OOOH, that Procrastination Monster. It’s so easy to let it take over our day. Especially when we look at what we need to do, finish, not to mention take care of. And this isn’t just for our business or our website, it’s also for our everyday life … you know … the family, the house, and what ever else we have on our to-do lists that we just don’t seem to ever get done.
What’s priority? What can wait? OMG … so much to do! Toss in a bag of popcorn into the microwave, throw on Ancient Aliens and ignore the world! That’s the Procrastination Monster at work, giving itself a high-five. It’s job is done here today.
I am a horrible procrastinator, I admit that. Seriously, I just admitted what I do when my Procrastination Monster rears its trollish head in my day. I even outed one of my guilty pleasures. :: snarky smirk, finger to the tip of my nose ::
Seriously, who doesn’t love to see how big Giorgio’s hair gets with each new episode? Am I right?!?
On top of all my other so-called “faults”, procrastination is on that list … near the top. Fine … in the top 3. UGH!
Why do I say “so-called” and put faults in quotes? Because it’s other people who tell us it’s a fault. It’s other peoples’ words that have been thrown at us since we were wee little kiddos and we just didn’t realize it. We don’t think of procrastination as a good thing – it’s ingrained as a bad thing, therefore makes us lazy or bad or rebellious, and whatever other words get thrown about.We don't think of procrastination as a good thing - it's ingrained as a bad thing. Click To Tweet
And those words stick, as we grow up, leave home, start our own families. We believe those words so much, that we don’t even realize it’s happening (aka denial, let’s be honest here) until years have passed, and we start going to therapy after a catastrophic event — in my case the destruction of my marriage by my cheating husband.
I was a doormat most of my life. I did not stand up for myself. And the few times I did? Well, let’s just say they were squashed down with more words that hurt. I did not understand boundaries or even how to keep them. It took years to figure that out, and when I finally did figure it out, it still took a few more years to say “ENOUGH! I’m NOT taking this shit! I deserve better!” As well as make sure those boundaries stuck across the board, not just with certain people.Boundaries need to be for EVERYONE - there is no picking and choosing. Click To Tweet
OH it’s painful! Don’t kid yourself. It’s a crawling, fingernail dragging, scrapped up knees and elbows, bruised face, broken hearted journey that is full of denial, guilt, shame, grieving, facing consequences, taking accountability for your own shit, and finally stepping up to the plate hitting your grand slam homer that sends those gas-lighting narcissists to Fuck Off Mountain on their jackass burros (because they don’t deserve a smooth ride to their shithole)! :: resting bitch face followed by my signature eyeroll ::
But I digress. Let’s get back to this Procrastination Monster.
What do we do about it?
Well, I have 3 things for you. They will not be easy, that I can promise you. I can also tell you that it’s an every day battle. But those battles get shorter and shorter and before you know it, you have awesome boundaries that you are sticking to and you are kicking ass on those to-do lists that you keep writing down every day.
How do I know this? Because I’m living proof, my friend! I’m living proof!
THIS ISN’T GOING TO BE EASY! But if I can do it, so can you! You got this, Sister Friend!! Just like me, you ARE the Lotus coming up from the mud and YOU DESERVE BETTER!
Banish that Guilt and Shame!
Procrastination is an avoidance behavior. We all do it. Whether we want to admit it or not, and for whatever those reasons are. For me, and for many others I’m sure, the Procrastination Monster rears it’s head when we feel powerless (aka think we are powerless) so we revert to the one way we feel we know we do have that power — you know … procrastinating or putting off things we know we need to do, those things we promised ourselves and others to do, and maybe just avoiding doing all the things because … insert excuses here — “too hard”, “overwhelming”, “where to start”, “why me”, “I’m tired”, “I don’t want to but I know I need to” and the list goes on and on and on.
And then what happens? OH … wait … because the Procrastination Monster is here, let’s just add the Guilt and Shame trolls to the scene with their little trollish voices in your head. You know the voices. The ones that say “it’s too much work”, “I told you we couldn’t do it”, “you’re not good enough”. And let’s not forget the other voices you hear from your spouse/partner, your friends, your loved ones or from your own personal comparison mode. You know the ones — “who do you think you are”, “you never finish what you start”, “are you sure that’s a good idea?”, “you haven’t made money doing it up to now, I think you need to get a J-O-B”.
Because that’s what always happens, right? We feel guilty because we KNOW in our hearts that all the things NEED to be done. It doesn’t matter what those things are. And while all those voices are swirling around in our heads, especially those from the spouse/partner, the friends, the loved ones, whoever is projecting their own crap on us because of their own failures — YES it’s projection! — we start believing what those people are saying to us and what those voices in our heads are saying … so we do what we know how best to do — revert to the one defense we have truly mastered, the mental equivalent of curling up in a fetal ball in a darkened room — we procrastinate.
So how exactly do we banish this guilt and shame?
First we BREATHE! It’s okay if we’re not perfect, because WE ARE ENOUGH! No matter what the voices in our heads say … WE ARE ENOUGH! Period. Say it with me! I AM ENOUGH!!!
And as for the outside voices? It truly is their projection. It’s taken me 48 years to realize that and a year of therapy … what comes out of other peoples’ mouths is often times projection. And this part isn’t easy, but stop listening to their BS.
YOU ARE ENOUGH!!! YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS! And you got this, Sister Friend!!!
Now, forgive yourself.
I know! This is hard, too. But it’s important. It’s okay NOT to be perfect. Once we accept our imperfections and step back from other peoples’ shit, it gets easier. It takes time, but it gets easier. Oh, hey, I said forgive YOURSELF! It’s okay if you can’t forgive them or their words. Believe me! I’m so not in the “forgiving other people” mindset right now. So I’m not going to tell you to forgive other people. You will when you are ready. And it’s totally okay NOT to be ready right now. But I am asking you to forgive yourself. That really does help banish the guilt and shame trolls on so many levels.Once we accept our imperfections and step back from other peoples' shit, it gets easier. Click To Tweet
So we have breathed. We have started to try to forgive ourselves. Now let’s reframe.
Reframing means replacing those projections and self imposed lashes with phrases based in reality. Let the trollish voices speak, then look them straight into their lies and smile your cheeky grin. “Yeah, I spent an hour eating popcorn and watching Ancient Aliens. I’m not perfect. But I’m enough. And it’s time to cross off at least one thing of that list.” Be sassy! Be snarky! Tell those voices to fuck off!
Believe me, when you do that, you will feel better while at the same time kicking your Procrastination Monster to the curb and taking the blame/shame out of your procrastination tendencies.
Just remember to focus on the realistic solutions. Get up and actually do one of those things. It does not matter what thing you choose to do, just do it. Answer that email that needs to be answered. Swap out the loads of laundry. Send that invoice for the work you just did for that needy client, even if you think they will try to get out of paying for your time. Put on that red lipstick! You know you want to! It’s not on your to-do list? Put it on there and cross it off! DONE!
Let’s dig a little deeper ~ what’s really going on here
We can’t change our tendencies or habits over night. And we especially can’t change them if we don’t understand them.
I talked about a part of the WHY above — all the voices in our heads, whether they are our own or come from other people. I’m willing to bet that while you are sitting here reading this you have been nodding your head. Realization is coming through. We give away so much of our power to other peoples’ words and most of the time we don’t even realize it. Or worse, we deny it!
So, let’s dig a little deeper shall we?
Next time you find your Procrastination Monster reeling its head, stop the procrastination activity you’re doing and ask yourself: “What is really going on here?”
Try to figure out if you’re simply daunted by the thought of starting a task you find difficult, or you simply hate that particular task, or even worse, you’re angry because you have to do it because someone else thinks you should do it — or whatever is really behind the procrastination. Peel back the layers, if you can. I know this part is not going to be easy because you have to look inside yourself – deep inside yourself, and I know that’s fucking scary. But getting in touch with your real feelings can help you find the right solution to that particular procrastination session.
For example, if you absolutely hate setting up email series, plan to outsource this activity in the future. If it’s a hard task, break it down into smaller, more doable tasks. If it’s something that’s uncomfortable — say emailing that client to tell them what they are requesting is outside the scope of the contract and you are more than happy to do it, but you are charging $XXX for the request — just send the email. Take your power back. You are your boss, not your client.
And if it’s something you are angry about? You need to ask yourself why you are angry. Are you angry at yourself or are you angry at the other person? Is this something you said yes to when you should have said no? Is this something that you dropped the ball on and your deadline is in an hour? Or is this something that is assumed without discussion by someone else?
Hmmmm … that means communication. Speak up. UGH … COMMUNICATION! Yes! You need to open up your mouth and take back your power. And that’s not easy. It takes you right out of your little happy comfort zone. It’s better to shove all that crap into your Pandora’s Box in the back of that closet you have in your subconscious. But if you truly want to get that to-do list done, you really need to dig a little deeper into why your Procrastination Monster rears it’s trollish head.
So let’s focus on your success!
But what success, you may ask. Oh, c’mon now. You woke up and got out of bed, didn’t you? That’s a success. So what if you are in the same clothes you went to sleep in. You got out of bed. Oh wait … that’s me. haha I’m still in my pjs.
Seriously, though, think about it. Whatever you did right to this point, whether it’s on your list or not, you have finished it. And that’s a success. No matter how small or big, it’s a success! Getting out of bed, getting dressed, even if it’s what you slept in, taking your vitamins, drinking that first glass of water in the morning, whatever it is … It’s a success! Take that, Procrastination Monster!
Sometimes the simplest strategies are the best strategies of all. Gretchen Ruben, best-selling author of The Happiness Project, shares this tip — On top of a piece of paper, write, “By the end of today, I will have __________.” This also gives you the thrill of crossing a task off your list.
Write that at the top of your day planner. Oh you don’t have one? Get one! This one is my favorite. You can put it on a post-it note and slap it on your bathroom mirror. Or make a graphic for your phone and make it your lock screen … better yet, your home screen. Or even both.
Just be aware that the urge to procrastinate can never totally be eliminated — it does serve a purpose. It’s usually a sign something isn’t right with us. And when we dig a little bit deeper and do the inner work, we truly can figure it out … figure out why our Procrastination Monster comes about and developing effective strategies to totally bust it, every time. Essentially embracing our Procrastination Monster … which is a success in itself!
So, we’ve embraced our Procrastination Monster! Now what?
It isn’t easy embracing our Procrastination Monster. It means you have to delve into places you have kept hidden from the world and have chosen to forget about. But there’s a problem with Pandora boxes … eventually they get opened, whether on our own (which, quite frankly is best because at least you are ready for it and it isn’t going to be a surprise hit to your ID & Ego and whatever else gets swept up in the chaotic tornado) or the Universe opens it up for us. This, my friend, is no fun! I know … I’m living the chaotic tornado and I’m seriously ready for my merry-go-round to slow the fuck down!
Digressing again! UGH!
It’s okay to have your Procrastination Monster. Just tame it a bit … or alot – that’s totally up to you. Banish the guilt and shame it tends to bring up. Guess what?!? We all have one! Accept it and move FORWARD! Figure out WHY your Procrastination Monster is rearing its head. Yes, this can be hard and painful, but, let’s face it – it needs to be done to move forward. Again, it’s better to voluntarily do it than have the Universe do it for you.
And don’t forget to focus on the successes you have in your day – no matter how small, minute, ginormous or mediocre. They are successes! Yep, even a smile on your face is a success!
Sending lots of luvs and hugs,
Kimberly Gypsy LoSavio
your SoulFull Biz and Life Mentor
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