Who would you be if you didn’t procrastinate?

Lately I’ve been treading water and feeling a little ‘stuck’, but I guess grief will do that. Luckily my interests in mental health and minimalism mean my youtube recommendations have been insightful! Beating procrastination has been a reoccurring theme and highlights include professional therapist Kati Morton on fear of failure, Med School Insiders on self-discipline, and of my new hero, psychology lecturer  Jordan B.Peterson on being your best self. Peterson loves issuing challenges, about motivation and not wasting valuable resources like your time!  Throwing out profound questions like who would you be if you did all those little things you’ve been putting off that you know would make your life better? Who would you be if you didn’t procrastinate? Makes me wonder who I’d be if I got my ass in gear.

Waiting to unfurl? Photo by B.Gillespie

But truth is I don’t know. And perhaps it’s that fear of the unknown that keeps me hesitant. Even if the unknown version of me would be better. The fear of first steps, is the fear of failing.  After all, if you don’t try you can’t fail, thus preserving that Ideal Future You indefinitely. But without those tentative first steps we’ll never get there, never know what’s possible, never get to see who we could be if we risked reaching for our full potential.

So I’m challenging you today, to consider all the little things you are putting off. What small thing could you do today that could incrementally make your life better? Make a list of them: maybe it’s booking a doctor’s appointment, or calling a friend you haven’t heard from in a while, maybe it’s finishing an email, or you just need to tidy your room? Keep items on this list small and achievable. Give yourself 10 mins to an hour a day, whatever you can afford to get things done.  The momentum gained from ticking activities of this ‘do-able’ list will soon get you going again.

Working through procrastination – Big Goals are built on small achievements :

Perhaps you’re now ready to tackle your bigger goals? Then list the big things you’re avoiding starting. Remember some things we may be putting off for good reason, things that no longer serve us and that we should just let go. You have permission to cross these off your list!  And don’t do anything just because you think you ‘should’ either. So, what’s left on the list?  These are the things you want to do, (but until now have been afraid to).

What happens next is up to you. If you want to see results it’s time to focus. Commit to making the things on your list happen. Take practical action, break goals down into bite-sized achievable pieces. Research and planning are activities too, allow space for these on your to-do lists. Set yourself a reasonable time limit for tasks where you can, and remember to stop at this allotted time to re-evaluate your progress.  This is your opportunity, if you are still procrastinating, to ask yourself why. Decide if this is still something you want or if you need to re-focus. Then, if you have to, make a new list. Continue to refine your aims, and what you actions you’ll need to make things happen.

This is the process of becoming unstuck my friend, it’s that simple. It involves patience, self compassion and time. Moving forward requires conscious commitment, baby steps and milestones. The trick is to allow yourself to always be a work in progress, and celebrate small victories along the way.

Ironically this post on beating procrastination was a long time in preparation. If my list challenge doesn’t grab you, here are my recommended links to inspire you on your way to becoming unstuck featuring: Jordan Peterson On why you should clean your room. Procrastination and cleaning join forces in Billy Collins poem on Advice to Writers, and finally, a warning from Anna Deavere- Smith on how procrastination robs our future selves.

How do you feel about procrastination? Do you tackle active avoidance? Share your thoughts in the comments below…

#procrastination #mentalhealth #goals #psychology #motivation #youtube


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