3 Simple Steps To Bust Through Procrastination

Can you stop procrastination and get into action in 3 simple steps?

Absolutely! But first, I have a confession …

procrastination clock

How to stop procrastinating and get into action!

Because I encourage my executive coaching clients to practice the values of  transparency and humility, I will “walk my talk.”

Just last week I delivered a presentation to business owners about how to be more efficient with your mental energy, avoid overwhelm, manage multiple priorities and get things done.

My confession: I have been struggling with how to stop my procrastination pattern this week.

Thanks. I feel better already.

In order to interrupt the pattern of procrastination and take action, I used it as motivation for me to write.

I’ve heard from very smart, successful clients of mine doing (in fact, I did #6 AND #1 just today so maybe I should re-title this: “Top 10 Signs I Am Procrastinating.”  Then I can add Personal Integrity to my values list, too).

Because awareness is the first step to stopping procrastination, or any bad habit, I made a Top 10 List of what my procrastination pattern looked like (and I borrowed a few from my coaching clients, too).

Are any familiar to you?

Top 10 Signs You Might Be Procrastinating:

10. Eating something non-nutritious so you can stay awake while you watch the online training (hopefully not mine!)

9. Checking your email every 3 minutes

8. Looking for inspiration from articles on the internet so you can write your own article (this is me today)

7. Reading just one more article about “how to do …” so you can start doing whatever it is you should be doing

6. Checking LinkedIn for who’s viewed your profile

5. Replying TY for RT’s to all of the Twitter Followers in the past 3 days

4. Looking on Facebook to find people you went to high school with you never really cared about anyway

3. Repairing and painting the wall where the puppy chewed a hole last week

2. Watching the news to find out the horrible things that are happening today

1. Editing the promotional page for your upcoming leadership program for the 7th time today so that it’s perfect before you send it out

I could take this a step farther and feel guilty or ashamed about being so imperfect – and we could take it one step beyond that and say I’m a hypocrite.

Yet I choose not to … I choose instead to offer my human-ness up to you as an opportunity to learn and grow, for myself and most importantly for you if you so choose to take on The “BS” Challenge!

What Do You Mean By BS?

It no longer surprises me when one of my executive coaching clients who is highly respected and extraordinarily successful by anyone’s standards discloses their deep, dark BS: “If people only knew what a fraud I am (or feel like at times), then the secret would be out … and I would finally be discovered for who I really am.”

After years of hearing this fear coming from powerful, influential business people, I now recognize where this shame and fear comes from – it comes from “BS.” BS is far easier to recognize when it comes from someone else’s mouth rather than from inside your own head.

Brain science can now tell us a lot about what motivates human beings (no matter what your title), and more importantly, what we will work very hard to avoid. Proven strategies based in neuroscience can help us to very quickly to re-wire our brain to get unstuck, solve the challenge de jour and keep the problem from rearing its head again – ever.

But first, we need to change at the level of thinking – and explore BS. Let’s use mine as an example.

BS: The SHOULDS and the SUPPOSED Tos

What do I mean by “BS?” (This is where you say “b*llsh*t”).

bs button

Don’t let BS keep you stuck in procrastination patterns!

Okay … let’s go with that one.

BS also can refer to our “Belief System” which for the most part is full of BS.

Now I’ll put the shoe back on my own foot: If I believe I SHOULD NEVER PROCRASTINATE or I SHOULD NEVER WASTE MY TIME DOING SOMETHING UNPRODUCTIVE especially because what I assist others to do is to be productive, and if I procrastinate, then I must also be hypocrite.

Now who’s the one with the big dark hairy BS? That would be me. And I feel incongruent because “I don’t practice what I preach.”

Are these rules similar to what you believe, too?

If I choose to keep this BS, I will not feel creative, inspired or motivated. Just stuck and embarrassed if anyone finds out what I believe … and those feeling states will not get me very far today. The good news is now that I’m aware of the BS, or belief, I can challenge it, keep it or replace it if it’s holding me back. And if I can do it, so can you.

How do I stop the pattern of procrastinating?  Simple.  I asked myself a question to uncover and challenge my own BS, “What do I have to believe to feel embarrassed that I am procrastinating right now?”

One possible answer/belief is “I ‘should’ never procrastinate because I coach other people on how to stop procrastinating.  I should have ALL the ANSWERS!”

The follow up response and question isFair enough … and what elsecould be true?”

Yet, what else is true is that I am human. So I used the strategy ofAcknowledgement … simply acknowledge the feeling … “right now I feel embarrassed that I am unmotivated and procrastinating.”  Here is a surprising fact based in brain science:  Simply labeling a feeling releases negative energy attached to that belief.  And reduces it’s power by almost 50%.

Then I ask the third question, “Okay, so I feel embarrased. What’s one small thing I can do right now to get into action to feel more productive?” The easy answer comes quickly … and my answer was to start writing … just write for 5 minutes. And in 30 minutes, I am finishing this article.

What are some other things you do that keep you from spending time doing the things you could be doing to move you forward?

Do you have a deep, dark fear or belief that holds you back from resolving challenges or avoiding  situations where you lack confidence?

If so, then I have good news for you: ACE!  Take these 3 Step ACE Approach to Get Out of Procrastination and Into Action:

ace

Break the procrastination pattern in 3 Simple Steps!

#1. Awareness of and then check out the BS –“What do I have to believe to feel frustrated, stuck, etc.?  That could be true … and what else could be true?”

#2. Choice:  You now have at least two choices.  Go with the BS as if it’s the only
truth (which it isn’t), or consider other beliefs that could be true

#3. Execution: Find one small step you can take to get unstuck and into ACTION – “What is one small thing I can do right now?”

When was the last time you confronted (or at least checked out) the BS in your head that’s holding you back from being a productive and proactive leader?

If you are ready to check out your incongruent, competing or limiting beliefs and replace them with supporting beliefs so you can take action you need now to propel you forward in your leadership effectiveness, I would be honored to offer you any resources I have to assist you!  Click here now to get more information or to arrange your confidential and complimentary Leadership Strategy Session.

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About the Author Christina

Christina Haxton is the Chief Potential Officer & Founder of The Center for Sustainable Strategies, a business strategy & executive advisory company, assisting technology and life science entrepreneurs, business owners & CEOs to build a strong, purpose-driven company, achieve sustainable growth & avoid burnout. Contact Christina at (970) 387-8935 or christina@sustainable-leaders.com to inquire about speaking, training, coaching and consulting solutions for yourself or your company.

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