It’s the #1 Goal Killer.
The thing that seems harmless and yet secretly destroys your schedule.
Merriam-Webster defines procrastination as “to put off intentionally or habitually.” That’s right, procrastination is a habit.
But ultimately, that’s a good thing! It means it can be broken!
Let’s talk about how a simple exercise and tracking can help you beat the procrastination monster once and for all!
Is procrastination really that bad?
YES! In the moment, it feels like we are just putting off that one task. We don’t want to write our blog post for instance. We put it off until the very last minute and then rush to get it done and released on time! Sure, it’s rushed, but it was still on time, still consistent.
But let’s think about quality for a moment. If you rushed through writing, finding images, and posting your blog post what pieces didn’t get done? Is it keyword rich and set up for great SEO? Are the images the perfect ones to compliment your information? Is it really your best work if you can’t step back for a day and then come back and read it with fresh eyes?
I’m going to help you out here. The answer to all of these questions, and more, is no. It’s not your best work. You publish your blog to build your authority and reach new people. If you aren’t putting your best foot forward, are you going to attract the right people? Probably not.
This is the secret damage that procrastination does. There is always a series of things that don’t go quite right because we put off what feels like a singular task.
Same thing for household tasks. If you put off doing the dishes, then it takes more time to hand wash the dishes that you need to make dinner tonight than it would have to just load the dishwasher the night before.
How do I break the habit?
Start with a quick exercise. Pull out a sheet of paper and a pen and write 3 things you most often procrastinate on. They can be business or home tasks. For me, it would be putting laundry away, loading the dishwasher, and scheduling social media.
Once your list is written, answer these questions for each task:
Why is this critical for my life or business?
Answering this question will help you understand why you even put it on your To-Do List in the first place. What is the reason for you accomplishing this task? What’s the purpose? What doesn’t happen if this task doesn’t happen?
Is this the only way this task can be accomplished?
Make a list of every way you can think that this task can get accomplished. Maybe you need to set a different routine, do it at a different time of day, or maybe even delegate it to someone else entirely! If you hate writing, try putting out a podcast or video version instead.
For example, I procrastinate scheduling social media posts with painful regularity. To fix this, I will be hiring someone to do it for me in the next 2-3 months! I also despise sorting and putting laundry away. I have 3 young kids and a husband who works a lot so I do all of the laundry. So how am I changing this task? I have a hamper with a bag for each kids’ dirty clothes. Goodbye sorting clothes! I also have my oldest put her own laundry away. Goodbye one load of clothes!
What positive outcome will you get from doing this task?
You may not see a positive outcome right now, but that’s because you aren’t consistently doing your best on these tasks. Think about what will happen when you do it well consistently. You have a blog for visibility and authority. Over time, you will gain more visibility and authority in your niche as you start putting out high-quality content instead of sub-par content. Greater visibility means more leads. More leads means more clients. So in the end, putting out consistently high-quality content will gain you more clients.
Now that you have your list and the answers to these questions , it’s time to move forward and start eliminating the procrastination.
Every time you write these tasks on your To-Do List, I want you to write the positive outcome right next to it.
Write Blog Post – More clients
Load dishwasher – Prepare dinner faster
This will help you to switch your focus from the short term negative of doing the task over to the positive long term outcome after the task is done. After awhile, you will jump straight to the positive outcome and not even give the initial pain of doing it a passing thought.
I also want to reward yourself every time you do these tasks on time and with a positive mindset and energy. You’re stuck in the negative mindset of not enjoying the task. It’s time to re-engage yourself with it by building in some excitement. Every time you write your blog post 3 days before it’s due you get to have your favorite dessert. Every time you load the dishwasher before bed you get to read a book for 15 minutes. Whatever works for you.
Once the snowball is rolling, you won’t need these outside rewards. The reward become the results of you doing that task well consistently over time.
Drop a comment below with how you’re going to change how you do one of the tasks you always procrastinate.