“Procrastination is the biggest thief of time”
I don’t know who said that (other than my Mother who said it to me … a lot!) 🙂 For many years I was plagued by procrastination and that saying would ring in my head like a loud (and annoying) church bell when you’re trying to sleep in on a sunday morning!
It was a real problem for me, holding me back from achieving my goals and creating discomfort with myself. It was fodder for the inner critic in my mind: “You need to do ____!”; “You should have done _____ already!”; “Why haven’t you ____-?”.
As a life coach and healer I know the importance of creating a harmonious internal environment, so I approached it as I would when trying to resolve any obstacle to my success. I chose to heal it by getting to the root of the problem and finding the solution!
One of my biggest insights is that, not only is procrastination the biggest thief of time, it is a huge energy drain! When you have something left hanging, it’s like a pile of paper on your desk that you keep meaning to file or dispose of, or an uncrossed item on your “to do” list that you keep carrying forward – day after day, week after week – it’s draining!
After working with this issue for many years, with myself and tons of clients, I discovered was that there are generally 2 things at the root of procrastination (which I define as: resisting starting or completing a task):
- You don’t really want to do the task in first place, or,
- Your afraid of the outcome of completing the task
I know this may seem overly simplified, but trust me on this. Any excuse you have as to why you are procrastinating around something will fall into one of these two categories!
So, more importantly than WHY you’re procrastinating is, how do I stop? What’s the cure?
Step #1 – Decide
Get clear on what exactly you are procrastinating about and how you feel about it by answering the following questions:
1. Why do I want/need to do this? (Is this necessary, important or meaningful to me or my business?)
2. Is this something I need to do or can someone else do it?
3. If this is something I feel I have to do, can I get someone to help me do it?
Step #2 – Activate “The 3 D’s”
Take action by doing one of these 3:
- Do it
- Delegate it
- Drop it
You decide it’s something that (a) you really want to do or (b) Is really important for you to do and that only you can do, so you find a way to overcome your doubt and fear and be like Nike and “Just Do It!
You decide it’s important that this get done but you are not necessarily the one who has to do it. Maybe there is someone else who will be more skilled at doing it (and thus will do it faster and with more joy than you) or doing this task is not the best use of your time or talent and you could be joyfully playing in YOUR zone of genius.
It really isn’t something that is necessary, useful or meaningful. It will not add value to your business or to your life. In which case you delete it from your “to do” list entirely.
Whichever of “The 3 D’s” you DECIDE to DO, you will feel relief because you will have taken ACTION and that is when you know you have cured your procrastination!
Try it and let me know what happens! Leave a comment below.
Great Advice and you look amazing!
this sounds like it fits in with some issues I am having, but how do you delegate if you know that the people you have to pass it over will not do the job right to suite your client, “this I know from past experience, certain clients you know what they are looking for.”
I will try and do this and hope it fixes thing’s.
Oh, I must thank you for helping my situation at work, I think I needed to speak it out with a group which will not be bias because they don’t know you or the people you are having issues with, I told her my mind and she came back the next day and apologies for everything and has made a big improvement at her job discretion.
Thanks so much, and will be doing this exercise.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
You’re welcome Lisa!