Are you immobilized by procrastination and indecision? We all know that it is impossible to steer a car that’s not moving and the same is true with your life. You simply cannot direct and steer your life if you are immobilized by procrastination and indecision. It is what prevents you from doing the very things you need to do to make progress.
This debilitating behavior, or shall I say lack of behavior, is responsible for destroying so many dreams and aspirations. Action is the proper fruit of knowledge and doing what you know is often much harder than knowing what to do. This is actually a very accurate description of procrastination. It is the frustrating pattern of wanting to (consciously), knowing how to, but not doing it. It is the lack of action that keeps you from moving forward and making progress. Frustration sets in when you know you can do something, but still you don’t, and this frustration can easily turn into anger, a loss of self-confidence and even depression.
If you are the kind of person who’s actively improving and developing yourself, then there’s usually a gap between where you are and where you want to be. The only way to close this gap is to take action; to act on your desire for change and self-improvement. For this very reason you simply cannot afford to be stuck in procrastination. You must take action and liberate yourself from the disempowering effects of procrastination.
Procrastination is not so much a behavior as it is a way of thinking. The real problem is with your psychology and not with your behavior – the behavior is only the symptom. To liberate yourself from procrastination you must liberate yourself from the inside. It’s an internal shift that’s necessary and once you make the internal shift, it will automatically spill over into your actions. Here are three powerful procrastination tips that will help you liberate yourself from its immobilizing effects.
1. Detach Yourself From Your Behavior.
Realize that you are not your behavior. As soon as you start identifying with a behavior you become it. Just because you procrastinate at times does not make you a procrastinator unless you believe it. One of the strongest forces within the human personality is for your behavior to be consistent with your self-concept. Once you believe that you are a procrastinator all your actions will be filtered through this belief. Since all beliefs are self-reinforcing you will only strengthen this belief with your (in)action.
Instead, you must start by building a positive self-image and develop empowering beliefs. Choose different ways of defining yourself and forget about what you’ve done up until now. This is a fresh moment and you can change everything around, right now, by changing your beliefs about yourself.
2. You Don’t Have To Get It Perfect – You Just Have To Get It Started
One of the major causes for procrastination is this notion of wanting to get everything perfect. For some it even goes as far as waiting for the perfect time before they take action. Underneath this need to get things perfect lies the fear of failure and how your results will reflect on you. See, when you do nothing, nobody can judge or criticize you. Right? Wrong!
If you do nothing you will get nowhere. This universe is one that is driven by action. There are NO rewards for inaction. Only frustration and a longing for something that you know you can achieve, if only you do it. Instead of making perfection your goal, you should make starting your goal. As you do this and practice it you will soon discover the real secret: once you start, you build momentum and you end up doing much more than you ever intended to do when you set out to just get it started.
Perfection does not exist. Don’t be misguided by the illusion that you have to get it perfect. Its a weak excuse and one that will keep you immobilized. Liberate yourself and strive for a poor result that way you cannot be disappointed!
3. Change Your Perception
One of the most profound teachings that have its roots in eastern philosophy, is that when you change the way you look at things, things change. This idea can free you from virtually anything that might be holding you down. All of life relies on perception. What you take in with your senses are nothing but a vast array of sounds, colors, shapes, images and smells. None of it has any meaning in itself. You are the one that can give it meaning, and you are the one that gets to decide how you interpret this information.
Procrastination is nothing but a way of evaluating something and assigning a meaning to it that keeps you from taking action. At some level, mostly subconscious, you believe that taking action will be more painful than not taking action and by design; you will prevent yourself from taking action.
This is one of the most powerful procrastination tips and you can liberate yourself by starting to change the way you look at the things that you are procrastinating about. Ask yourself what else can this mean and instead of saying that you have to do it say that you choose to do it. The difference is subtle, but significant. Change the way you look at things and the things will change.
These three procrastination tips are by no means the begin all and end all of overcoming procrastination, but it will most certainly help to liberate you from being immobilized by procrastination and indecision.