Posts Tagged ‘procrastination’

How to Overcome Procrastination

Friday, January 19th, 2007
 
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Why can’t I ever finish anything? Why do I procrastinate so much?

Most of us think we are simply lazy when we procrastinate. But the truth is that the cause of most procrastination isn’t laziness; it’s fear. We may be afraid that the task at hand is overwhelming or we may be afraid of failing at it. These are the two biggest fears that tend to keep us in approach/avoidance mode.

Here are five key ways to get past your resistance and get “it” done, whatever the “it” is:

1. Chunk it down. Find small ways to work on a project for a limited amount of time. Sharpen some pencils. Clean up your desk. Read some background material. Write one paragraph. Make one phone call. Look up one piece of information. Eat one healthy meal instead of snacking on junk food.
2. Reward yourself immediately for accomplishing something towards your goal. If you only reward yourself for completing something that feels huge, you are setting yourself up for feeling like a failure all along the way. Make sure your reward isn’t counterproductive. For example, if you want to become fit or lose weight, don’t reward yourself with chocolate cake. Instead, take time off for a walk or to watch a movie.
3. Set a new goal that is reasonable, attainable, and rewardable. Now you’re ready for the next step. If you committed to 15 minutes in Step 1, commit to 30 minutes this time. You may find that your ability to stick with a project increases as you get more invested in it.
4. Make a commitment to someone else that you will do what you say you want to do. Committing to others is a way of ensuring that we are answerable for our promises. Most of us find it easier to keep commitments to others than to ourselves.
5. Create an affirmation. It can be something like, “I now keep my commitments.” I now achieve my goals.” “I finish what I start.” “I no longer let fear stop me.” Affirmations are positive thoughts you are willing to begin believing for your highest good.

Commit to this five-step plan and you will have achieved what you set out to do and build your self-esteem in the process.

For more on living your extraordinary life in every way, please visit Jane Straus’s web site, www.stopenduring.com. Read her articles, watch video excerpts of her seminars, listen to her free teleseminars, schedule a private coaching session, book Jane for a keynote, and order Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life.

Clarity on Your Life Purpose

Saturday, January 6th, 2007
 
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Dear Jane,
What if you don’t know what your life purpose is? What if it appears to be many things, and it’s difficult to figure out? What if it is so powerful, it seems to have stopped you dead in your tracks for 50 years, living a safe life of symbols of success? What if it is fear of shame and humiliation at such a fundamental level that you have been frozen in time?

If you feel overwhelmed by figuring out your life’s purpose(s), you may be thinking too grandiosely, causing you to feel paralyzed by your dreams rather than motivated by them. We may procrastinate our lives away because the goals we set are too daunting. We become spiritually paralyzed, caught up in a vicious circle of wanting and inaction, wanting and inaction.

First, stop focusing on what stops you. We are all afraid, at some level, of fear and humiliation. Don’t let that be your excuse for suffering. Take one action step towards one of your dreams. If you wanted to be a writer, that would mean writing one page, beginning a journal, talking to another writer, or taking a class. When you take even one step towards your spirit’s longings, you are facing your fears with courage. So write down a few small steps towards one of your goals. Make a commitment to take one of these. Tell someone who is supportive that you are doing this.

The aspirations we hold most dear always require courage. Courage requires action. We can’t get rid of a fear simply by hoping it goes away. As I talk about in Enough Is Enough!, Chapter 5 “Break the Spell of Fear: Make Fear Your Ally,” we learn how to downsize fear by working with it, not avoiding it. So taking one step towards your spirit’s ideals makes a big difference. It shifts your attention, helps you face and shrink your fears, and offers you the opportunity to admire yourself more.

About Jane
Jane Straus is a trusted life coach, dynamic keynote speaker, and the author of Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life. With humor and grace, Jane offers her clients and seminar participants insights and exercises to ensure that the next chapter of their lives is about thriving as the unique individuals they have always been and the extraordinary ones they are still becoming. She serves clients worldwide and invites you to visit her site, StopEnduring.com. Here you will find excerpts from her book, more articles, TV and radio interviews, and clips from her presentations.
She is also the author of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, Grammarbook.com, an award-winning online resource and workbook with easy-to-understand rules, real-world examples, and fun quizzes.
Contact Jane at Jane@JaneStraus.com.