Overcoming Procrastination

By: Cheryl Poulin

I’ve been putting off writing about overcoming procrastination for a few weeks. Seriously.  I have.  I’m not kidding.  I don’t know why, but the list of excuses was getting long.  

The thing about procrastination is that once you get to the task at hand you wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!  But even then, without the right motivation it can be a chore to get going.  

I think most of us procrastinate and we do it for many reasons, usually involving some sort of perceived discomfort or a sense of overwhelm.  Maybe it’s avoidance or fear of failure.  Maybe something doesn’t align to our values.  Perhaps we see no purpose or value in it.  It’s all perfectly natural!

Overcoming procrastination requires preparation.

As a weight loss coach, many people come to me with life long patterns of putting things off until all the conditions in their lives are perfect.  When everything is aligned, then and only then will they start a diet or exercise program. 

Of course this doesn’t usually work.  There’s always something going on that doesn’t quite line up the way you wish it would.  And another day goes by and another….

Overcoming procrastination requires preparation.  Your goals and desires need to be concrete in your mind and your vision crystal clear.  You have to see the value in what you're achieving and be focused on what’s in it for you. 

What would it feel like to just start moving forward?  If you could just take a small action step today what could you do?  Close your eyes and imagine the outcome.  What does it feel like?
If you don’t write that advertisement to sell your car, it’ll remain on your driveway.  You know what needs to be done but “ugh, it can wait, I don’t have time for this right now.”  And you distract yourself from the task at hand by checking out your favorite social media pages.

Now imagine you’ve sold the car.  Play along with me…. What’s it like to have the money in the bank and your driveway freed of that visual clutter of unfinished business?  Ahhh, yes…Relief… so what do you do next?

“What’s in my control? How can I change this?”

Here's an interesting exercise and some tips to get you started.

Overcoming procrastination requires understanding.

We all have areas of our lives that we want to improve and move forward in.   So what’s holding you back?  If you're serious about overcoming procrastination in a particular area or regarding a particular task, you can benefit from having a coach help you understand the factors that may be holding you back. 

As coaches we help our clients look at the energy they have available to accomplish a given task.  We refer to it as “energetic presentation”.  When faced with a task, activity or goal, it triggers responses in you.  Those responses are driven by two factors… 1) How much motivation you have to complete the task and 2) How much anxiety or stress is associated with doing the task.  The balance of these two factors determines how much potential energy you have for that task at that moment in time.    

The more motivated you are to act due to buy-in or alignment with your values and the less stressed you are, the more likely you are to actually engage your energy to accomplish the task at hand.  We refer to the energy you're actually using to accomplish the task as “engaged energy”.

Overcoming procrastination requires commitment.

As coaches we help our clients understand how six factors influence their energy and their commitment, or lack of commitment, to completing tasks and meeting objectives.  We know it’s what lies inside our client that counts and making sustainable changes from the inside out provides optimal opportunity to change a lifetime of procrastination.     

So how do I feel now that I’ve written this article?  I feel great!  Why the heck didn’t I do it sooner?!  All kidding aside, I do hope you experienced a little shift inside as you read these words.  Perhaps it was just the little nudge you needed to help you move onward.  You’ve got this!  I know you do!  And if you really want to accelerate your progress and get the results you want, get a coach working on your team with you.

Don't forget to check out our tips to get you started.

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