges do pop up. Course-corrections will be necessary. The circle of Planning, Action & Review (PAR circle) is a sureshot recipe for achieving anything. Pursue PAR relentlessly but relax mentally, and allow things to unfold over time.
- Develop Discrete Thinking, which is thinking in spells. Think through all important tasks and events, register them, and then leave them alone. Do not let them linger in the mind. Even for victories, whilst you register them and log them in your journal, do not keep gloating over them as, goal-realisation being non-linear, many of them can lose their halos sometime later. Practising detachment over victories will help you fight back during setbacks.
- Wrong and over eating lead to excessive thoughts. Cut down on junk and processed food, and shift gradually towards natural and wholesome food. Gradually cut down the size of your meal portions, and you will find yourself more relaxed, handling challenges with aplomb. Life is a game, play it.
- Increase love & forgiveness in your relationships. Poke fun at yourself, and stop taking yourself too seriously. Allow the ego to melt little by little. Life is love, enjoy it.
- I always say that the hardest thing in this universe is not diamond but changing mental habits. Take the help of a coach. A skilful coach will help you to change your mental habits and reach your goals.
When life becomes a breeze, you are not bound by your mood to do what you want to do. You will no longer need a reason or a season to be able to work effortlessly. That’s when Procrastination loses it power on you. And you become Powerful.