Do you end your days thinking “I’ve been busy all day but don’t seem to have achieved very much.” Or, do you end your days feeling really good because you know that you’ve been so productive you deserve to celebrate.
Thinking the first way often means you probably need to do some self-reflection to see if there are some bad habits you need to change. Often one of those bad habits is procrastinating which in the long run, if you keep doing that, you not only become very unproductive, you will also not change a bad habit into something that could help you to achieve positive results. So, let’s first take a look at procrastination.
The Power of Conquering Procrastination
There are a number of things you might be doing, sometimes without even realizing it, that can drain your energy and stop you from being productive. They will also stop you from designing your life and/or business so that you receive the results you want.
One of them is procrastination, which if it becomes something you do constantly, can end up being a real energy drain. No energy = being unproductive.
I know that often it’s fearful to make changes but when you do, you become more consciously aware and if procrastination comes up, it becomes simple to recognize so it’s much easier to stop the negative behavior and turn it into something positive.
When you recognize procrastination, you can then decide whether you want to stay stuck or not. You have to make a decision. Always remember, that no decision is a decision too.
For a couple of years, when I changed professions, procrastination used to be my middle name. I became quite an expert at avoiding what I was fearful of doing so I had to look at what the payoff might be. For me it meant I didn’t have to find out if I would fail, I also of course, would never find out if I could succeed.
When you start procrastinating, it’s often because you are afraid, you doubt yourself and your self-limiting beliefs rear their head and hold you back.
However I finally realized if I was going to achieve the success and dreams I had visualized, continually procrastinating was not going to get me there. I was creating my own reality with the negative messages I was giving myself and going nowhere fast.
After doing a self-assessment I got really honest with myself and putting some small daily habits in place, I started to re-program and reframe my thinking.
Guess what? All sorts of amazing things started to happen. When you take action the Universe tends to work with you. I was attracting more clients, different situations, speaking engagements, more money and much more success.
Now, that doesn’t mean I never ever procrastinated again. Once in a while, because there’s something I don’t really want to do I put it on a side and wait. The difference is, I know that I’m procrastinating and I know how to change the pattern.
I teach clients that when they lose themselves in fear and doubt, they need to step back and ask themselves three questions. I encourage you to do the same.
- “What could I have in my life if I believed I could do it?
- “How would my life and/or business change if I took the leap and got
out of my own way?”
- “What’s the worst that can happen?”
The last question is really important because we often allow our imagination to get in the way when we doubt ourselves, however the worst is usually nowhere near as terrible as we thought. And, what if the worst never happened, you would have wasted all that positive energy for nothing!
Personal Growth – Self-Commitment
As challenging and scary as making changes can be, if you are sabotaging your personal growth and productivity, making a commitment to yourself that you are worth making changes in order to achieve the life and/or business success you desire becomes important.
Changing old negative behaviors for new positive behaviors gives you a new way of thinking and can make a huge difference in your life and/or business.
There are many different ways to conquer procrastination but a couple that I found beneficial were daily journaling and positive affirmations to change my mindset from negative to positive. Although not daily, I still use a journal because it’s a very powerful tool if my thoughts are scattered.
Another way to stop procrastination and overcome self-limiting beliefs is to make a commitment to yourself about how you really want your life and/or business to look and then take action to achieve the results.
Knowing you are worthy of making a self-commitment and following through is part of growing your self-worth and self-love and increases your energy instead of draining it.
The following questions and steps can also be used to conquer procrastination and end your days on a positive productive note.
I encourage you to write them rather than typing because handwriting goes to the brain much faster. Also, if you type them it’s too easy to close the window if you don’t want to see them.
- How badly to I want to achieve this?
- How important is it to me?
- Will I feel really great if I follow through and achieve this? (It helps to close your eyes and visualize the outcome.)
I often suggest creating a plan with the following steps.
- Know what the project is
- Know what you want the desired outcome to be.
- When you know what the projects needs to look like when finished, write a list of the actions that can be taken to complete it.
- Prioritize the list. People often say do the easiest thing first, from experience I disagree. Take the most challenging and get it done and out of the way. Once you do that, the rest of the list seems relatively simple.
- Deal with each step individually, one step at a time.
- When the project is complete, celebrate your success.
I encourage you to keep the list somewhere you can see it until the project is complete; it will remind you to stay on track.
If there are things on your list that for some reason don’t get finished, don’t beat yourself up. Move them to a later date and be OK with it. You don’t have to be perfect.
Personal Growth and Productivity – Accountability
The last but not least step to conquering procrastination is accountability. Being accountable means you are willing to take responsibility for the outcome of your actions or inactions.
Be especially honest with yourself when it comes to being accountable. This is how you peel away layers and leave space to attract the results you want.
I suggest that you use accountability in all areas of your life. For example: If someone leaves you a message, whether it’s email, text or phone, if you don’t answer don’t use the excuse that you didn’t have time. You didn’t make the time, so be accountable for that.
When you take positive action, stay accountable and committed, it’s much easier to be productive, it allows you to keep growing and it’s much more effortless to attract what you want in life.
Personal Growth Exercise – New Daily Actions.
Setting small constructive actions for yourself each day will help you to keep moving forward, which in turn will make you more productive in a healthy way as well as giving you a way to increase your personal growth.
These daily actions will form the foundation on which you can make huge changes. Write your list at the beginning of each week and start by asking yourself a question.
- “What action, taken on a daily basis, would make a difference in helping me to move toward the life I dream about?”
Decide on two actions daily that will make it easier to change any old negative behaviors into new positive behaviors.
Productivity – The Law of Time
Now that we’ve dealt with procrastination to have healthy productivity it’s important to have good time management.
Yes, there actually is a universal Law of Time. I like to call it The Time Bandit because it can definitely hold you hostage if you allow it.
Anything that creates a feeling of anxiety is going to take away from creating the outcomes you want. Time is one of those things. The more you plan your time the more time you will have and the more productive, energized and effective you can become.
Part of the reason we often don’t think there’s enough time is because we procrastinate and look at the negatives instead of looking at all the positives when we get a project finished. It’s very important to have the right kind of attitude.
Punctuality is especially important in time management. When people are late for appointments it’s usually because they don’t plan properly and being late is a sign of disrespect. Over the years I found that it’s better to be too early rather than arrive late. This also lets people know that you have integrity and value their time as well as your own.
Another area of good time management is liking where you are every day. When I say this, I’m talking about your physical environment whether you go to an office or work from home.
I think the last couple of years with the pandemic has caused people to look at things a little differently. However, we all have the same 24 hours each day. Everything depends on how you plan to use those hours and what time means to you.
You can always stretch time by deciding that not everything has to be done immediately or even in one day. This is where prioritizing becomes very important. When you plan properly and tell yourself that you have time for everything you want to get done, it will help you to have more healthy productivity.
Good time management is about creating balance, enjoying your environment and working more productively rather than just being busy.
Often in order to use time effectively it helps to create some kind of system that you can follow on a daily basis. For example…
- Whether you work from home or not, it helps to give yourself office hours and to let other people know what they are so you don’t get interrupted all day.
- Other than when you take a break or if it’s an emergency don’t take personal calls during your office hours. It’s amazing how this one change can ease the time crunch. This will also allow you to feel your time is valuable and that you are in charge of managing it.
- Turn off the sound your computer makes when emails come in so that you are not constantly checking. Decide how many times a day you will check email. I like to check morning, around noon and at the end of the day. I might add a fourth time if I’m expecting something.
You might be surprised to find out how this one action can free up your time. The world doesn’t end if you don’t check email every hour.
Whether you work from home, in an office or a cubicle, the same principles can be applied.
If you put some of these ideas in place you will find that you not only grow on a personal level but you also create healthy productivity.
I’m Hazel Palache, author, success coach, clinical hypnotherapist, stress management counselor and entrepreneur. If you have any questions I would love to connect with you. Over my 30 years as a Mindset Expert I’ve helped many hundreds of people to change their lives and businesses so they are living a life they love with less stress and more fun. Everything I write about and teach, I’ve been through and come out the other side myself so, although I have lots of training, I speak from vast personal experience.
If you would like a complimentary chat just email me at Hazel@LiveYourAbundantLife.com and you will be contacted to set up a 30 minute session by Zoom or phone. Your choice. There's never going to be a better time than NOW.