What's the real reason you're procrastinating?

procrastinationblogsizeLast week, I took an annual leave day to just concentrate on this here blog. It was the neighbouring day to the ANZAC day public holiday, so I thought it was an opportune time to tick off a few things on the blog to do list and plan a few exciting projects. The day started off well, I took myself to breakfast with my notebook and planned next month’s posts. I was excited about being so organised and was loving the content of the posts, which I hoped could make a real difference to many other mothers. High on my ideas and plans, I headed for home ready to get started on it all.

By the time I got home I started to worry about what I’d planned. Would I be able to do it? Will it make the difference I hoped? Would it be worth the effort? With these questions came a restlessness that stopped me from getting started. I busied myself with mindless tasks. I stood staring at the fridge, despite not being hungry. Even vacuuming looked like a tempting activity. The fear had taken hold and it’s result was procrastination.

Does this sound familiar to you?

I used to think my tendency towards procrastination was just a form of laziness, that I just couldn’t be bothered getting around to tasks I didn’t like. Which is true for some things, but when I started to look more deeply at my procrastination patterns I realised I often avoided things that could bring me great reward. It makes no sense when you say it like that, but fear was creeping up on me and taking me away from things that I would actually enjoy doing.

So, I decided to take my procrastination by the horns and tackle my fear head on. I logged off facebook (my procrastination sink-hole) and got to work on a small part of my plan. I started pinning inspiration on Pinterest related to my planned posts for next month. In doing so, my brain was tricked by the procrastination-friendliness of Pinterest, which then kicked me in the butt to move onto my next small goal, which was writing this post. Once I gained some momentum doing the things I actually planned to do, it felt like my day was kick-started again.

So, what can you do if you’re procrastinating and you think fear could be the cause?

1. Start small: Trick yourself into action by doing one small activity in the direction of your goal. It may be something that seems procrastination friendly, like a Pinterest board.

2. Gain momentum: Once you’ve done that one small thing, move to the next small thing and so on. Things won’t seem so big and scary if they’re broken into small chunks.

3. Set a timer: If you think you might start wandering off again, set a timer. Start at 20 minutes and go from there. If you tell yourself you just have to sit and work for that length of time, it may just be enough to get in a groove and once you’re there, there’s no stopping you!

4. Give yourself a pat on the back: Set a reward for when you’ve achieved your plan for the day. I like to take a time out and enjoy a cuppa and something sweet, or perhaps enjoy a meditation or have a short nap.

Are you a procrastinator? Do you think fear is the cause, or is there something else going on there for you? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! Feel free to share this post if it resonates with you. x

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