“Procrastination always gives you something to look forward to.”
What dreams has procrastination kept you from fulfilling? In a comic I recently viewed, an artist stood in front of a row of paintings hanging on the wall. The artist stood looking at the plain blank canvas on the gallery wall. It stuck out like a sore thumb beside the other colorful works of art. “I called it ‘procrastination‘”, she commented. Funny? Not so much. Procrastination is the cause of guilt, shame and a sense of unworthiness. Mastering procrastination will release your God-given creativity. It will fuel a sense of satisfaction.
Understanding the causes and applying some powerful hacks will set you on the road to getting important and creative stuff done! The cause of procrastination ranges from fear to perfectionism. Here are 10 procrastination hacks to help you get stuff done:
- F.E.A.R- fear is false evidence appearing real. The secret to overcoming fear is
- Just Do It- When we face the fear head on it loses its power.
“Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.” ? Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Acknowledge it- the moment we stop resisting fear and acknowledge it is there, it begins to lose force. Many have found it helpful to speak to the fear. “Fear I feel you. Thank you for trying to protect me but I got this. You can leave now.”
“Do you know what is the funny thing about fear? It’s only there until the time you take the first step. The moment you acknowledge you have it. You take a deep breath and charge toward it… Poof! Fear gets really scared and disappears.” -Ajit Nawalkha
2. Habit/Learned pattern
Perhaps you grew up with procrastination modeled. Life was full of fire drills. The blessing is you can drop the patterns that no longer serve you.
- Choose a new role model
Find someone who is doing what you desire to do. Meet them if possible. Spend time with them. Observe them. Volunteer to assist them. If meeting them is not workable, glean from their works. Read their biography. Watch a documentary about them. Study their creations.
- Visualize and Affirm
Every morning when you arise and each evening before you sleep, see yourself as being productive. Imagine moving through your tasks with ease and grace. Feel the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment. Celebrate your finished work in advance. Many authors do a mock up book cover and look at it daily before writing. Your brain doesn’t recognize the difference between real and imagined.
3. Limiting Perspective – like a photograph our results are based on which focal point we choose.
- Change Your Focal Point- As we change our perspective our task can transform from being burdensome to one that inspires gratitude. Once when my son complained about having to do too much laundry I reminded him of the alternative. He could be like boys in many countries who own only one set of clothes and wash them in a dirty river. Bless your bills when you pay them. Rejoice you have a home, electricity and water. Thank God for all the work you have. Many would gladly change places with you
- Change Your Vocabulary- when we change our words we change our life! Replace words in your vocabulary such as “I have to” into “I am blessed to be able to”. Stop telling yourself how “hard” things are. End the habit of saying, “I don’t have enough time”. We all have 24 hours a day. Speak the powerful affirmations, “I have time” and “I can do this”. You will be amazed.
4. Perfectionism- paralyses us in our tracks. How or where we got the idea that we could do something perfect without doing it many times poorly is a wonder. We didn’t learn to walk on the first try. We didn’t master riding a bicycle the first time. Yet somehow we expect our first book, painting or work to come out a flawless masterpiece.
- Focus on progress and not perfection. Celebrate movement and advancement every step of the way. See the beauty in every stage of what you are doing and know it IS perfect. In scripture, Romans 28 teaches us that every season of our life is beautiful and working together for good.
- Enjoy the journey. Understand you will never do anything well until you have done it many times poorly. but we can still have fun every step of the way. Laugh at your foopahs. Smile at your attempts the same way you did at your child’s first attempts to walk. Drop the need to get it perfect the first time. Compare apples to apples. Do not compare your work with someone who has had years of practice
- Push the “Refresh” Button – Often procrastination can be solved by refreshing ourselves. Be sure to make getting enough rest a priority. Learn the art of taking “power naps”. 15 -30 minutes between projects involving intense concentration can work wonders! Take short breaks. Refresh your brain by taking a brisk walk admiring the beauty. Close your eyes and put on headphones and relax to music that inspires Try working in a different setting. Change your position. Alternate sitting and standing when using your computer for extensive periods of time. Start your day with prayer, meditation or yoga Make it a spiritual practice to have a weekly Sabbath.
6. Lack of pleasure- For many of us, our inner child has had enough of monotony and routine. Our little girl or boy is tired of coloring in the lines. It is crying out to us and begging that we live a little!
- Bring back the fun!
Anything can be made more enjoyable with a little creativity. Infuse the room with beautiful scents. Diffusing essential oils can lift your mood and increase creativity. Bring in some fresh flowers. Turn on some inspirational music. Make it a game to complete a project by a set time and then give yourself a reward for completing it.
In the next part I will share ways to overcome procrastination and increase productivity by feeding your brain, understanding your brains innate energy advantage, and utilizing some fun focusing techniques. How have you overcome procrastination? Share in the comments below. For more great tips be sure to check out the Prosper in All Things events page here
Praying YOU prosper in All Things!