Do you know that when we are overwhelmed, scared or feeling unpleasant, we tend to procrastinate?
It is often just too much for us to even know where to start and therefore we procrastinate and end up doing nothing instead. Then stress arrives, like a letter in the mail, full on and creating anxiety and the feeling of not having enough time. You know that you need to get a certain task done; yet you procrastinate and don’t take action.
Procrastination is a negative spiral
This is a negative spiral, a spiral that takes you further and further away from your goal and what you want to achieve. Do your recognize this feeling? The feeling of being incomplete, knowing that you should do something about it, but just don’t have the energy to do it. You don’t feel motivated because it overwhelms you. Many times we can procrastinate because of fear, doubt or even the feeling of feeling unpleasant.
So, you say, what shall I do? I don’t know where to start. I should have done a thousand things before today and here I am, and have done nothing! Your feelings have taken a firm grip around you, not letting you think clearly. Logically you know what needs to be done, but it is just too much and you are not taking action. This is what I want to discuss today.
To do list and NOT to do list
Not long ago, I had the opportunity to listen to a wise man called Christer Olsson, he actually talked about structuring the to-do list and at the same time create a NOT-to-do list. He mean that we fill our calendars with tasks from our to-do lists in a flash, not realizing that we really should remove something else on the list NOT-to-do as soon as we add something that we need to get done.
Every time we put something on the to-do list, we should remove something as well and put it on the not-to-do list. We should make priorities that help us moving forward and not adding more to the list, knowing already that we really won’t have the time to fulfill those tasks, always feeling insufficient because the list never shrinks. If you add something, you should remove something, it is the balance, which we must have in life. We all have the same amount of hours in a day to spend wisely.
Taking action is the only way to get out of procrastination
Yes of course you say, but I still have a lot to do. Yes, you probably have, a lot of us do. So therefore the next step should be to make priorities and separate the to-do list with one column for what tasks are important and another column for what tasks are urgent to do and take action upon. When these lists are created you need to identify what is important AND urgent? By identifying these, you know what you should start with first. Prioritize these tasks and take action.
We tend to think that it is the thought that counts, it isn’t the case, we need to take action – just do it!
Are you living a life and running a business you love? What actions are you taking today? Please share your thoughts below in the comment box about what you do to prevent to procrastinate.
All the best,