Maybe it’s your books. Maybe it’s cleaning your office. Maybe it’s getting your will or personal affairs in order in case of a worst case scenario coming to pass. Whatever it is, the longer you put it off, the more daunting it becomes. You may start to link emotions of guilt, shame, or regret to the idea of this task, which also doesn’t help the situation. The question is, is it ever too late to stop procrastinating?
No, it is never too late to stop procrastinating. It just comes down to Choice. When you are ready to overcome whatever internal roadblock is keeping you from confronting your daunting task, you will. It may take a littler exertion of willpower on your part. It may not be easy to start. It will always feel better right away, and it will always be worth it. Just the relief of no longer needing to “should” yourself is a huge benefit. The feeling of accomplishment and pride at having overcome your obstacle knowing your task is complete is magnificent. So, what can you do to get started?
Remember that a journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step, and after you’ve taken that step you can get in the car and hop a plane to make it fast and easy! Try some of these simple steps to start you on your way:
- Release the guilt. The situation is what it is, and feeling bad about it doesn’t help you or anyone else, nor does it help you stop procrastinating. So what if you meant to do XYZ last week and you didn’t get to it? That doesn’t mean that you can’t set aside some time to do it now or later. Let go of past mistakes and focus on moving forward.
- Ask for help. If you haven’t done it yet, it is probably because the task is either something you don’t want to do or you don’t know how to do. How much of it can you delegate? The cost of having a professional do it right the first time is often less than you expect, and well worthwhile.
- Schedule it. Put it on your calendar to give this issue 30 minutes per week. You’ll be amazed at how quickly it will get done if you just give yourself the time to set your mind to it. Is 30 minutes too much? Try 10 or 15. Start with the amount of time that you are willing to give that doesn’t freak you out. Just make sure that you get back on it again the next week.
- Reward yourself. Think of something that you want that is associated with your goal. Want to lose weight? Pick out a nice new outfit that you will get to buy when you’re done. Want to get your bookkeeping straightened out? Start budgeting for a special trip or purchase that you’ve been wanting to make, and when you’re done with your finances you will have a clear path on how to achieve that goal. Make your goal worth it!
Still having trouble getting started? Go back to #1. If this is one of those really sticky issues for you, maybe it’s time to find out why. Business coaches, therapists, friends, and family can be great resources if you are having a really difficult time.
Whatever the case may be, make the choice to stop procrastinating today to get started in some small way. You will be happy you did.