Overcoming Procrastination

Monday, February 05, 2018

Today, let's talk about procrastination. We all do it - big things, little things, important things. The things that require commitment, time, and put us at risk of failing are usually what we procrastinate the most and unfortunately, our hobbies and goals, like colouring, can fall into this area for some of us. It's easy to tell ourselves so many reasons why now, *today*, is just not the right time - too busy, too much money, too stressed, too inexperienced, too old, too hard...I've heard them all and I use them too! ;) Very occasionally the reasons may be valid - but 9 times out of 10 they are excuses to avoid the work or emotional discomfort of going outside of our comfort zones. "Nothing is as fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an unfulfilled goal" - We usually procrastinate as a way to avoid stress, but did you know it has been proven that this approach is actually one of the biggest causes of stress in our lives? It can lead to increased stress, health and sleep problems, lack of confidence, and poor performance. By putting off today what can be done tomorrow, we are giving in to our fears, helping them to grow larger, and turning tomorrow into the next day, and the next. We are giving ourselves permission to sell out on our goals and our happiness - robbing ourselves of opportunities, of learning, of being the best we can be.
Nothing great in life is achieved without action. If you want to learn how, to create colouring like you see others create, then we need to stop making excuses and start taking action. We are all more than capable - if we just give ourselves permission to believe it <3 Take a read of the articles above for some real tips on moving forward and take back control of your learning and your goals in life. After all, in the words of Marcud Aurelius, "Don't act as if you have 1000 years to live" - we only have now.
Here are some top tips to overcoming procrastination, and get started on your goals:
1 - Get out your calendar
Write down your goals and give yourself a deadline. Schedule time to start and place an alarm to hold yourself accountable. You only need 10 minutes to start and once you do, the hardest part is behind you. 2. Get rid of catastrophizing
One of the biggest reasons people procrastinate is because they catastrophize, or make a huge deal out of something. It may be related to how tough, how boring, or how painful it will be to complete the task; whatever the case, the underlying
theme is that doing the task will be “unbearable.”
In reality, challenges, boredom, and hard work will not kill you — or even make you sick. Procrastination, on the other hand, is associated with stress — think of the stress you feel when you avoid making a phone call you know you need to make. So keep things in perspective: “Sure, this is not my favorite task, but I can get through it.” (referenced from https://www.psychologytoday.com)
3 - Break your goals down into smaller pieces.
The bigger your goals, the more quickly you can feel overwhelmed. Break it down into bite sized bits. You might colour the skin one day, the hair a few days later. Or you might have time goals - 10 minutes one day, 20 minutes a few days later. You don't need to plan your entire learning journey - just a step immediately ahead to get you going.
4 - Visualise the outcome and remember your "why"
Why did you want to learn in the first place? Imagine how you will feel when you feel confident with your colouring.
When we procrastinate, we tend to focus more on short-term gains (avoiding the distress associated with the task), as opposed to long-term results (the stress of not doing it, as well as the consequences of avoiding this task). Instead, try focusing on why you are doing this task: What are the benefits of completing it? 5 - Harness Fear
Let's focus not on what we are afraid of, but the cost of continued inaction. How would you feel a year from now if you did nothing? Be honest with yourself - if nothing changes, then nothing changes - we only grow by starting.
6 - Take Accountability
Enlist a support team! You have one already right here in your Kit and Clowder community! Share your work, join in with what others are doing, and stay motivated. Knowing that you are learning alongside others is a great motivator to keep going so make sure to check in during your journey. 7- Reward yourself
Why not give yourself a little treat to acknowledge those times you kick your goals? :) Do not let yourself binge that new Netflix show, check your social media, or get lunch until you complete what you've scheduled. So instead of using these tasks and distractions to procrastinate, make them contingent on you actually finishing what you schedule yourself to do. 8 - Act bravely daily, starting today.
Commit to stepping outside of your comfort zone and having a go - just put colour on your page *somewhere*. Print your images, download your video. It doesn't matter how fast you are going, as long as you are stepping forward to keep on doing the things that inspire you. Once you've taken the first step, then you can take the next and keep growing and learning. 8. Drop the perfectionism.
Perfectionism is an all-or-nothing mentality: Something is either perfect, or it is a failure. People with perfectionistic tendencies tend to wait until things are perfect in order to proceed — so, if it's not perfect, you cannot be finished. Or if it is not the perfect time, you believe you can't start. This all-or-nothing mentality can hold you back from starting or completing tasks.
Remember that we must make mistakes in order to learn. That mistake you make is such a vital part of growing - embrace it. Try writing PRACTICE at the top of your page and take your eyes there every time you feel that pang of needing to be perfect pop up. And if things really aren't going your way, reach out and ask for help so we can work on it together. You aren't alone during this journey of learning - let's work together to help you feel confident.
Make today your day and get started on the next step in your journey. You’ve got this x

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  1. Great message. All rings true. We must live in the now. It’s the only place we can actually effect change, create memories and live life. Procrastination is a weed in the garden of living one’s best life .


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