Ever found yourself playing a game on your phone without realizing it? Do you impulsively look on social media or news sites as a way of avoiding your work? A little procrastination isn’t something to sweat over, but if it starts to significantly impact your productivity, you’ll need to intervene in your own behavior.
We procrastinate and we hate ourselves for it! But in this blog post, I want to help you reframe procrastination, not as some damning reflection of your failure as a human being, but as an opportunity to self-reflect and make positive change. Be kind to yourself and read on as we redefine “procrastination.”
Procrastination ISN’T a personality trait
The word “procrastinator” shouldn’t exist. Procrastination is not, I repeat, NOT a facet of your personality. It is a symptom of a problem in your life. Too many people believe that they procrastinate because it’s in their nature, that they’re “lazy” or some other such nonsense.
To dispell this myth once and forever in your mind, answer this question: when you know you have a really exciting day ahead of you, do you wake up as late as possible, dawdle about, and put-off starting your day? Of course not. It’s not laziness, it’s lack of enthusiasm that’s preventing you from being productive.
You are not a procrastinator, you are not lazy, the best term is “unmotivated”. If you’re going to dedicate the majority of your day to something, spend time away from your family, and do tasks that take you out of your comfort zone, you’d best have a really clear vision as to why you are doing it. What’s your long term goal? What’s the purpose of these things? If you can’t answer these questions you are unmotivated, and it’s the most likely cause of your procrastination.
Procrastination IS a useful indicator that something isn’t right
On the dashboard of your life, procrastination is a warning light. A sign that we need to reconnect with our purpose and our vision for the future. It might also be a sign that bigger change is needed. Often, the thing we thought we wanted, wasn’t what we needed after all. Life teaches us many things, and as we get older and wiser, we need to take what we’ve learned into consideration.
Acknowledging this requires you to be brave. It can be very daunting if, say, you’re already well established in a career that you’ve now come to realize isn’t serving you. You may need to go back to the drawing board. It requires bravery to question your life decisions and make yourself vulnerable in the process. But you need to realize your true purpose for yourself, find out what motivates you and turn your life around. I’ve been there myself, and I know that being brave is easier said than done, which is what prompted me to write my book The Real Me; Turning Me Inside Out, so that through my example, others can understand that being brave, taking risks and showing vulnerability really pays off.
Procrastination ISN’T all equal
So which case are you? Do you just need to reconnect with your purpose, or do you need to do some more serious groundwork to find your real purpose in the first place? Different levels of procrastination require different actions.
Mild procrastination is probably nothing to worry about. Everyone procrastinates from time to time, even people who love their job find some tasks daunting or mundane and they put them off. If you find that you only procrastinate on certain tasks, these bullet points might help you.
- See the bigger picture. If you’re stuck doing routine admin for the job you love, take a deep breath and remind yourself that this is temporary and it allows you to continue your meaningful work.
- If possible, re-delegate tasks you find boring or daunting, or at least see if you can share the load. A task which you loathe might be the perfect job for someone else, or an opportunity for your employee to have a bit more responsibility.
- Outsource the tasks that you struggle with. Remember, your time is money, so if you find yourself taking too long over a task you don’t enjoy, pay someone who can do a great job in half the time!
- Divide daunting tasks into smaller ones, write them as a to-do list and tick them off as you go. That way you can get some satisfaction by marking your progress, and watching the task melt away.
- Start your day with the job you least like and reward yourself with a coffee break once it’s completed.
Serial procrastination is a different matter altogether. If you procrastinate for most of your day and most of your job, and you can’t think of a good reason to push through your mundane or daunting tasks, you have a much more challenging, but much more exciting journey ahead of you.
You need to establish what it is that really motivates you. It’s completely unique to everyone, so it’s really important that you find out your purpose on your own, with the guidance of someone impartial who can help steer you towards realizing your own purpose in life.
Why is it so important to seek impartial guidance? Your family and friends have their own ideas of how to find happiness and fulfillment, but there’s a good chance that it doesn’t apply to you. On your journey, you’ll find that many people claim to have the answers, and sometimes they can be downright patronizing, even if they’re well-intentioned, in explaining to you how they found happiness. A professional life coach or business coach, like myself, will want you to answer the big life questions for yourself, and forget about what you’ve been told happiness, success, and fulfillment is. You need to find what drives you personally so that you can get to living your own life to the fullest.
Procrastination IS the reason you’re seeking help right now.
You’ve found this blog because you’ve acknowledged that you need to stop procrastinating. If you hadn’t procrastinated, maybe you wouldn’t have found Realized Purpose, and you wouldn’t be on the path to making real positive change.
My personal mission is to help you unlock what drives you. I have over 25 years of experience in helping people re-ignite their passion for their business and their life. Through my work as a business and life coach, I have had the honor of assisting people in turning their lives around, to watch them unlock their full potential and start living the life they were put on this earth to live,
I know first hand how challenging it can be to take that first step, particularly if it requires talking to a stranger and showing that vulnerability from the off, which is why I created my online mini-course.
Start making change today
You can download our free mini-course here and begin your path to a happy and productive life. Now would a procrastinator do that?
My free mini-course is designed to help you identify what drives you through a series of questions aimed at getting to the core of who you are. With this free resource, you can do a lot of the legwork on your own before seeking the guidance of a life coach, helping to maximize the efficiency of your sessions, and empower you to start making meaningful change in your life right away. All without spending a dime.businesslifepurpose