Procrastination Starters . . .
Overwhelm was identified the biggest culprit by the majority of those of you who responded to the poll about what is causing your procrastination, (followed by perfectionism, habits and addictions and fears which we will get to next). Those of you who procrastinated and didn't get to answering the poll . . . listen closely.
To be overwhelmed seems to be a by-product of being alive in the twenty-first century. We have so many choices and a feeling of urgency to quickly get things done. We see others doing a lot and we compare ourselves. With the feeling of wanting to do so much and not having enough time, confidence or know-how, NO WONDER (or duh) that we are overwhelmed. When left unchecked our blessed little human minds usually go to HOW MUCH needs to be done in a given endeavor.
The Keys to Overcoming Overwhelm are as follows:
AWARNESS that you are overwhelming yourself by expecting yourself to do too much in an unrealistic fashion.
SHIFTING to more reasonable expectations . . . in fact making expectations so small you cannot resist doing them (one of the hardest parts of doing something new is starting it so if you begin super simple you start a motion that usually continues, if you set the expectation even as something extra to you're already busy schedule, it's too easy NOT to do it . . . in other words to procrastinate). Lowering your expectations just helps to get you started . . . it doesn't mean you have to lower your standards.
Using a NEW PERSPECTIVE: Write "I get to . . . " in front of your To Do list.
Here are some examples of translations of expectations to help trigger STARTING which leads to CONTINUING:
Intention: Start a business. Instead of putting on your to-do list: "Write a business plan," (which is overwhelming) write on your list one of these: "I get to do #1 and #2 of the business plan" (this does not mean you have to stop there . . . this is just to get you started. But if you want to stop at this point, you have met your first goal). Or write "I get to brainstorm about the business for 15 minutes" or "I get to call Fred and ask a question about how he started his business"
Intention: Start a scrapbook, collaging, (or other craft). Instead of thinking or writing: "Start scrapbook," write "I get to walk around in the scrap book store and write down 3 ideas to start with" or "I get to write 3 ways to start a scrap book" or "I get to organize a space for 15 minutes where I will start scrapbooking" or "I get to intuitively direct my energy for 15 minutes around scrapbooking."
Intention: To Write (an article, a book, anything at all). Instead of making the goal: "Write for an hour 3 times a week" (which is OVERWHELMING IF YOU HAVEN'T DONE IT), write: "I get to write for 5 to 15 minutes 3 times this week" or "I get to take a 20 minute walk or drive to brew ideas about my writing" or "I get to play with writing by starting with an unfinished sentence" (giving yourself a very specific place to start).
Stop comparing yourself to others who are doing what you want to do. We all have different ways we start, different pacing. If you start out very small . . . chances are you will start and keep going. If you keep going little by little by little you will be surprised at how you soon take off to your heart's delight.