Overcoming Procrastination is Possible!
Has overcoming procrastination felt like an impossible feat? The good news is it is not. Once you identify the root cause, however, the solution becomes clear. Most of us realize fear is often at the root of procrastination. There are, however, less known and understood causes of procrastination. These include hidden doubts, brain fatigue and not knowing our brain’s innate energy advantage. If you missed part one of “10 Procrastination Hacks to Get Stuff Done!” you can read it here . Here are four more powerful procrastination hacks.
7. Self Doubt
Self doubt is a form of fear that results in procrastination. Endless “what if” questions flood our mind. What if no one likes it? What if it’s not good? What if I look stupid? What if it’s not original? Questions like this keep us paralyzed.
We put expectations on ourself that we would never put on others.
The solution? Be kind and compassionate with yourself! Look for progress and not perfection. Give yourself grace to try things and not get them perfect immediately.
Recently I have taken up painting. With each new painting I discover new confidence and freedom. I have learned that paint, like life, is not permanent. If you do not like the results. Paint over it and try a different approach. In my last painting (5th painting ever), I started out to paint a rose. It was terrible! Then I remembered I could just paint over it. What started as a rose ended up being amazing wild flowers and a sunflower. I love it! I didn’t get good results until I stopped taking myself so seriously! The point is, just paint (or whatever you are doing). Rarely are mistakes permanent. In fact many “mistakes” become best selling inventions or masterpieces! Have fun. Here is a picture of my “masterpiece”.
“I didn’t get good results until I stopped taking myself so seriously!”
I also had to stop comparing my work with that of the instructors! Do not compare yourself with anyone but yourself. Celebrate your successes. Reinforce your successes. One thing I do each night before I sleep is to review 3 successes from that day. Try it. The results are a lot better than rehearsing your “failures”. Don’t you agree?
8. Overestimating the task
Sometimes we just over think a project. We overestimate the effort or the resources it will take to get a job done. This gives us an excuse that on the surface sounds reasonable. For example, We think we have to go to the store and buy fancy storage containers to clean out a closet. The truth is we have enough bags and boxes around to finish the job.
The truth is:
We often spend more energy thinking about it than just getting it done!
It actually takes less energy to do the job than spend days, weeks, months thinking about doing it!
The solution? Break the job into small manageable tasks. Then prioritize those tasks and schedule a time to do each task. I know if I don’t calendar it. It won’t happen! So schedule it. Then “get-er-done!” You’ll feel a big weight lifted.
9. Underestimating the time it will take to complete
There is one case in which we can be over optimistic. For Type A personalities like myself, it is how much I think I should be able to accomplish in a day. You have probably heard, “Things always take longer and cost more than anticipated”. I have found this is especially true in building a home or a business!
The solution? Reduce stress by planning for the unplanned. The concept of “margin” is a beautiful one. Consider a well designed brochure, advertisement or sales letter. What do you notice? They contains well placed and strategic copy and plenty of white space. This is also true for well crafted life.
A well designed life contains purposeful activity with plenty of rest and recreation.
Build margin for unforeseen complications to the project. Put extra time on the schedule. Set aside funds for unexpected expenses. If you finish ahead of schedule or below budget then celebrate.
10. Brain Fatigue
Fatigue is an issue many entrepreneurs struggle with. Beyond the obvious factors of stress, overwork and not getting enough sleep, there is another important cause of fatigue. We are “frying” our brain!
Dr. Arlene Taylor, a brain function expert has been an important mentor in my life. I have learned a great deal about the brain from her. On her website, Dr. Taylor shares how she became fascinated with the concept of energy (or in this case the lack of) in the mid ’70s. She reports how she began to interview certain individuals who attended her brain programs. These individuals had fatigue and symptoms similar to PSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Although resembling PSD, they had two differences. They could not identify a triggering traumatic incidents (e.g., rape, military service in a war zone, catastrophic illness…), and they had not experienced flashbacks.
What Arlene discovered was that the energy drain reported by these individuals might be related to the types of tasks they were asking their brains to accomplish and the relative amount of time spent on these energy-intensive tasks. She would later coin the acronym Prolonged Adaptive Stress Syndrome or PASS. Read more here
The bottom line: not knowing your brain’s innate energy advantage can result, according to Dr. Taylor, “in a mismatch between one’s innate giftedness and the way in which the individual is actually living on a daily basis.” She further states, “this can be a serious and potentially life-threatening stressor. Over time, this type of stressor situation may contribute to an increased risk of self-medicating (altering one’s own brain chemistry) through addictive behaviors.”
Discovering and honoring your brain’s innate energy advantage is one of the most loving things you can do
Learn more about innate energy advantage in this short video
Spend at least 51 percent of the time in activities that primarily use your brain lead (innate energy advantage). Sandwich those activities not in your brain lead. When we don’t do so, our brain tries to protect us.
Procrastination is one way your brains says, “This requires too much energy!”
In addition to knowing and understanding your brain, loving your brain includes giving it good nutrition. This includes eating enough of the “good” fats and carbohydrates. Low fat and no fat diets have not been good for the brain. Also include plenty of filtered water and B vitamins. Avoid excitotoxins and refined sugars.
I pray these two articles have shed some light on the causes and solutions for procrastination. Leave a comment or drop me a note and tell me how you are getting stuff done! <3