Do you procrastinate? Most procrastination is driven by anxiety & control. You avoid engaging core issues & tasks because, subconsciously, you believe it keeps you safe (i.e. “I won’t get hurt/rejected/judged, like in the past, if I don’t engage”).
Do you have tasks at home and work you’ve been putting off? Stuff you know needs to be addressed that you keep avoiding. In life coaching terminology, we call these “loose ends”, “unfinished business”, or “mental clutter”. Each day you avoid taking action is another day energy and momentum is drained from your life.
3 Steps to Stop Procrastinating
Print off this article and use it as a worksheet.
1. Tie Up Your Loose Ends.
Make a list of 10 things, both big and small, where you need closure. What’s incomplete and unfinished in any area of your life (e.g. finances, health, family, work, friendships, etc.) The life wheel is a great tool to help you identify the clutter in each area of your life.
What do you notice about the loose ends in your life? Are they concentrated in one or two areas? Does this give you an idea of where in your life you need to invest more energy?.
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2. Finish Unfinished Business Through Elimination, Delegation & Determination.
Analyzing your list you might realize an item isn’t essential and can be eliminated. Maybe you can pay someone to complete that project you’ve been putting off. Maybe you can get intensely focused and work on a project diligently until completion. Finishing unfinished business, for some of my clients, has meant choosing to get over something from the past (e.g. divorce, bankruptcy, job loss, trauma, etc.). For others, it’s meant having courageous conversations with someone you love. Write down your answers to the following questions.
What 2 loose ends will you eliminate?
List 2 items will you delegate?
What 2 tasks will you complete soon?
3. Say “No” Graciously to Others & Yourself
When it comes to mental clutter, it’s crucial to NOT say “yes” to projects and tasks when you should say “no”. Difficulty in saying “no” often comes from co-dependent and enabling tendencies. Don’t take responsibility for things that ultimately are not your responsibility. Focusing on your goals, life purpose, and core values helps filter out the good so you can say “yes” to the best.
List 4 situations, tasks, or people in your life where saying “no” is a challenge. (I have a tough time saying no to Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia Ice Cream)
Do you see any themes where you struggle with boundaries? Do they fall into certain areas of your life wheel?
Eliminating mental clutter will enhance your life! You’ll experience the satisfaction of knowing you’re BEING PRODUCTIVE. You may even sleep better tonight. Start today!
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