Category: Procrastination



If you’re a chronic procrastinator your habit is regularly impacting your business and your life. You may have tried things to stop the habit and some things may have worked for a while, but then you found yourself right back where you started. You’re not by yourself.  What happens to most is that they get used to the impact and used to working the way that their habit has them work and dealing with the consequences. They become a bit resigned and continue to operate in the mayhem that procrastination causes.

That mayhem causes bad fruit to grow on what I call your Procrastination Tree™. Whatever you do plants seeds for something to grow later down the road, whether it’s something you want or not. You may not think of procrastination in these terms, but if you know who I am you know that I don’t look at or see things the way most do and this is no different.  Your procrastination has roots (symptoms), branches and fruit (impact). The fruit shows up in your life as:

  • An ongoing list of undone things
  • Wasted time and energy
  • Lost clients/money
  • Physical symptoms like stress (Which can lead to other things)
  • Missed deadlines and deliveries
  • Lack of efficiency

If your habit of putting things off goes on for long enough, you’ll start to see the fruit turn up in other areas of your life too. If you want to stop growth of the bad fruit, you’ve got to first look at what’s going on. How is procrastination showing up in your life? You have to explore what’s really going on, get the big picture before you can remedy it. When you start looking at it you see its impact and at that point you realize that the fun is over. You’ve got the bill and see your cost for putting things off.

Once you can wrap your head around what it’s costing you, it makes it easier to commit to ridding yourself of it once and for all. Exploring your habit in depth…the symptoms as well as the outcomes that impact you gives you clues as to where to look on a much deeper level. That is where you will find not only the cause for your procrastination, but the solution as well.

If you’re interested in exploring your procrastination, uncovering the real reason you do it, and then annihilating your procrastination, check out this master class series.

 


Unproductive-ProductiveMagGlassYou have high demands on your time with things constantly competing for your attention. With so much demanding our time, it’s obvious that procrastinating doesn’t help the situation at all. When you think about or hear the term procrastination, you typically think of destructive procrastination. It really does cause upheaval. Research shows that people spend most of their time and effort working on activities that have nothing to do with the success of their projects. It’s the biggest reason that people fail to reach their goals. In one survey, 40% of those surveyed said that procrastination cost them money. If you’ve heard me share information about procrastination before or have worked with me, you know that it can cost you a lot more.

That’s the not so pretty face of procrastination, but did you know that you can actually use procrastination to boost your productivity? It’s true! There are ways to use procrastination to your advantage to feed your flow of productivity. Understand that I’m not saying that one should procrastinate in a destructive manner. Doing so will disable your level of productivity and keep you from getting things done and ultimately from reaching your goals. But there are ways to use it that will help get you to Point B.

When you look at your to-do list chances are that you see things there that don’t need to be done right away and some might not ever need to be done although you might consider everything there to be important. If you take a step back, relax, and look closer you can gain a totally different perspective. Take a look and note what you see. You might see your responsibilities as the important things, but what about the personal items on your to-do list? They can be important too. Then look at the things that you’ve been putting off. As you do, you might see things that aren’t related to your values or intentions. There might be a better way for you to reach your intention. In this case, it’s time to stop and think about other ways to reach your intention. This would be more productive than having something on your list that you are destructively procrastinating on.

Here, in this instance, you’re making a conscious choice to put something off to find a more suitable goal. Doing so contributes to your productivity. As you continue to look at the things you’ve been putting off, you might realize that there’s something that you want clarity on, or maybe additional information before you take on the task.

Take the steps necessary to get clear about the task. Consult the appropriate resources for the information that you need. If it’s clarity that’s missing for you, do what you have to do in order to get a clear picture. Try journaling, mind mapping or even creating a vision board to gain some depth and clarity.  While you’re waiting for clarity, focus on other goals and activities, while staying present to your intention. Doing so might still lead you to just the right solution;  meeting the right person, coming across the right resource, being in the right  place at the right time to hear something that you need to hear, seeing an idea,  being at an event that stimulates you to move forward. This is not an effortless process as it can be hard to sustain the patience and to trust yourself. Been there, done that!

Looking at your list and realize that you aren’t ready for something that you’ve been putting off. Maybe the opportunity is just not right. Or perhaps you’re struggling with things other than strategy, logistics, an action plan or timeline. You might just need to wait, which is truly opposite of what you’ve been taught to do, so you may not feel comfortable doing so. There’s the illusion that you’re doing something wrong if you don’t do it yesterday; being “on” 24/7/365. It’s possible that you may lose an opportunity. But you also have to realize that if you don’t allow time for things to take root, you can end up being frustrated and wasting your time and energy and maybe even money. When you wait, your ideas can gel or things can be revealed or become more apparent to you.  There is internal activity that you don’t realize takes place when you go this route.  That activity is important to the task at hand.

Finally, you can do nothing. Yes, I said do nothing. Your tendency is to push yourself and to push hard. You don’t slow down, which contributes to no down time. This gives you an opportunity to be clear about what you want to accomplish and the strategy for doing so. To keep that clarity, you have to have down time. It could be a few minutes at a time, a few hours or you might need a weekend. Whatever the length of time, take it, and then go back to the task at hand. Allow for the possibility of harmony. This is definitely something that you are not used to doing, but something that will support and aid in your productivity.

Remember what you are doing and why and this will keep you on track. The difference between destructive and productive procrastination is the conscious choice and the intention behind it.

 


Tree SilouetteEvery year people put bulbs in the ground during the fall and the following spring, flowers appear.  People plant seeds to grow their own food and have fresh vegetables all summer long.  When we plant seeds, they of course yield or produce something.  Usually we get what we want because of the conscious effort that goes into the planting.

You also yield results when you put forth an unconscious effort, with the results being not necessarily what you want. The same is so when it comes to procrastination.  Just as trees yield fruit, procrastination also brings forth “fruit”. There are things that show up when you procrastinate that negatively impact your environment.

When you think of a tree you think about its roots, branches and its leaves and the fruit that it bears. There are a number of symptoms when it comes to procrastination, and they represent the roots of the tree. The most common symptoms are being disorganized, more interesting tasks getting your attention, taking on more than you can accomplish and getting a rush when finishing things at the last minute. Chronic procrastinators usually find that one or more of these symptoms are present for them. If you’re a chronic procrastinator, meaning that procrastination is prevalent in your life, you can probably relate to these symptoms.

When you look at the things you put off, you can see the impact. The impact, or what procrastination brings into play in your life are what I call the branches and the fruit of your procrastination. Not good fruit, but fruit nonetheless. It shows up as missed deadlines, causing a project to be delayed and can even lead to the loss of a client and a not so good reputation.

When you look at the impact you see that procrastination can be a pretty potent.  I think that you will agree with me when I say that everything that obstructive procrastination yields is bad fruit.

The majority of clients that I’ve coached through this process found that they are completely disorganized. Their office or work space was a total mess and their computer files and calendars looked the same way. Many have had the overwhelm conversation going on and found themselves distracted by the bright shiny objects when the tasks they didn’t want to complete came up. Needless to say, they experienced the loss of clients, other opportunities and loss of income.

What does your procrastination tree™ look like? Think about what’s at the roots and the fruit your procrastination is bringing forth. Think about who it’s showing up in your life. Are you losing clients, future business as a result of delivering late? How much money are you losing every day because you’re putting things off? Answer these questions for yourself and you’ll begin to see the impact that your procrastination is having on your business and your life.

 


GettingThingsDoneOf all the challenges that people come to me with, procrastination is one of the top two.  Research shows that people spend most of their time and effort working on activities that have nothing to do with the success of their projects.  It’s the biggest reason that people fail to reach their goals.  In one survey, almost half of those surveyed said that procrastination cost them money.  Not a good scenario.

Believe it or not, there are ways to use procrastination to your advantage to feed your flow of productivity.  Understand that this is different from procrastinating in a destructive way.  That type of procrastination will disable your level of productivity and keep you from reaching your goals.  But there are ways to use procrastination as a stepping stone to reaching your goals and in these blog posts I’ve shared a few ways that you can use procrastination as a stepping stone to get things accomplished. Get started with Conscious Procrastination. Related posts that will help you understand further how to use procrastination to support your productivity are Positive Procrastination: Get Clarity and Procrastination: Do Nothing.  Use this series of posts to learn how to flip the script on procrastination and use it to help you get things done!

 

 


ProcrastinationListApril is Procrastination Awareness month, so this month I’ll be focusing on things that will help you beat procrastination. Procrastination can be a real problem and can have a big impact on your business and your life if it’s not remedied.  We all put things off from time to time, but if it’s something that you do on a continual, regular basis, then it’s safe to say that you’re a procrastinator.  If you’re a procrastinator you are probably paying a very high cost for putting things off and have been doing so for a long time.  Procrastination has cost you time, money and may have even had an impact on your image or what people think of you.

My April time & Space Radio broadcast was about the thief of time.  I talked about the Procrastination Tree™, it’s roots, branches and fruit and outlined a way for you to get the big picture so that you can see how procrastination looks in your life.  More importantly, I shared some concrete steps that you can implement immediately to get on the road to getting rid of this nasty little habit once and for all.   Give the broadcast replay a listen and get present to the true effect that procrastination is having on your business and your life.  You’ll also learn the missing piece when it comes to getting rid of procrastination and you’ll have an opportunity to take the first steps toward eliminating it.  Don’t you think it’s time you stop putting things off and paying the high cost for doing so?  Then click here and get going now!

 

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