The Procrastination Monster – Why do we do it?
Yes, it’s now just under two weeks to tax day on April 15.
Where are those W2s – donation receipts – mortgage interest statements? Of course, we all know that April 15 comes on the same day every year – so why do we put off filing until the very last minute?
Procrastination gets in the way of lots of things – completing projects you don’t want to do, doing onerous tasks like cleaning the garage or returning that dress you didn’t want but somehow never get to until it’s too late (been there, done that!).
Many experience this when they have to make a decision. Some people struggle with the need for perfection – I don’t want to do this unless I can do it perfectly – good enough is never good enough. You may be worried that you’ll make a mistake, or somehow mess it up.
NEGATIVE SELF-TALK. When your inner voice says you don’t know how to do something, you’re not smart enough to do it, or you’ll never finish it, combat that with Positive Self-Talk. “If I don’t know how, I’ll take a course or check out YouTube to learn;” “I am an intelligent, accomplished individual and I can figure this out – or I’ll ask for help; “I will finish this when I finish it, and that will be fine.”
PERFECTIONIST. Perfect is the enemy of the good. Tell yourself that “good enough” is “good enough,” and try to let go of that perfectionist cattle prod. Doing part of something is always better than not doing anything at all.
FEAR OF FAILURE. Give yourself permission to try something and see what happens, rather than convincing yourself in advance that you can’t do it. Ask – what’s the worst that can happen? Usually the failure monster is not as earth-shattering as it seems when you really confront it. Take it out of the dark closet and look at it in the light of day.
FOCUS ON YOUR LONG-TERM GOALS. Write down three of your long-term goals for the project. When you hit a snag, revisit the goals and focus on the long term result you want. If you focus on the present, it’s easy to get frustrated and consumed by fear and guilt. Think about what it will look like when you finish – envision a clutter free environment to live in, drinking a glass or wine or cup of coffee with a friend in your airy living room.
YOU CAN DO ANYTHING FOR 15 MINUTES (FLYLADY). Just try it for 15 minutes – that’s not too much of a commitment, you can do almost anything for 15 minutes, right? After that you’ll have a sense of accomplishment and can feel good because you’ve actually made some progress.
If you haven’t heard of The FlyLady, check her out. Her system is tried and true and specializes in no judgment or criticism. You start from where you start, and wherever that is is simply OK.
The first step is the hardest – try taking it today, you can do it!