Why we procrastinate – and how to get the F over it!

May 15, 2022

I have a dirty secret I’m going to share with you— I’m a huge procrastinator.

I’ve been working on this for many years and while I’ve gotten better, I still haven’t completely kicked the habit to the curb yet.

A great example of this is back in high school when I asked my math genius dad to help me study for my geometry final the night before the test. When he asked me which part I needed to study, my answer was, ALL OF IT.

He almost lost his mind. (FYI – I still passed.)

But to this day, I’ve been known to be writing the last chapter of my book at 3 a.m. the day it’s due. Hey, that only happened once, and for the record, my editor said it was his favorite ending. But I wouldn’t recommend it.

We procrastinate for so many reasons. For me, it comes down to two main things: Fear and overwhelm.

It’s not because we’re lazy, or incompetent, or any of those other reasons we come up with. We’re often so afraid of failing that it’s easier not to start, especially if it’s a project we’ve been dreaming about for most of our lives. Then we judge ourselves. We put all this crazy pressure on something that we should be HAVING FUN DOING. And it literally freezes us in our tracks.

Or, sometimes it’s the opposite—we’re so afraid of succeeding, because we think, well, what happens if our book gets published, or our business idea takes off. We realize we’d have to leave our comfort zone and shift to a whole new reality. And even though that reality might be a million times better than your current reality, it’s scary!

The other is overwhelm. When you feel like you have so much to do, or the task before you is just SO DAMN BIG, you don’t even know where to start. So you freeze, and you don’t.

But, if we don’t get over ourselves, we’re never gonna get anywhere, right? I’ve been working for a long time on strategies to overcome procrastination and I wanted to share some of them.

1. Take the pressure off. Don’t start your book thinking, I need to get this published or I shouldn’t bother! Do it for the sake of doing it. No expectations for an outcome. Also, stop thinking about it as an 80,000-page book. Think of it one scene – or even one sentence, if that gets you through – at a time.

2. Open up that spiritual toolbox and get some help! For me, it’s meditation (always) to quiet my mind, with some crystals (jasper, rose quartz, or tiger eye are great for this) and some essential oils in the diffuser. Vetiver, cedarwood, and lavender are three of my focus faves.

3. Have some self compassion! Beating yourself up won’t help – it will just make you feel worse, which will keep you in the slump. Be kind to yourself. Get back into a state of joy – and then come back to your project with a new outlook

4. Reward myself for taking action. Whether it’s finishing, or simply starting, just doing one thing to move it forward – even one sentence.

5. Find an accountability partner. Someone you commit to checking in with and telling them what you did to move your goal further. And you do the same for them.

What’s keeping you procrastinating? What strategy will you try to overcome it? Send me a message on Instagram and let me know!

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