Stop Procrastinating And Overcome What’s Holding You Back

As I am sitting down to write this post, I am emotionally kicking myself. It’s the second to last day of the month, and I had started this month out with so many plans and goals. {insert big sigh 😔}

Life is ever-evolving and changing. What’s your game plan to keep your promises to yourself?

Life is ever-evolving and changing. What’s your game plan to keep your promises to yourself?

At the ripe age of 37, I am committed (at least in my heart ❤️) to stop giving up on my passions, and the things that bring me joy in life, in order to meet some predisposed ideal or requirement--set forth by society and my own brain--as to what a professional working woman and mother should do with their time.

Yet somehow, even though I am emotionally aligned with who I want to be, the concept of sticking to doing the things that bring me joy has completely gotten away from me recently. There's been the immense stress at work. End of the school year activities and all of the needs surrounding that just dominate. My children both have birthdays between May and June, and it is also my wedding anniversary month! Needless to say, all of this weight and responsibility has added up to me not giving my goals and aspirations enough attention. Does this sound familiar? 😉

If you’re like me (a type-A, over-achieving, perfectionist), you know that it can be super depressing to go through a time where your personal goals and self-care needs are being completely neglected. So while this blog is about procrastination and how to combat it, I also want to give all of you over-achieving women out there a little grace. Sometimes procrastination is a symptom of something greater--and after reading this post, I want you to ask yourself if what’s holding you back is really procrastination or if it’s something else--like burnout. Read this post if you are struggling with burnout.

For the sake of this conversation, let’s assume you are suffering from pure procrastination and need a little kick in the ass to get moving on those goals and dreams that you haven’t been giving enough effort to accomplishing.

Karen Lamb, American author, and total badass said, “A year from now, you’ll wish you had started today.” Simple words, but also eerily accurate. And a good segway into what I want to share about procrastination. First, I think it’s important to note that there are different types of procrastinating, and no, they should not all be treated equally.

Start today. Thrive tomorrow.

Start today. Thrive tomorrow.

The Deadline

I am the number-one biggest, baddest procrastinator when it comes to deadlines. Yep, I’m not even going to hide it. Sometimes I procrastinate on purpose, and other times, I just can’t seem to find the right place to start on a project, which gives me pause. Fortunately, over the years, I’ve learned that there’s an ‘okay, you’re still alright’ procrastination window, and then an ‘oh shit, I am now in the weeds’ window. If I stay in the first zone, it’s all good! In fact, it’s how I work best. But if I get into the ‘oh shit’ zone, then I’ve lost control--and no one wants to lose control of their own destiny! 🧘🏼‍♀️💖

The Day-To-Day

Procrastinating on day-to-day tasks and responsibilities is probably the most detrimental form. Nothing is worse than realizing that you're going to miss a workout--again, or you have no groceries for the week, or you didn’t sign up for a seminar or concert in time because of the big, bad procrastination dragon.

The Big Decision

Making impactful life decisions can be exciting but also shitty and anxiety producing at times. Things like changing careers, starting a family, choosing a college major, leaving or starting a serious relationship, are all so weighted that it can be super easy to get into a holding pattern riddled with insecurity and fear about the future. Procrastination can be your best friend in some of these situations, but there is definitely a window when making a big decision in which you need to act and move forward with your life!

You’re probably super familiar with all of these procrastination situations--but what do you do to keep life flowing and decisions happening, so that you can meet your goals, and thrive?

Establish which type of procrastination situation you are experiencing.

Maybe it’s just me, but I seem to spend a tone of time lamenting over the ‘procrastination masturbation’ I sometimes get sucked into, and not actually establishing WHY I am having trouble. Half the battle comes from wallowing in indecision. So if you find yourself needlessly stuck, or need-fully stuck, first determine WHY you are feeling that way and WHAT type of procrastination you are experiencing. The next part will come to a lot easier if you can say to yourself, “I’m procrastinating because this is a big decision,” or “I’m scared my plan won’t work, so I’m doing nothing instead!” 🙌

Give yourself a deadline.

A project without a deadline is like a scoop of ice cream without a cone. Deadlines are the foundation of a well-organized project or plan. Without that deadline (or cone), your project (that yummy ice cream you want to enjoy) will just melt through your fingers! Even if you get to your deadline and need to extend it, the purpose will be served, and movement will happen along the way pushing you out of the procrastination void and into the super-star unicorn zone!

Note to all overachievers and dreamers out there! Pick a realistic deadline, please! If you don’t actually give yourself an appropriate and honest timeline to make decisions or proceed with next steps, you’ll just continually let yourself down. This was a lesson I had to learn the hard way. Please, save yourself from a world of disappointment and pick reasonable time frames.

Break down the steps.

Once you have that shiny finish line in sight, work backward and break down the smaller steps that need to happen to push you over the finish line! If you’re trying to decide whether to take a job that would completely change your career path, for example, maybe you break down dates in which you will speak to you talk with your mentors, time for asking the prospective employer key questions or concerns, research time, etc.

Once you have a timeline with tasks in place, all of the things that need to happen to push you forward will just fall into place!

Take action and see what happens!

This is where I give you some hard facts and put on my super-bossy, soapbox-diva voice to tell you this: Once you have done the work outlined above, you just need to get off your hiney and take action. No one is going to make your life better, badder, or more satisfying but you. If you have laid the groundwork to stop procrastinating, then there’s nothing else to do but proceed with your brilliant business plan, big project, colossal life decision, and so on. Now's the time to trust yourself. 🙆‍♀️

It’s hard to move from one phase to another--I get it. It’s also much more challenging to get out of a void of inaction once you’re in one. The only way to actually get out of your own way is to take yourself by the hand--take a moment to say, “it’s okay sweet self. I get your struggle. Now get up, suit up, and get out there!”

Good luck to all of you procrastinators out there! You're my people! I know you can make rainbows out there🌈

xoxo

EM 💜

Psst! I’m looking for guest bloggers! Do you have a topic or life-event that you think other women would benefit from hearing about? I’d love to hear from you! Shoot me a message! Let’s collaborate!!