by Suzanne L. Beenackers
Procrastination is a somewhat strange English word (I always associate it with castration and prostration!) but what it means is far too common to most of us:
postponing things that are important for your well-being or significant for your future, in favor of things that are pleasant. So instead of doing the dishes you watch tv; instead of yoga, you hang out on Facebook; instead of learning skills that will boost your career (for example reading 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) you go for drinks after work.
This does not mean that the pleasant things do not contribute to your well-being, but they have their time and place.
Problem with pleasant things or immediately rewarding chores/tasks is that they can usually can be done anytime. Whereas the things you’re postponing require concentration and willpower (little tip: just start! commit to doing it 5 minutes).
The reason you think you can afford postponing is (in short) you don’t feel the urgency of those tasks. And in my experience this is usually because you are not emotionally involved in the desired outcome. You don’t feel that you want that killer body, that new job, free weekends so you can spend two days every week doing the things you love.
The reason your “goals” are abstract, is probably because they need some work. Fine-tuning. You need to modify them so you can start feeling the urgency of working on them on a daily basis.
Here’s two ways of doing that:
1. What do you want your life to look like 1 year from now?
You can even intensify it by thinking: what if I only have 1 year to live?
This can clear things up for you pretty fast.
It will separate everything you re doing for money, or to please others, from your ambition or what you really enjoy doing.
2. What DON T you want your life to look like 1 year from now?
This one is often missing from self-help books. But there are people who are goal driven, and those who are avoidance driven. If you re avoidance driven you need to start with the worst possible outcomes. And then you commit to a path where the worst outcome is better 🙂
So if you’ve been getting stuck finding or focusing on a new job (you got stuck thinking goal driven), seeing yourself still having that same struggle one year from now, might just be your personal motivator to push through. because now the worst case scenario is that you failed getting a new job after giving it your all. That beats never having tried.
Seeing yourself still having the same issues in a relationship one year from now, could be your reason to give it one final go improving things with help of a therapist or to end the relationship and free up that investment in time and energy for something else.
For the avoidance driven people (and I m one of them) starting with what you DON’T want for yourself one year from now, can often be a stepping stone to align with your goals and stop procrastinating.
yoga video, music & weekly classes
I made a 12 minute home yoga video for It’s Time to Stop Procrastinating. It is a strong and spicy yoga practice.
You can find it here on YouTube:
Baby M #16 It’s Time to Stop Procrastinating
The 1 hour music It’s Time to Stop Procrastinating Playlist
This playlist has become a true gem, and it will move you to get off you butt and start working out (with Let’s Get Physical from Olivia Newton John!), take you on a trip through memory lane and ultimately move you to tears with John Legend’s This Time. It includes Madonna, the Stones, Tom Waits, Patience from Guns and Roses and so much more.