When you find yourself procrastinating on a task you’ve determined that you need to complete:
1. KEEP IN MIND THE “BECAUSE”
Think to yourself, “I’m doing this task that I would really rather avoid because…”
For example, say Seth dislikes cleaning his kitchen but determines that he wants to clean his house BECAUSE a clean home will provide a comfortable environment for his friends.
So as Seth is down on his knees sweating and scrubbing the kitchen floor, he can remind himself, “I’m smelling bleach right now BECAUSE I want my friends to feel great when they come over.”
2. START SOONER RATHER THAN LATER
If you start sooner, you have more options in terms of when you do work on the activity you have been avoiding.
For example, say Connie has guests coming from out-of-town and determines that she wants to give the bathroom a deep cleaning because she can’t quite remember the last time she cleaned it.
If Connie started four days in advance of her guests’ arrival, she could clean the sink one day, the toilet the next, the shower the next, and the floor the next. By breaking up the her task this way, each day she would probably spend ten minutes or less cleaning the bathroom and it would be done before her guests came.
But if she waits until an hour before her guests are supposed to arrive, she leaves herself little option but to spend a substantial part of that hour consumed with doing the task she least wants to do.
3. DEADLINES ARE YOUR FRIENDS
If you have a deadline, be thankful. The deadline will give you an incentive to get the task done and then you won’t have to think about it.
4. REMEMBER YOU CAN PHONE A FRIEND OR BUSINESS
Sometimes the solution to turning procrastination into joyful creation is simply requesting that someone else either help you with the creating or do the creating for you. One way to approach the bathroom cleaning in the above example is to hire a cleaning service to clean it.
With friends, sometimes a talent swap can be fun. Say that Seth is a guy who doesn’t mind cleaning bathrooms, while Connie loves cleaning kitchens. Connie and Seth could talk and come up with a plan where Seth comes over and cleans Connie’s bathroom and then Connie goes over and cleans Seth’s kitchen. Then they could go out and grab a bite to eat.
5. MAKE JOKES AS YOU ARE COMPLETING THE TASK
Often work is the subject of many jokes.
For example, how many jokes could Connie think of as she cleaned Seth’s kitchen? (Have fun with this AND be careful not to offend anyone you are working with. If Connie offended Seth, dinner plans might be off.)
6. CREATE A GAME PLAN
A game plan can include a list of what items you need to buy in order to complete the task, the steps to completing the task, and the times you will spend working on the task.
I used to resist making game plans with all my might, in favor of the “ease” of just winging it. But I’ve found that in fact it’s far simpler and often makes things go much faster to have a game plan.
Have fun creating your game plan. Create it in marker or crayon or in color on the computer. For bonus fun, add photos or cut outs from a magazine of how you want to feel as you do your task and what you envision feeling like when you are done with it
7. CELEBRATE WHEN YOU’RE DONE
This is the super joyful part. You are amazing! You just moved past the urge to procrastinate to accomplish something you really didn’t want to do. How are you going to honor yourself for your hard work?
Game of the Day
The next time you have the urge to procrastinate, how can you turn it into an urge to joyfully create?
Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker. He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska. He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset. For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com