Well, sorta…it’s Monday and instead of spending time primping in the bathroom, I’m sitting at my desk on time making the keys move on my keyboard.
The unfortunate thing is that I'm sitting in my bathrobe with my lashes all cray-cray and my hair still in a messy bun.
Not procrastinating on writing today, but there's no doubt I need more time in the morning.
Last week I shared seven types of procrastinators and a quick fix for each. Today I want to finish off that list.
The Gratification Monkey
You’re on a diet but it’s girl scout cookie season and you only get to indulge in these cookies once a year. Perhaps you know that you should connect with another media executive, but you feel more comfortable catching up with your besties. Maybe you’re writing a blog post on procrastination and suddenly spiral into reading lots of other blog posts on procrastination.
Am I the only one that spirals into procrastination blog posts?
This is the age-old battle of the present vs. future self. You know what you should be doing to make your future self happy but the lure of immediate pleasure lets your present self take the wheel.
Try this: Create a barrier between you and that thing you can’t resist. Prone to Netflix binges? Hide the remote. This genius invention will keep you honest.
Another hack is to improve impulse control by outsourcing it to tech. There’s a bunch of ideas here.
Also, don’t overlook the power of rewards. If you dial in the focus and curb the distractions for the time you had promised yourself, it’s time for a little shameless scroll.
The Easy Road Guide
Do you walk away when the motivation has left?
We can’t rely on motivation alone to get the hard work done. It’s amazing when she decided to grace her with her presence but the reality is there will be some work you have to put in to reach any goal.
For example, if you want to run a marathon there are days you will not want to run the training run planned for that day. It’s raining and cold. You have to get up and do it anyways.
Try this: If you have an aversion to hard work, it’s time to create a system to let discipline take control. Make a time commitment to the thing you’ve been putting off and identify 3 tasks you need to get done in that time block.
You could even up your game by rewarding yourself (see above) when you get those tasks done.
The Blind Betty
Sunday is chores day at my house. The mention of the c-word is always met with moans and groans, but week after week they get done.
Want to know my secret?
If they don’t get their chores done they aren’t allowed to turn on any device. I wish they would start putting laundry away on their own, but in reality, it’s the consequence of no screentime that gets those hampers emptied.
Entrepreneurs don't have anyone to point out the consequences of not getting the work done. As a result, you see many Blind Bettys out there, oblivious to the consequences of procrastination.
Try this: Create a consequence for yourself using a commitment device. A commitment device is, according to the authors of Freakonomics, a way to lock oneself into following a plan of action that one might not want to do, but which one knows is good for oneself. In other words, a commitment device is a way of ensuring that an empty promise becomes stronger and believable by giving it a reward or punishment.
Check out StickK if you’re serious about making a $$ commitment to your goals. This website helps you set a goal, create a commitment contract to hold you responsible for doing the work, and risk a loss of $$ if you don’t follow through.
Do you worry about the load that success will bring? Does the thought of not living up to someone else's expectations keep you up at night?
These are the questions that haunt someone with a fear of success. This fear prevents them from even starting on that thing they keep putting off.
Try this: Explore where those fear are coming from. Just acknowledging that you identify with Fearful Finley is a step in the right direction.
Want to take another step?
Challenge that fear. You can do this by journaling, visualizing success or even reaching out to a therapist.
Yesterday I threatened to throw my Mac out the window because of the tech issues I was having with my website. I admit I hesitate to revamp anything on Life After Busy because I fear having to go into the rabbit hole of tech support.
Can you relate? Are you quickly frustrated or threaten your devices when things become “too hard?” These are signs of low tolerance for adverse events.
Try this: Recognize that the frustration is internal. In my interactions with Kajabi (my website host), it only took about 20 minutes to find a solution.
Next, rate the intensity of what is happening. Next, rate the intensity of what is happening. From 1-10, 1 being no big deal, 10 being nuclear war. If you reframe your "crisis," it's not as big of a deal as you initially think.
Finally, desensitize yourself to frustration. The more comfortable you get with it the less likely you are to put off tasks you find intolerable. For example, stand in the long check out line and resist the urge to pull out your phone.
I hope I’ve turned some of you excuse-makers into action takers. I’m happy to report I’m typing this final sentence fully dressed, with my hair styled, and lashes that are glued in place.
You don't have to chose between your personal and professional life. Here's my secret weapon for getting the family chaos to calm.