What can help?
Tactics for Overcoming Procrastination
Effective ways to kick-start the process
a safe place, breathe out slowly three times and allow your body to
If you relax, your brain chemistry
will adjust to allow you to use the most developed parts of your brain.
This will mean you feel and think more clearly and calmly, you will
be able to make more balanced decisions, and you are more likely to
behave as you wish to.
accessible exercise - e.g. walking round the block
Our bodies and systems enjoy metaphors. The more physically
relaxed and energised you are, the stronger and more competent you will
feel, and the more able to both envisage moving ahead, and the more
able to actually take the necessary steps.
end to empty promises
....whether to yourself or to anyone else. Conscious delay is fine.
But promising without delivery only serves to undermine your self-belief.
An attitude of "promise little, deliver much" will take you much further.
an internal compassionate witness, and an attitude of curiousity
Driving ourselves with anger or derision doesn't help. Regarding what
we do with compassion and interest, whilst holding our objectives in
mind, is far more likely to help us move ahead. Think of yourself as
a good friend who needs support and encouragement.
the first step in moving through the Action
and how long it will take
Think about what you are doing now (A). Envisage what you
want to do (B). Envisage the journey between (A) and (B). Note down
why you want to take that journey. Envisage, or better still, write
down all the steps from (A) to (B), and notice where you have got stuck
in the Action Spiral.
Identify the first step, and estimate how long it might take, based
on past experience. And then maybe double that time)
See yourself taking the first step, feeling great, enjoying a reward,
doing something else more interesting, walking away, feeling released,
feeling a sense of achievement.
Think about who could help you take this step, whether by being alongside
at the time, or by being there afterwards as part of the reward. Ask
them, or have them alongside in your imagination.
ONE SMALL PIECE OF REAL WORLD ACTION
Even if the small piece of real world action is the tiniest fraction
of the first part of the first step, it doesn't matter. In fact, in
a way, the smaller the better, because then you know you are curing
yourself of the habit of promising much and delivering little. And the
most important thing is that YOU HAVE STARTED. Your brain cannot
discount this. You have begun the return to being reliable to yourself.
Trust was eroded step by step, and trust can be re-built step by step.
celebrate, grieve, learn, enjoy a reward
What reward did you envisage? Enjoy it now. Notice what feelings you
have, and find any support you might need. Look at what you can learn
from the experience. Recognise that the most important thing is that
you now have more learning than you had, you are wiser, broader, more
informed, and more reliable, regardless of whether you succeeded or
Has this been helpful? E-mail us and share
For many further suggestions
on overcoming procrastination, please visit:
© Andrea Perry
Taken from "Isn't It About
Time? How to stop putting things off and get on with your life"
by Andrea Perry Worth Publishing 2002 (ISBN 1903269032) www.worthpublishing.com