Procrastination is running to meet you – will you welcome it with open arms, or try and head it off at the pass?

So here we are – 2018 is already well underway and I wonder how many of you who set New Year Resolutions are still doing them?….) Procrastination is running to meet you – will you welcome it with open arms, or try and head it off at the pass? You can take control if you really want to.

In this blog we are encouraging you to reflect and be absolutely honest with yourself about how you manage your own expectations.

Understand why you procrastinate: Try and understand the root cause of your hesitation. Whether it’s boredom (completing a tax form), too difficult to maintain (losing weight), too complicated – what’s your reason? As professional women, many of you will be perfectionists – this can really get in the way of getting on with it. Do you know what ‘good enough’ looks like? – your first task is to define good enough and when you reach it – move on to the next task.

Face your fears: Are you afraid? Fear of failure is a big barrier – we all want to be the best we can be and doing something we are unsure of can reveal that we weren’t exactly who we said we were. (Psst I have a secret for you – we all fall into that trap!) Talk it through with a ‘listener’, get to the bottom of your fear it and then… get on with it. Rarely is anything as bad as we think it is going to be.

Set yourself a goal to achieve: A clear goal, write it down, set a date to achieve it, be clear on what success looks like. Check it – is it realistic, will it matter if you don’t do it, who will it matter to? Is it something that you can control? (If it isn’t, the gate is open to leading you to procrastinate further). Manage your expectations. One final check on your goal – is it something that you really want, something that will bring a benefit to you? If not maybe you should ditch it and do something that matters.

Is your workspace productive? Is there room to do what you need to do and have you set the time aside to do things properly? Are you hot / cold / hungry/ tired?  Just check in with yourself and then make any changes you need and then get to work.

Do you get on your own nerves with your failure to get on with it? Try visualisation. For this you need to look into the future and see what life is like for you and those around you when you have done what you are avoiding. Have a go – do you like what you see? Once you know that it is really worth it you are more likely to do it.

Most of us don’t spend time on reflecting. Pick a mirror up and take a peek – the person looking back is in total charge of your life. Are they doing the best by you? Only you know, and reflection is the time that you can ask yourself a few questions about just how useful you are to yourself.

By Penny Whitelock F(Inst)LM,  Director at Crystal Clear Business Solutions 

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