When things don’t run as smoothly as we’ve anticipated, procrastination tends to swoop right in and say ‘hey, I’ll take over from here!’
Unfortunately, procrastination goes hand in hand with perfectionism.
Wanting everything to go perfectly.
If we receive the tiniest signal that our work isn’t perfect, we procrastinate. I’ve been there, I can totally relate.
I’m a recovering perfectionist.
In today’s episode, I discuss how to stop procrastinating and start LIVING our dreams.
Get ready for actionable tips and ways to stop you from giving in to fear and limiting beliefs.
Let’s stop procrastinating, and start living.
LISTEN TO THE EPISODE:
HEADS UP: Next week, I’m hosting a FREE online masterclass! I’m going to be focusing on strategies for introverts, and how important having a community of people is for your business. You can find a link in the show notes, so feel free to sign up! Or, if you’re reading this in the future, you can listen back to the masterclass online.
We all have big dreams. A want to have an impact, make an income online and live that freedom lifestyle.
But for this dream lifestyle to become a reality, we have to take action every single day.
We have to show up for our future selves.
How many times have you put something on a to-do list for tomorrow, and when tomorrow arrives, you decide to push it back even further?
We procrastinate because we strive for perfection. Well, there’s no such thing as perfectionism.
It’s time to stop procrastinating and just do the thing.
What is procrastination?
The official definition of procrastination is the action of delaying or postponing something.
In other words, you delay your dreams because of fear.
Fear of the unknown, or being uncomfortable. Maybe failure, or your limiting beliefs. Or even just laziness and being overwhelmed.
Whatever it is, you’re delaying your dreams. Your big, dreamy goals suffer because of your fear.
But let me tell you.
If you never start, you will never succeed. You can quote me on that!
Procrastination is the easiest form of resistance. It requires little of you. It demands nothing. It puts your dreams on hold because of the fear you have created in your mind.
We’re protecting ourselves from others’ opinions and judgments. Not leaving our comfort zones because of what other people MIGHT think about us.
And how does that feel, not going for your dreams? Is it worth the possible negative, neutral or positive opinions from others?
YOLO. You only live once. Why does it matter what anyone else thinks?
(This was spoken about in the previous episode, so if you want to dive into my advice on worrying less about what others think of us, check out podcast Episode 6!)
Procrastination hides behind fear.
It’s a protection mechanism.
When you procrastinate, you’re not taking action or moving forward. And ultimately, we always want to be moving forward.
Otherwise, those results you’ve always wanted? They’re just not happening.
Change and growth are not possible if you’re not moving forward.
Most of the time, you won’t feel like moving forwards. Your brain wants to keep you safe.
Pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone is scary, and your brain won’t allow you to do it easily!
It will lead you right back to something that is comfortable and easier.
But when you procrastinate, you’re giving yourself permission to not take action. To delay your dreams.
Just remember, we all have the power to take control of emotions and take action. And the more control we have, the less we will procrastinate.
Feeling resistance before action is normal
If you’re starting something new or changing something up, it’s normal to feel some form of resistance.
This allows us to grow, expand and move.
The comfy couch that your brain may want you to rest and eat chocolate on may be comfortable, but for how long?
A time will come when you need to move. As humans, we are made to change and evolve.
Procrastination just wastes time, energy and doesn’t solve your problems. In fact, it just delays them.
It delays your dreams.
Then you’ll find yourself procrastinating, THINKING about what you should be doing, feeling guilty about not doing it.
Ultimately, you’re adding more pressure on yourself than if you had just done it in the first place!
The last thing you want is to give self-doubt a boost. And that’s exactly what procrastination does.
Busy Bee? Pin this for later.
So how do we stop procrastinating on our dreams?
How do we stop procrastinating and live out our dream lives? How do we take action on the steps that are needed to change our lifestyle?
Be aware of WHY you are procrastinating.
Think about it. Why are you stopping yourself from taking action?
You’re likely to have a negative thought or limiting belief stopping you from moving forward.
Take the thought “it doesn’t matter anyway” for example.
This thought is going to immediately make you feel unmotivated and lethargic. There is no need, want or positivity to make you take action.
We need to reframe that thought and make sure we realize it is just an excuse.
If this feeling creeps up on you, ask yourself, WHY am I feeling this way?
Is it fear? What is holding me back? And most (and nearly all) of the time, you’ll realize your limiting beliefs are complete BS.
Train yourself to think differently.
Support your actions with new beliefs and positivity.
Notice the resistance.
Tackle that thought in your mind before you move on to anything else.
Try the ‘deathbed’ exercise
Whilst this may sound scary, it’s a great way to see the bigger picture and remind yourself of WHY you’re doing what you’re doing.
Imagine you’re on your death bed.
(Stay with me on this one. I know it doesn’t sound great!)
You’re thinking back over your life, and how you never really ‘went for it’. You held yourself back for reason XYZ.
Wouldn’t you prefer to be on your deathbed knowing you did EVERYTHING you could to live your ultimate dream life?
This is a great way to change and shift your perspective. For me, I’m more likely to do the thing or take the action if I think about the bigger picture.
Those daily actions on your to-do may seem small, but they add up.
There’s a quote by Tony Robbins which just emphasizes how important this is.
“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.”
You always have a choice.
Entrepreneurship is a rollercoaster
The choices and decisions you make are not always going to feel amazing. They won’t always make you feel motivated or inspired.
There are daily actions and tasks that can be boring!
Take the pressure off of yourself.
Entrepreneurship is a rollercoaster.
If you want a successful online business, you have to be ok with being on this ride.
Failure, success, growth, impact, rejection, challenge, are all ingredients of the ‘soup’ that is running an online business!
If you feel that you have been a procrastinator in the past, that’s ok. Have self-compassion for yourself. Don’t beat yourself up and damage the relationship you have with yourself.
The only time we have is now. Show up for your future self.
Hold yourself accountable.
Whatever you do today will have an impact.
Honor the relationship you have with yourself!
This is the only way we can increase our confidence and lower our self-doubt.
Trust and respect the relationship we have with ourselves. Focus on your mindset.
After all, it’s the most important relationship you’ll ever have.
Actionable tips to stop procrastinating
1. Plan ahead of time.
If you know me, you’ll know I am a planning addict. Planning ahead of time is my number one tip when it comes to being able to stop procrastinating.
Planning ahead of time gives your brain clarity. It allows you to visualize your desired result.
Put your tasks on your calendar and plan for action. It’s the only way you can expect new results.
2. Set your deadlines.
Another impactful way to stop procrastinating when you’re feeling self-doubt or worry is to set yourself deadlines.
When you have a deadline, you won’t worry as much about your work being ‘perfect’. You’ll just need to get it out there.
(Oh, and if you haven’t picked up on it already, being ‘perfect’ is completely boohacky and doesn’t even exist).
It’s pretty natural for us to leave things until the last minute. Whether it’s a college assignment or a work deadline, we tend to leave things until we have a reason to finish.
Find your reason.
Set a deadline.
Leave no room for distractions or questioning yourself.
Move closer to your dream life.
3. Change up your environment and atmosphere
It may sound simple, but your working environment and the atmosphere has a huge impact on whether or not you procrastinate.
Move around a bit, go to a coffee shop or put on some music.
The change will produce more dopamine, meaning you’re more likely to take action to do whatever it is that needs doing.
Plus, whatever it is we need to do is never as hard as we think it is. We just need to sit down, show up and do it.
Take the edge off a little bit.
If you’re about to procrastinate, take some pressure off. Tell yourself you’ll do a little bit less of the task to make it seem more manageable.
Trick your primitive mind.
Or work in ‘Pomodoros’, a time management method for students, perfectionists, and procrastinators of all kinds.
Work in short bursts. For example, you set yourself a 25-minute time slot. In that time, you’ll work, with no distractions, solely focusing on your goal. You’re telling yourself you DON’T have all day, you only have 25 minutes.
Break your tasks down.
Big things can lead to feeling overwhelmed. And we all know where feeling overwhelmed leads us to. Procrastination.
Your ‘big thing’ that needs doing? It can be broken down!
Split it into parts.
Filming a Youtube video? Set 30 minutes for research, 30 minutes for writing a script, and start at a slower pace.
Create mini-deadlines for yourself.
Just think: What happens if you keep going?
One last thing that keeps me going when I feel like procrastinating is this little thought here.
What would happen if I just kept going?
Curiosity is something that’s helped me with my business over the past four years.
Through the challenges, sleepy mornings, and limiting beliefs, curiosity has allowed me to find motivation and inspiration to take action.
Take a little bit of action towards your goal, every day.
Just think, what could be possible then?
I’ll let you in on a secret.
Anything is possible if you just keep going.