Finding the time you need and then losing it to procrastination can be frustrating, can’t it?
Yet despite our best intentions, some tasks seem to just never get done. They bounce along from one To Do list to the next, frequently provoking guilt, anxiety, and frustration. They remain stubbornly undone, while insidiously sapping your energy and making you feel out of control.
When you run into this situation (and who hasn’t) how about trying a fresh approach to make whatever task you avoid much more manageable?
Rather than being hard on yourself, bringing out those paralyzing, critical voices … try lowering the stakes to jump-start your initiative!
Do you ever try to push past your resistance by threatening yourself with drastic repercussions if you don’t toe the line? Ironically, when you envision catastrophic outcomes for failure to complete a task successfully, you can stifle your energy and incentive even more!
Here’s an analogy: if someone asked you to walk along a narrow, 12-inch path in a garden, you’d start right away, and easily accomplish the feat. But what if that same person were angrily or urgently shouting at you to walk a 12-inch plank across a raging river? The width of your path is the same, but the heightened stakes in the latter case might well keep you frozen on the bank. (I know it would me!)
So, pay close attention to your self-talk. Do you try to goad yourself? You can refuse to punish and paralyze yourself with threats! The next time one arises, picture yourself catching it easily, as if it were a beach ball, and tossing it aside.
Next, use your imagination to envision a Plan B, in case you run into problems with your project. Assuring yourself that you will land on your feet, regardless, helps you re-approach the task with confidence. Accomplishing even a small portion of the job will help you move forward and build from success to success!
Are you struggling with procrastination? Feeling stuck? Inspired to find time and increase your effectiveness? I invite you to explore Secrets of Heart-Based Time Management – my chapter in the book I co-authored – Stepping Stones to Success!
© Copyright 2011 Paula Eder, Ph.D.