Motivation Monday: Become the ‘Wise Procrastinator’

What’s your excuse? What is stopping you from creating the life you want to have? Are your procrastinating and sabotaging yourself by putting off looking for that new job, not recording that video, writing that paper. I know one of the biggest time sucks for many people especially women is the excuse that the house needs to be clean. Well, have you ever been able to type up that proposal and sweep and mop the kitchen floor at the same time? Sometimes you have to choose what is the most important thing in your life. Is it the kitchen floor? Or is it the proposal getting written that can get you a new client who might make it so you can give up the job you hate? Think about becoming the wise procrastinator. In today’s Motivation Monday, Mentor Kristina Blasen shares some insight into HOW you can move from procrastination to action. Enjoy and play the game Kristina suggests! Tell us what you discovered. Thanks, Tamara Patzer, publisher of MentorOnlineMagazine.com MOM!

 

Become the “Wise Procrastinator”

Kristina Blasen

By Kristina Blasen

We’ve all been there…procrastination land…this is a favorite wayside destination where we tend to stop, visit, sit and ruminate for awhile…especially around bill paying, homework doing, presentation creating, housecleaning and doing busywork time.

Now most of us, when we procrastinate, spend our time doing fruitless tasks that occupy our time in a mindless and stress-free manner, this is why when we know we SHOULD be doing something we unconsciously (and sometimes consciously) find ourselves doing just about anything-except that! Even when we know that the consequences to our procrastination may be great, somehow we convince ourselves that channel surfing, chatting on Facebook, browsing the internet, reading a book, even washing the car or cleaning the kitchen are all tasks we need to do NOW…the excuses we offer ourselves are logically weak, but emotionally they are very powerful.

We say things like, “I’m tired”, “I need to rest”, “I’ll start in an hour”, “I’ll do it later, after the kids go to bed”, “I’ll just take a nap”…or, “I’m too busy, if I don’t do X (wash the car, take out the trash, do the dishes, make dinner…) it will never get done”. The whole time our physical body is occupied and our emotions are now appeased by all this attention, our mental selves are frantically trying to get our attention and impress upon us the need to do the task we are procrastinating about!

We Create Our Own Stress!

This sets up a mental recording that plays over and over interrupting not only the task we are doing, but also introducing stress and anxiety to the background of our thoughts and feelings the ENTIRE TIME we are choosing to do SOMETHING OTHER THAN WHAT WE KNOW WE SHOULD BE DOING! (For a lot of us consummate procrastinators this could easily be days, weeks, months or YEARS of added background stress and worry that is unnecessary!)

The Procrastination Habit

Procrastination can easily become a habit, before you know it you may find that you automatically procrastinate about doing anything you don’t “feel” like doing. The problem with this is that it layers more and more stress and anxiety into your daily life, the more things you procrastinate about, the more stress and chaos can then invade and take over your life. This robs you of energy, happiness and enjoyment in living!

It is extremely hard to stop the learned habit of procrastinating about doing things that we don’t like or don’t feel like doing in the first place (even if we know and agree that they need to get done).

Trick Yourself to become the ‘Wise Procrastinator’

The method that I’ve successfully used to stop myself from procrastinating is really a way to trick myself into being what I call “a wise procrastinator.”

I start by making a list of the things I KNOW that I’m procrastinating about. This is different than a “To Do” list of things that need to get done, this is a list of the things I stop and recognize that I’ve been putting off. My list is usually an electronic sticky note on my computer, but yours could be a real sticky note or a piece of paper you carry with you. (I’m big on visual reminders).

Prioritize

Then I prioritize the list. This isn’t necessarily by due dates, but I’ve found that recognizing when something I’m putting off has consequences (going to cost me money or cause some other bigger problem) or payoffs (like money!) those go to the top!

Then I CHOOSE between the top three each day, ONE that I’m going to do, somehow, someway THAT DAY, preferably starting right then for at least 15 minutes!

You’d be surprised how many times I’ve chosen to work just 15 minutes on a task I’ve been procrastinating on, figuring it was something that was going to be hard, complicated, or take HOURS and guess what, a lot of times it only took those 15 minutes and I was done!

Believe me, when this happens it releases so much mental and emotional energy that has been trapped by the ever-playing reminders and worry about when or how I was going to get some task done that I spent far more time THINKING about it, than DOING it actually took!

Note Stress Relief!

When you use this system every day, you’ll notice that after awhile there IS less stress, fewer fires to put out and suddenly there is more mental and emotional room for doing more than merely “surviving” and new items start to appear on your personal “To Do” list that actually include things to make progress on your personal goals and make an investment of this extra time into creating the amazing life that you envision, but you haven’t had the energy or the resources to begin making into your reality- until now.

Get started on being a “wise procrastinator” today:

  • Make a “Procrastination Hit List” (I used to stick a paper version of this to my monitor at work so I had to look at it all day, now I have electronic sticky notes)
  • Prioritize not by how long you think it will take, but by what has the greatest pay off, or avoids the possible consequences of not getting it done
  • Pick ONE per day that you are absolutely committed to getting done, spend at least 15 minutes on getting started on completing that task right away (this is important because getting started, for the procrastinator, is 90% of the battle)
  • Keep your completed lists so you can see your progress and feel the sense of accomplishment
  • Notice when you habitually procrastinate on a certain task. Can you change it, make it easier, delegate it to someone else? Do you need to trick yourself into getting it done on time? (I love to schedule due dates earlier than they really are, this has saved me a lot of money in late fees and stress when projects weren’t actually late because I forgot I pre-scheduled the due date!)
  • Be a wise procrastinator by choosing to do tasks that have a pay off for you, even when you are procrastinating about something else! For example, watching TV or surfing the internet have no payoff, but choosing to procrastinate on writing a paper for work by instead doing my taxes still has a pay off and I’ve just tricked myself into being “a wise procrastinator” since they’re both tasks I tend to put off!
  • Here’s another one, I don’t feel like going to the gym, so I procrastinate, by cleaning the kitchen…there I go, still a procrastinator, but now I have a pay-off, the kitchen is clean and I got some exercise in the process! So, I satisfied the mental/emotional need to not do what I don’t feel like doing, but my time wasn’t wasted and I still did something of value!

Set the time for 15 minutes

I like to use a timer for those days when I don’t feel like doing ANYTHING! Then the game I play is, “It’s only 15 minutes…I can do anything for 15 minutes…” usually, at the end of the 15 minutes I see enough progress that I end up saying, “Hey, I can do 15 more!”…Boy was I shocked the day the timer taught me that unloading and reloading my dishwasher takes about five minutes-that used to be a dreaded task that I’d put off and put off, now I just do it and all that stress and worry is gone because before my sense of TIME and how long it would take was warped and now I had a reality check correcting my incorrect belief about how long things take.

Play $$$ Bingo

For personal goals I like to play what I call “$$$ Bingo”…this is my own version of an anti-procrastination game based on a Bingo game ladies play to get their houses organized on www.FlyLady.net. In “Flylady BINGO,” you make a list of six items (B-I-N-G-O) that each take 15 minutes. Then you roll the dice and set your timer for which one to do first. When the timer stops, you roll again and go another 15 minutes on the task that matches your number (1-6). You stop even if you aren’t done when the timer goes off, you can always add finishing the task to another game of BINGO later. You take a 15 minute rest break every hour.

In $$$ Bingo you choose tasks you are PROCRASTINATING on that will either cost you $$$ or make you $$$ when they get done! This is great for doing mundane tasks that need to get done when you are starting or working at your own business. For example, maybe you need to (B) fill out your business license application, (I) buy a website address, (N) call a potential customer back, (G) send in an article about your business and (O) pay your business telephone bill.

Any one or all of these tasks, small or big, contribute to making $$$ or keep you from having to pay more $$$ in fines or late fees…

Can you see how $$$ BINGO can help keep you motivated on working on all these different, yet important tasks that you might be tempted to PROCRASTINATE on?

I made $11,451

I’ll tell you a secret and this is an absolutely TRUE STORY, the first time I came up with the idea of playing $$$ BINGO, I had a lot of STUFF I was procrastinating on…it took a few rounds a $$$ BINGO, maybe three hours total investment of my time and it had a HUGE payoff, from getting all the stuff done I’d been putting off for months I made $ 11,451!! That is a lot of paychecks! And, it happened at a time when my BELIEF was that I didn’t have any money coming in and I didn’t know how I was going to pay my bills that month.

 

Think about that, and become a “wise procrastinator” today!

Kristina Blasen

My life’s journey is about helping others to realize their potential, to mentor others and encourage their dreams to become reality, to help others grow, to offer counsel and support, to offer a helping hand and is realized by being a catalyst for change.

Kristina Blasen is a transformative life coach. She specializes in working with teens and adults to help them discover their life purpose and create a plan to turn their dreams into reality. She believes strongly in radical change! Do you need radical change in your life? She may be reached at: the.next.level.life.coach@gmail.com


~Kristina Blasen

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