OK – I confess: I am a procrastinator. As a matter of fact, sometimes I think I could be a professional procrastinator. Until recently, I just accepted this behavior as a quirky part of who I am. And then, I decided it was time to really take a look at this ‘I’ll just do it later’ behavior. What I discovered was that not only am I a procrastinator, I’m also a pretty darned gifted storyteller. I learned that when faced with a task that is seemingly out of my comfort zone for one reason or another, I make up all kinds of stories about why I should do it later. The stories feed my ego and energize that inner critic that I’ve talked about in the past. And, I convince myself there’s really no need to rush. What’s the result? I get frustrated, I feel stressed, I do things in a big hurry and, frankly, sometimes the task is completed in a halfhearted, somewhat haphazard way. Ah, yes, and then my inner critic thinks she has free rein to point out what a slacker I am and highlight other ‘character flaws’ that keep me from being the brilliant human being I was created to be.
How do you interrupt this self-defeating behavior? First of all, be aware of it, of course. Are their particular kinds of tasks you put off? Does this behavior happen during certain times of the day, certain days of the week, certain times in the month or year? Secondly, listen to the kinds of stories you’re telling yourself about the task. Is is the same story no matter what the task (this is gonna be soooo hard, I’m just soooo tired, I just don’t know what to do or how to begin, I don’t have time to do this right now, etc., etc., etc.)? And, finally, (thanks to yesterday’s Facebook post from Cornerstones Coaching and Consulting),
TODAY’S TIP: “When you find yourself avoiding something you’d really like to be doing, ask yourself, ‘What’s in it for me?'” ~ Scott Lewis. Let me know how that works for ya.