When it comes to productivity, one of the biggest obstacles is procrastination. It’s one of the biggest reasons people fail to reach their goals and it can take a toll on your life.  We all procrastinate for one reason or another, but what happens when it begins to negatively impact your life?  We all know how it is, you put off doing something and probably have absolutely no idea of how long it takes to do the task you’re putting off.  You can end up living in chaos simply because you’re putting off something that will take you just a short time to do.  Are you one of those people who shuffle through the pile of papers on your desk?  If so, you probably spend more time shuffling through them each day than it would if you’d stop procrastinating and sort through them one final time and toss, file or process what’s there in the pile.

Many people face this challenge every day, and it can really become a regular challenge.  There are ways to remedy it; get rid of it for good, but first you have to identify it; to know what it looks like.  So, what exactly does procrastination look like?  Here are some indicators:

  • Wait until the last minute to start something
  • Putting off doctor & dentist appointments
  • Put off decision making
  • Waiting for the “right time” to make that call or confrontation
  • Last minute seasonal tasks (like holiday shopping and filing your tax return)
  • How long have you been waiting to do______?

I bet that you could fill in the blank on that last one in a number of different ways.  People put things off thinking that the time will come and the truth is that it never does. If  any of the indicators above are present for you, take a deeper look at what you’re doing.  Start by looking at what you’re procrastinating on.  Create your 101 List.  This is a list of everything that you’ve been procrastinating on.  Now, you might not be able to come up with 101 things, but you get the idea.  Just start writing and see what you come up with.

The next step is to look at those things on the list that you come up with and determine why you’re putting them off.  Next to each thing that you list, list the reason that you believe you’ve been putting it off. Then think about the other things that come into play when you engage in that behavior.  As you look at your behavior, look to see if  there a “routine” that you have and what things you tell yourself when you put something off.  What emotions, if any, surface when you are procrastinating? Maybe there’s a certain way that you feel when you put things off.

These are key steps that will start the process of eliminating your procrastination.  Not only will they bring things to the surface that you may not see, but they will lead to the reasons for your procrastination, which is what you have to uncover before you can start working to eliminate it once and for all.  If you successfully complete these key steps, you’ll be on your way to eliminating this thief of time from your life.

If you’re looking for something to help you through this process, I invite you to have a look at my Procrastination Annihilation program.  It’s a 12 week program that will help you discover where and why you’re procrastinating, how to use procrastination to support productivity and how to eliminate it for good.

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