One of the biggest challenges people face when it comes to reaching their goals and getting things done is procrastination. It’s a serious progress killer for many people, especially many of the entrepreneurs that I work with. After one of my private clients reached out to me, requesting that I help her overcome her procrastination struggles, I decided to create my own personal list of steps anyone can take to beat the procrastination bug within you.
My efforts lead to the creation of what I like to call the 28-Day Stop Procrastination Challenge, an easy-to follow, daily audio-based series sent to you via email, designed to help you get to the source of the problem while developing healthy habits around becoming a more productive person.
Today I’ll be taking you inside the challenge by sharing 5 of the Procrastinating Pro Personalities that might be preventing you from getting things done. This is a short list of some of the personas that I’ve defined and broken down as part of the Stop Procrastinating 28-Day Challenge.
Are you like Stuck Stella?
Despite her deep desire to be productive and get things done, Stella oftentimes finds herself stuck because she’s overwhelmed by all the things she must do. Has this ever happened to you? In your mind you start mapping out plans for everything you want to do, but at some point, you look up and realize you’ve done nothing or very little at all. How does that happen? Where did the time go? Where did you go wrong?
Like Stella, it’s possible that you are a pro at psyching yourself out. Do you know what that means? To psych out yourself is to undermine your confidence; nervously second-guess your ability to do something you were once actually eager to do. How does this play out for you? For Stella, usually after spending a lot of time thinking about all the things she must do Stuck Stella finds herself exhausted and completely overwhelmed just by the “thought” of it all. This leads her to put things off and usually end up doing little to nothing because her final thought is always, “There is so much to do and there’s no way that I can do it all.” What Stuck Stella fails to understand is that you don’t have to do it all, you just have to do something. My suggestion is to work your way up your to do list in baby steps.
Start with one Super Simple Task (SST) that you can complete in a 5, 10 or at most 15 minutes. Knocking a few SSTs off your to do list will lighten the load and provide you with a feeling of satisfaction from getting things done. This feeling of accomplishment is exactly the kind of confidence builder you need to go from psyched out to super psyched about tackling more tasks on your to do list. Confronting your inner “Stuck Stella” is something you need to do if tackling your to do list is a daily challenge for you. And that’s certainly something we can do together as part of the 28-Day Stop Procrastinating Challenge. Especially if you are ready to stop being a pro at procrastination and start becoming a more productive person.
Are you like Easily Distracted Denise?
Every time Denise sits down to get things done, it feels like the universe is conspiring against her, throwing all types of unexpected distractions her way. Have you ever experienced a time when distractions took you away from important tasks that you set out to do?
Unbeknownst to Denise (possibly even you), while these distractions are always unexpected they can usually be avoided with the right strategies in place. If you find yourself easily distracted when you sit down to get work done, ask yourself the following questions.
What is your work environment like? When you are working, is it easy for people to interrupt you? Is your work space cluttered, cramped, or close to a high-traffic area filled with noise, people or things that tend to steal your attention at unwanted moments for long periods of time? Have you thought about what your ideal work environment would be? Is there a way for you to create or go to a quiet space that you can work in for at least 30-minutes to an hour daily or at least a few times a week?
Confronting your inner “Easily Distracted Denise” is something you need to do if distractions are a real challenge for you. And that’s certainly something we can do together as part of the 28-Day Stop Procrastinating Challenge. Especially if you are ready to stop being a pro at procrastination and start becoming a more productive person.
Are you like Someday Simone?
Someday Simone is a pro when it comes to creating bucket lists of all the things she wants to do in life. Her struggle and strife can be found in the fact that most of her desired goals, even the seemingly small ones, end up on this ever-growing buck list of things she’ll get to later down the road. Telling herself, “I’ll get to it someday,” she has a habit of putting off too many things, even little things she could easily get done today.
Someday Simone never intentionally sets out to hold herself back. Truth be told, her buck list is a great example of all the big dreams that she has for herself. She truly wants to be more, see more, have more and accomplish more in her life, she’s just, unfortunately, found herself in a space where she’s become comfortable having less for right now and holding off on going after what she really wants. In her mind, it makes sense to wait for the right time when everything perfectly aligns. The unfortunate truth is that in life, times when things align and perfectly fall into place don’t happen as often as we would like. Sometimes waiting for the right time leads to wasted time and feelings of regret when one looks back; thinking about younger years, missed opportunities and all the time that has passed by.
The best way to tackle the procrastination mindset is to try to do something each day that your future self will thank you for. Listen out for moments when that little voice tells you, “Not now. Maybe later. Someday soon.” Then challenge that voice, ask yourself, “Why not now? What can I do to start today?” Using this simple technique, you’ll start to find more ways to live your future dream life today. Confronting your inner “Someday Simone” is something you need to do if putting things off until a distant time in the future is a common practice for you. And that’s certainly something we can do together as part of the 28-Day Stop Procrastinating Challenge. Especially if you are ready to stop being a pro at procrastination and start becoming a more productive person.
Are you like ‘Shame on Me’ Sheila?
Sheila often feels like her life is in shambles. She quietly scrambles to find the courage to do things she knows she has been called to do. Practically every day Sheila struggles through feelings of shame deeply rooted within her and possibly you too. Every time Sheila tries to work up the nerve to do something new she loses her nerve after listening to the whispers, internal voices that bring up painful feelings of humiliation, embarrassment, and regret.
Sheila can’t forget things that she’s done wrong or wrong things that have been done to her. She finds herself thinking, ‘Shame on Me’ for wanting different, my life will never change. I can never change. ‘Shame on Me’ for wanting to help people when clearly for a long time I couldn’t even help me and mine. ‘Shame on Me’ for thinking I could ever truly get out of that hard place and have good things come to me easily. Why would anyone listen to me or take me seriously? ‘Shame on Me’ for the dark places I’ve been to; no good could come from those spaces and no good person could possibly see any good in me.
Unfortunately, ‘Shame on Me’ Sheila adamantly believes her past is a negative reflection on who she is in the present, which holds her back from creating a different more desirable future. She so strongly believes other people will judge her based on the past challenges she’s had to suffer through. Like ‘Shame on Me’ Sheila, do you believe your past is a present reflection of you? Sheila finds herself reluctant to put herself out there, which usually results in her putting things off until she buries them so deep down that she never gets to them at all.
Worst of all, Sheila often blames herself for the very misfortune, that was for the most part, out of her control. Shame and blame are often the same. Sometimes you hold yourself back from being more proactive because you are secretly ashamed of something and blame yourself for something to the point where you subconsciously feel you don’t deserve to go after anything better in your life.
The truth is that whether you believe it or not, your life is a gift, which means the BEST is your birthright. One of the best ways to fight this type of procrastination is to start by acknowledging where your feelings of hesitation are coming from. Is there some form of shame quietly hidden inside of you? Is there one thing, even a small thing you can do to give yourself permission to work towards your definition of progress, success, and happiness today. You deserve to be happy and successful too. These are not things for everyone else but you.
Confronting your inner “Shame on Me Sheila” is something you need to do if feelings of shame are subconsciously crippling you to the point where you hold yourself back from doing the kinds of things in your life that can move you forward. And that’s certainly something we can do together as part of the 28-Day Stop Procrastinating Challenge. Especially if you are ready to stop being a pro at procrastination and start becoming a more productive person.
Are you like Fearful Frida?
Like a character straight out of a Dr. Seuss book, Fearful Frida ferociously frets to the points where she forgets the very things she set out to do. Do you have a Fearful Frida living inside of you? Fearful Frida is oftentimes like a young bird that needs to leave its nest. Filled with feelings of anxiousness she cries out, “But what if I fall?” And to that I reply, “Oh my dear Frida, what if you fly?”
Looking through her eyes, Fearful Frida, fails to see the best outcome as a possibility because in her reality everything is destined to go wrong. The reason Frida puts things off for so long is because she finds herself running on that ‘What If Wheel’ for far too long. What if this bad thing happens? What if I make this mistake? There is too much at stake. What if they say this or they think that? What if lose? What if I fail? What if I can’t go back?
Nine times out of ten Frida will dismiss and wear down the best of the best optimists because if even the slightest challenge exists she will find it in the midst of it all.
Like Frida, it’s easy to fall victim to fear if you are inclined to only hear the negative voices within. It’s impossible to win if your approach to FEAR is always to “Forget Everything and Run.” Feelings of fear make everything unfun. In order to fight the fear, rather than run you must “Face Everything and Rise.” Your progress can only be realized after you face your fears in the eyes.
Take some time to think about what scares you in relation to the things you want to accomplish in life. Are those scary thoughts rooted in truth or are they devilish distractions trying to deter you from taking action?
Start facing your fears by working on everyday courage. Try to do one thing each day that scares you. It could be something small like a new hairstyle or making a slightly uncomfortable call. In these little moments you’ll reach small wins that prove those big fears weren’t so scary after all.
Confronting your inner “Fearful Frida” is something you need to do if feelings of fear lead you to avoid doing things you know you need to do, but deep down they scare you. Tackling your feelings of fear is certainly something we can do together as part of the 28-Day Stop Procrastinating Challenge. Especially if you are ready to stop being a pro at procrastination and start becoming a more productive person.
Side note: I am currently expanding the Support Black Women in Business series. Would you like a chance to have your business featured here? Click here, retweet that post and then add a photo of one of your currently featured products plus the link to that thread on twitter.
Girl Boss Invitation: If you have questions feel free to post a web class suggested topic via the commen box below. I also invite you to join my daily live stream web classes broadcasting on Instagram, Twitter, Periscope, YouTube and Facebook at 8:30 AM EST.