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How to overcome procrastination?


Do you find yourself putting off or never quite getting round to some tasks for ages? These things weigh on your mind as something you need to get to, but there’s always something more urgent to sort, or you’re not quite in the right frame of mind to tackle it? Then, when you finally get to the task, and complete it, you feel this beautiful sense of relief and lightness – and wonder what all the fuss was about!

This blog is a great example of that for me. As I mentioned in my last post I set my website up and created all the infrastructure so I could get going 4 years ago, published a couple of posts…. and then nothing!  The longer I left it the harder it was to go back to it – the bigger the blocker. In fact I earlier this year I refused to look at my website because I felt so guilty about not keeping it updated or adding anything to it. So what’s changed? What got me moving?

Firstly – I made some time for myself and listened to the deeper voice about what’s important to me? I cut through all those top-level thoughts that dash in and out of my head telling me what’s urgent and connected with my deeper sense of purpose – and carving out the time for this blog came up as one of those things to do. I’d put it off for so long that it was buried – but still draining me of something I needed to do.

Second – I reflected on my why. Why do I want to do this? Why is this blog important? My original driver for blogging was to share my insights and learnings with the outside world in the hope that some of what I say connects with and inspires others, and that’s still true today. I’ve learnt so much through my own coaching journey. It’s made me look at the world differently, changed the way I live my life – and that journey all started with a connection and a few key questions. I really hope I can bring that to others.  But there’s another reason that has come through for me more recently – a more personal reason – which is that I’ve discovered that writing encourages me to reflect on my own learning, and encourages me to be open to finding and exploring new ideas. Capturing what I’ve learnt in a structured way helps me process these ideas and absorb them more deeply.

Third – I worked around my fears. As I’m writing this I still have those voices whirring round my head. Who am I to think I can inspire people? What’s different about me? Will anyone be the slightest bit interested in what I have to say? These fears are very wrapped up in my first motivation – and in the views of others. But even if they are all true, I still know I can learn alot through blogging – I have no fears about that. And as if to prove it I this understanding has really emerged through the writing of this post!

So the big takeaway here for me: if you’re procrastinating over something that’s important, then take some space to understand why it’s personally important to you. If you find that reason then it will inspire you to get going – and if not then that’s probably a reason for letting go of the task and making the decision not to do it.

That’s my strategy anyway? What are you procrastinating over? What are your strategies for overcoming it?