Goals stalled? Always running behind? Stuck in a rut?

Making a task easier often comes when you make a choice to adjust your schedule, reallocate your money or determine how to spend your energy.

Making a task easier often comes when you make a choice to adjust your schedule, reallocate your money or determine how to spend your energy.

by Kathy Gates — 

Procrastination means “putting it off.” Whether it is a career goal, a home project or something about your daily life, a goal that has plateaued can rattle your motivation and challenge your thinking.

Eventually, the bigger effect can be putting your entire life — not just a single task — on hold.

The key is to push through these plateaus to see the finish line. Take a good look, reassess your strategy, ask some questions and make some changes. Avoiding it won’t make it go away. Stop putting off your life!

What can I do when I find it hard to simply get started? — The hardest thing about everyday tasks is getting started. It is kind of like pushing a stalled car — once you get going, everything rolls right along. You can beat procrastination in daily life tasks by setting up systems to help you. Set a time to pay bills (Wednesday mornings, for example). Then do it, and forget it. Most people don’t decide not to do something — they just don’t ever consciously decide to do it. Decide. Put life on your schedule.

What can I do when I do not feel qualified to perform the task? — Fearing you might fail at something is a surefire way to stop before you have started. You can beat this aspect of procrastination by being honest with yourself about your level of training in that particular task. Do not complain or delay. Simply request help from someone qualified who can help you learn.

What can I do when I am not sure this is something I really want? — I was having trouble finishing painting my kitchen and I could not figure out why. As I started to really explore it, I realized I did not like the color I was using. Martha Stewart said I ought to like it, but I just did not. As soon as I mentally fired Martha and bought the color I really wanted, I finished in no time. You can beat procrastination by telling yourself the truth about what you really want from your life. Live as the star of your own life, not as an extra in someone else’s.

What can I do when the task seems huge, overwhelming? — Beware of over-exaggeration. While it may seem as if it will take years to complete a job, you can control procrastination by using a timer to help you see what you can really accomplish in 30 minutes. I guarantee you will be shocked. Schedule a specific amount of time you will spend on the task each day, or each week — and set the timer. Devote that time to it, and then return at a later time to do more. You will move forward without exaggeration or exasperation.

What can I do when there are so many things demanding my attention? — When there is too much crammed into 24 hours, often nothing of real value gets done. You can control procrastination by setting priorities. Do things that are important to you and your life. Weed out the junk in your life, the same way you pull the weeds in your garden — just because they volunteered to show up does not mean you want them there.

Making a task easier often comes when you make a choice to adjust your schedule, reallocate your money or determine how to spend your energy. We all know, like Mom taught us, we have to get our work done before we can go out and play. Put your work on a schedule, but keep it realistic — you are only human. The feeling of accomplishment will make play time and life all the more enjoyable.

 

Kathy Gates is a professional life coach in Scottsdale, Ariz., who helps people deal with the stress of everyday living in a more organized and efficient manner. She is the author of several e-books and e-courses. www.reallifecoach.com. 480-998-5843.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 24, Number 5, October/November 2005

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