“Procrastination Is My Sin. It Brings Me Endless Sorrow Suffering. I Ought To Start Packing It In. In Fact, I Will Start Tomorrow Morning!”
Is procrastination a barricade to our progress? A lot of us hate to talk about it. Try looking at it this way – it has its purpose. Maybe, our mind is telling us that “Your body needs to rest…” “Are you sure you really want this?” “What about the other thing that you want?” “Hey is it too premature to act now?” “Are you really comfortable with the possible repercussions?” etc etc.
Leveraging on self-mastery coaching strategies, here are 8 ways to transform procrastination.
1. Every behaviour that we have has a positive intention, it’s just that we are too primitive consciously to understand the vast wisdom the unconscious has.
First, we need to acknowledge what possible intentions we have about procrastinating, and find ways to settle that higher intention. Then we could move forward with no ecological side effects.
2. Incremental action is the second thing to do.
Once we are in momentum, we will naturally go into the flow. Break down the task. “How does one eat an elephant?” – Answer: one bite at a time.
3. When we see the task as one undifferentiated humongous mass, our nervous system overwhelms.
So to begin is to move that picture away from us, make it smaller and move into a location in our mind where we feel more comfortable. The way you picture the task determines your action. Having movement in the image that you are seeing helps a great deal. See yourself demonstrating the behaviour and or doing the task.
4. The next thing is what kind of instruction do we give ourselves?
“Oh I have to do this…” or “I should be going ahead now…”
Change that instruction. Change it to “It’s time to go now.” “I want to finish this!” Say it with a tone of conviction. The kind of tone where you have told your friends that you mean what you say.
5. Focus on the positive effects of what you will gain at the end of it.
Even a simple reward works. Or more importantly, generalise it so that it has a larger impact on your life. When you get up in the morning, do you say “I don’t want to be late again!” What happens is that your mind is focused on the negative. If I would to say to you now, “Don’t think of a pink elephant?” “Don’t think of how long its nose is.” “Don’t think of the big floppy ears.” And “It doesn’t walk sluggishly.” What are you thinking of now?
If thinking of an elephant gets you moving, that’s good. If thinking of an elephant demotivates you, then start telling yourself what you want. So with the earlier statement, you would want to say “I want to be early, so that I’m on top of things!” Then you are thinking about the pleasurable outcome. Our minds cannot concentrate on the reverse of an idea. Tell it what you want.
6. Use positive motivation.
Using punishment or penalty as a motivator to get into action get’s results in the short run. However, in the long run, it damages the body. Ecologically speaking, it’s just not healthy because the body has to deal with fear, anger, stress and/or pain. Build in a positive benefit of completing the task.
7. What will you see, hear and how will you feel when you achieve your goal?
Pack in the visual details, make it colourful, make it brighter, make it bigger. What will you say to yourself? What will other people say about you?
Hear it clearly in your inner mind. And how would you feel?
Immerse yourself in it. Enjoy the rush of satisfaction, fulfilment, joy etc etc.
And take that picture and those associated feelings, stick it in your mind, put a date to it – the date of targeted completion. Rehearse it at least 7 times with intervals in between. Using the NLP Swish Pattern that Tony Robbins uses would accelerate the permanence of this desire to attain it.
8. Last but not least, need to summon energy.
Procrastination is a stuck state. It needs energy to propulse itself out of the ‘quick sand’ kind of state. Using anchoring, strengthening and linking into an empowering state – gets us moving. Some creative visualisation and physiological change is required. Mind and body are one. Change your body, change your mind. Change your mind, change your body. Change your mind and body – you change your life!
Procrastination used to be one of my major problems. Now it is my ally. And when I need to take action, I just do it. When I’m procrastinating, I’m listening to my inner wisdom. And when I see the big picture, I’ll know what to do. To abolish it, to wait, to gather more info or just go all out for it.
“Failing Hurts Consciously; Procrastination Kills Unconsciously.”
“Our Results Do Not Sympathise With Our Excuses.”
Many coaching strategies discussed in this article are based on NLP research & methodologies. Multi-intelligences NLP has specific coaching tools & techniques to help one overcome procrastination. These skillsets are taught in our NLP Practitioner Certification Course.
Want to know more? Meet with our helpful NLP Consultants.