By Andrew Leigh
Do you have a project or task you simply can’t get started on? Do you recognise that feeling of dread when you think about it; that overpowering compulsion to do any other activity so long as it’s not that one thing? We’ve all been there, but you can beat your procrastination.
Here are 10 great tips to help you on your way.
1. Check your planning.
If you don’t plan or haven’t planned properly your task may seem way too big – you get a feeling that it’s simply not doable. So how good is your plan?
2. Break down your tasks into smaller ‘chunks’
Yes – the technical coaching term is ‘chunking down’. When the chunks are too big our imagination simply can’t see a way through the task. Keep chunking down until you suddenly say to yourself – hey, I can do that bit now!
3. Practise the action you’re holding back from.
Telling yourself that you are only practising is a brilliant way of building your skills, making your mistakes and taking the pressure off. And often before your realise it you’ve moved easily from practice to the real thing.
4. Confront your fears.
Exactly what is it about this that is putting you off? It’s worth spending a little time on this. Once you know what’s scaring you it becomes much easier to tackle. The next four questions should help.
It’s actually a job you hate doing – so how can you make it more enjoyable – and what are the rewards for doing it?
You don’t know enough to get started. This is an important one. If there genuinely is more groundwork to be done, it’s important for your success that you do it. So, how can you plan and start the groundwork?
7. Good Enough?
What if I’m not good enough? It’s true that there are things we might not excel at. Pavarotti, for instance, may not have been a natural at hang gliding, break dancing or the world pogo championships. Did any of these mean that Pavarotti was ‘not good enough’?
8. Fear of Failing?
What if it doesn’t work? Good question. If it’s worrying you – then make a list of the consequences of failing – but you should also make a list of the consequences of not starting – and a list of the benefits when you succeed.
9. Embrace the idea of failure.
This is a big one – changing our attitude to the word ‘failure’ from negative to positive can seem a little crazy at first. In fact it’s incredibly empowering to have a healthy attitude to failure. Go back to the previous tip and add in all the positives that come out of having tried. At the very least, you’ll have learned an awful lot for next time.
10. Finally – find your motivations.
What are the real benefits of doing this project or task? Ask yourself these three questions:
- What are the benefits of finally getting started?
- What will the benefits be of completing?
- How much better will I feel about myself when it’s done?
That’s it. If you can’t start on the project itself – start on these tips and see where it gets you. The chances are that you’ll be racing away before you know it.
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Andrew Leigh helps people achieve better work and business performance, whole-life wellbeing, achievement and change, and fulfilling new life directions.
To find out more about how life coaching can transform your life visit
Copyright 2007 – Andrew Leigh. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Reprint Rights: You may reprint this article as long as you leave all of the links active, do not edit the article in any way and give author name credit.