Ah, the ever-persistent tug-of-war with procrastination. Let’s be real, it’s a challenge we all wrestle with, especially those of us navigating the seas of self-employment or creative endeavors. You know, where there’s no boss breathing down your neck to get stuff done.
So, why do we do it? Why put off today what we swear we’ll do “first thing” tomorrow? That’s exactly what I’m diving into in this post, which is based on this episode of The Chalene Show.
We’ll unpack the misunderstood world of procrastination, and guess what? I’ll let you in on a little secret: some things are totally okay to procrastinate on. Yep, you heard me right. But more importantly, we’re going to delve into the why’s and how’s of procrastination, and share actionable steps to conquer it once and for all.
Ready to level up? Stick around. We’re demystifying procrastination and serving up some real talk on getting things done—no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
Why We Embrace Procrastination: Breaking Down the Triggers
Hold up—let’s get into the nitty-gritty of *why* we procrastinate.
- First on the list: overconfidence. I mean, who hasn’t thought, “I can crank this out in no time,” only to find themselves in a last-minute scramble? It’s like we’re playing mind games with ourselves.
- Next up is that paralyzing “where do I even start” feeling. Your to-do list is so long it’s starting to look like a CVS receipt, and you haven’t even bothered to write it down. Yeah, that’s a mess waiting to happen. If you’re not jotting down what needs to get done, how can you prioritize? It’s like your tasks are just floating around in your brain, growing and causing a traffic jam of procrastination.
- But wait, there’s more. Ever put off a task because it didn’t feel “important enough”? Maybe someone at home asked you to vacuum, and you’re like, “I’ll pass—for now.” Or perhaps you’re at work and get a request that makes you think, “Eh, I can do that later.” This could be because the task isn’t significant to *you*.
- And let’s talk about the elephant in the room: laziness. But listen, if you’re tuning into The Chalene Show, I doubt you’re inherently lazy. Sometimes it’s just emotional overwhelm, or depression, or anxiety that saps your will. Trust me, you’re not alone.
- And then there’s the biggie: fear of the outcome. Whether it’s applying for a new job, starting a business, or even having a tough conversation, sometimes we procrastinate because we’re scared of what comes next.
Tip #1: Use Procrastination to Your Advantage with a Brain Dump
Sometimes, the best way to deal with procrastination is to actually embrace it—at least for a little while. The first step to beating procrastination is understanding what’s weighing you down. So, grab a pen and paper and give yourself permission to procrastinate for just 30 minutes. During this time, do a full-on brain dump. List down everything—from your fitness goals to the mundane errands like a trip to the store—that’s bouncing around in your mind. This “organized procrastination” will help you get a better grasp of what actually needs to get done. Now, instead of aimless procrastination, you have a roadmap to help you prioritize.
Tip #2: Master the Art of Intentional Delay with Smart Tools
After you’ve done your brain dump, go ahead and categorize your to-do list into items for this week, this month, this quarter, and this year. For long-term goals and wellness commitments, the 131 Method can help you stay focused on what really matters. Use a to-do list app like ‘Awesome Note,’ which syncs with Evernote, to digitally store these timelines. Now, you’re not just aimlessly putting things off; you’re strategically delaying tasks in a way that aligns with both immediate and future objectives. Your brain gets to relax, no longer bogged down by the decision fatigue of trying to remember everything. So go ahead, give yourself permission to procrastinate wisely. Your future self will thank you.
Tip #3: Prioritize the Not-So-Fun Stuff to Combat Procrastination
Look, we all gravitate towards tasks that are quick wins or simply enjoyable. However, overcoming procrastination means zeroing in on those “not-so-fun” tasks. You know, the ones that make you say, “Ugh, where do I even start?” Maybe it’s organizing your garage, revamping your closet, or another task that’s crucial but not exactly a blast. Here’s where the SmartLife PUSH Journal or a daily planner can come in handy. Move those essential but dreadful tasks from your massive brainstorm list to your daily to-do list. Slap an asterisk next to them to signify their priority level. This is how you ensure these tasks don’t just linger in procrastination purgatory but actually get done.
Tip #4: Conquer Delay with Bite-Sized Tasks
You’ve got your priorities set, but let’s be real, saying “Write an eBook” is way too general and overwhelming. That’s like a month’s worth of work in one phrase, and it’s one of the reasons we end up delaying tasks. So here’s the deal: break down that mammoth task into bite-sized duties. If you’re stuck on where to start, I’ve got news for you. There’s this magical, often-overlooked website called Google.com. Seriously, if you’ve got questions like “How to start my own organic tomato farm,” Google’s got your back. Type it in, find a guide, and then break down those steps into smaller tasks that can be tackled daily. By doing this, you’ll dodge that overwhelming feeling and actually start chipping away at your goals.
Tip #5: Beat Procrastination by Setting Due Dates
Look, we all need a bit of a nudge sometimes, and there’s no better way to give yourself that kick in the pants than by setting due dates. I mean, who are you accountable to? You, right? So give those significant tasks a due date. It acts as your built-in accountability partner. Having a concrete finish line turns those “someday” tasks into “must-do-by-this-date” tasks. This way, you don’t just end up in a cycle of eternal procrastination; you actually get stuff done. Trust me, your future self will thank you.
Tip #6: Decode Your Go-To “Delay Tactics”
Ah, the art of distraction. We’ve all got that one place, our very own “procrastination paradise,” where we escape when we don’t want to face the big, gnarly task looming over us. Maybe you’re organizing your closet by color (don’t look at me like that; we’ve all been there), or perhaps you’re mindlessly scrolling through social media. The key here is awareness. Recognize that when you’re suddenly super invested in rearranging your kitchen drawers or stalking your high school sweetheart on Facebook, you’re probably dodging something important. So ask yourself: “Why am I here? What am I avoiding?” Knowing your personal “delay tactics” can help you catch yourself in the act and redirect your focus to what truly matters.
Tip #7: Leverage “Commitment Anchors”
Accountability—it’s like the secret sauce that makes your procrastination-fighting strategy irresistibly effective. Yeah, setting due dates is your first line of defense, but why stop there? Make your intentions known, loud and clear, to someone who’ll call you out if you slack off. Whether it’s shouting your goals from the digital rooftops of social media or teaming up with an accountability buddy, make sure someone else is in the loop. It’s weirdly easier to let ourselves down but not so much when it comes to other people. Plus, there’s something about declaring your plans to the world (or at least to your BFF) that makes you want to follow through. No one likes to be the person who talks a big game but never scores, right?
Tip #8: Bite-Sized Treats to Ward Off Delay Tactics
Consider this: incremental rewards can be your motivational jet fuel. You know how it goes—you set this gigantic goal and tell yourself you’ll reward yourself only when you’ve conquered the whole thing. That’s like trying to finish a marathon without any water stations along the way. No wonder you find it hard to stay pumped! For something as mammoth as writing that 131 book or shedding those 100 pounds, split your rewards into manageable milestones. Trust me, a little spa day after nailing a chapter or a small treat after losing the first 5 pounds can do wonders for your morale. Essentially, you’re tricking your brain into keeping the momentum going without feeling overwhelmed by the scale of the project. And hey, who doesn’t want a daily dose of ‘yay-me’ to keep the procrastination monster at bay?
Tip #9: Visualize Success to Nix Procrastination
Picture this—you’re staring at your SmartLife PUSH Journal or daily planner, and as you jot down a task, a tiny voice whispers, “Who are we kidding? This ain’t happening.” If that’s the case, pause. Take a moment. That disbelief you feel is like adding cement blocks to your procrastination backpack. And we don’t want that. Visualization is your secret weapon here. Before you even put pen to paper, close your eyes and imagine completing that task, whether it’s tidying up half your closet or finishing a segment of your project. Feel the satisfaction. Savor the reward you’ve set for yourself. This mental exercise isn’t just some woo-woo stuff; it’s a powerful motivator that actually sets the stage for your brain to follow through. If you don’t believe you can do it, then who will? Belief fuels action. Period.
Tip #10: Just Freaking Start
Listen up, because this one is the real deal—the final boss level of beating procrastination. Stop hesitating. Stop overthinking. And for heaven’s sake, stop letting fear call the shots. You know those messages I get on Instagram and Snapchat filled with apprehension? I mean, come on! You’re not going to find out if something works unless you jump in and give it a shot. What’s the worst that can happen? You make a mistake? Big deal. Successful people are basically professional mistake-makers who’ve learned to pick themselves up and keep rolling. So, whether you’re contemplating a career move or a passion project, just start. There’s no trophy for perfectionism, but there’s plenty to gain from taking that first, even if shaky, step. Remember, not starting is the ultimate failure. You’ve got this, now go do it.
Today is the day we step up and embrace action.
Whether it’s setting a due date, identifying your go-to procrastination destination, or simply starting even when you’re trembling with fear—accountability is your new best friend.
If you’re in need of that extra push, why not share this post with someone who can hold you accountable? Just hit that Share button, send it in a text, and let them know what you’re committing to. Trust me, sometimes a friendly nudge is all you need to cross the finish line.
Do you recoil at the mere thought of being accountable to others? Then you’ll definitely want to tune into episode #320. I dive deep into why that might be and how you can shift your mindset to see accountability as a tool, not a burden.
You’ve got this. It’s time to break free from procrastination and live the life you’ve always wanted. I believe in you.