About the Author:
Eugenia Littebrant is a secret weapon for high achievers who want a real permanent change in their life and business. She dismantles and clears vulnerabilities to have a long-lasting impact on her clients’ lives and mindset.
Understanding procrastination to solve it for good and accomplish more
Procrastination or “I’ll Do It Later Syndrome” is a form of self-sabotaging behavior that prevents you from reaching your goals by delaying, postponing and distracting your focus from what you planned to do.
The key point here is — procrastination prevents you from reaching your goals, not your planned actions. This is where it’s often misunderstood and therefore mistreated.
If I look at procrastination as a way to not do what I planned to do, it looks like laziness or mere lack of focus and motivation. And yes I can try to motivate myself and to become more active. But it still doesn’t work and I still keep procrastinating. Or it might work, but I’ll have to boost my motivation every time I get to work.
Why? Because it’s not my laziness or lack of focus and motivation that causes procrastination, it’s unresolved issues with my goal that make me lose focus and motivation.
So how do you fix those issues?
Well, in order to fix those issues you need to find them first.
Here is a simple tool that will allow you to identify your unresolved issues, clear them and forget about procrastination forever. It will take you about 20 minutes, but if done properly it will give you motivation for any of your planned tasks.
To do it you’ll need to answer 5 questions:
Question #1: What’s the end result of the task you’re procrastinating?
If you’re trying to force yourself to write a Facebook post — what’s the end result of writing this post?
Getting new leads?
Getting new clients?
Sharing your story?
Assume your goal is to get new paying clients, ok, but why?
Nobody wants to have new paying clients to just have new paying clients. You want them to… what’s the end result? Try to go as far as possible while answering this question. Don’t stop at «I want to have a successful business» or «I want to make positive impact in the world». Those are good answers but they don’t help you understand your procrastination. Go further.
What’s the end result of you having a successful business? What’s the end result of you making impact in the world? With impact stay at your own side, don’t fall into dreaming of how wonderful the world will be when you completely change it. Stay in your own zone – what’s in it for you personally.
Did you find your answer? Good. Write it down for yourself — it’s your real motivation for all times.
Question #2: What good will you get when you get there in the future?
It’s so easy, you’ve done it million times, just write all of this down.
Question #3: What bad do you have now when you are where you are?
We don’t like such questions cause they make us concentrate on what we want to avoid, but it’s still a very good question, and you’ll see why in a minute.
So give yourself sincere and truthful answers, we are not in Pathological Positive Thinking Mode, we’re in Real Life Goal Achieving mode, so get real and write down everything you dislike about your present.
A quick hint: After answering this question, get back to Question #2 and see what you could add there from your new perspective.
Question #4: What good do you have now that you could lose in the future?
This is where it gets tough. Usually, we either don’t want to see any good in our current situation, or we hope that all good we have now will stay with us when the situation changes. That’s not always true and for some new life demands to pay tough price for success and happiness.
So get real and list everything good you have now that you could lose in your perfectly successful future.
This is where we get real and raw.
Question #5: What pad might happen in your perfectly successful future?
This is where nobody wants to look in terms of success, especially Pathological Positive Thinking fans. “Think positive” they say. “Don’t focus on the negative and it will never happen” they say.
But the truth is shit happens. No matter what. Whether you think about it or not it happens. And it gets even worse if you deliberately choose to focus on the bright side only.
So get real and list all that might go wrong in your perfectly successful future.
So here is what we get:
If you place your lists according to this diagram, you’ll see that:
- You’ve set your goal in order to get
- All the good you want to have when you get there, and to get rid of
- All the bad that you have now, but
- Besides the bad in your now you also have something good that you might lose in the future, and
- There might be some shortcomings in the future that you’d definitely like to avoid.
So there’s not just one “moving forward” vector, there’s actually another one, which is stronger and harder to overcome.
This is the real reason for your procrastination — each Facebook post you create gets you closer not only to getting what you want but also to losing what you have and facing the bad you don’t want. This works every time you plan another step, no matter how big or small, important or unimportant your step is. And this «red vector» gets only the stronger the more you “focus on the positive” and the more you ignore your inner truth.
So how do you take this red vector away?
I recommend doing it in five steps:
- Identify the inner layers – Done! You have this step covered if you actually followed my instructions.
- Acknowledge you have them. This step gets the easier the less you «focus on the positive» and look at reality.
- Allow yourself to feel the way you feel about it. This step is really important — it helps you stop procrastinating and start processing your inner stuff.
- Clear the feelings that keep you stuck. Very often just allowing yourself to feel clears lots of unprocessed emotions, but some of them are pretty stubborn and need additional assistance. This is where EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is really helpful.
- Take the next step and repeat the process.
Just remember: the more truthful and real you are with this process, the less often you’ll find yourself procrastinating in the middle of an important project.