In this final procrastination blog, I'll share with you high payoff exercises that will serve you when procrastination rears its ugly head. Put them in your very own tool box for achieving and maintaining success and staying in personal power.
High Payoff Exercises to Reduce The Impact of Procrastination
- Each night before you go to bed, write the 3 highest value, highest impact or highest earnings tasks to action the next day ideally before midday and determine the end goal. By doing this, you’ll start to walk your talk as a woman entrepreneur and set yourself apart from the many others who fall victim to the clutches of procrastination.
- Ask yourself, “What is the bigger reward for taking action?” You must have a strong reason for acting where the pain of not doing it is greater than doing it.
- Step away from fear. Activate the sympathetic nervous system by taking 6 deep 5 count breaths, in through nose and out through mouth.
- Activate the release of your feel good hormones. Hug someone or an animal to release oxytocin. Take action and see the reward to release dopamine. Sit in the sun, exercise, read something positive for happy thinking or eat typtophan-heavy foods like bananas or walnuts to release serotonin. Sniff vanilla or lavender, listen to music, laugh, exercise or eat 70%+ chocolate to induce endorphins.
- Take action with small positive steps that bring a win each time and do the most rewarding task first.
- When you feel procrastination kicking in repeat with conviction, “ACT NOW, ACT NOW, ACT NOW!”
- Visualise your task in hand as completed all the time and imagine how you’ll feel when it’s done. Tune in to the positive feelings and let that drive you to completion.
- If you’re making excuses as to why you procrastinate - STOP IT! Take ownership of your behaviour and refuse to accept or explain away unproductive behaviour anymore
- Reward yourself for the completion of the task and place mini rewards in between to acknowledge the small wins. Psychologists call this Operant Conditioning where you condition yourself to expect a specific consequence after performing a specific act. Rewards can be anything: going for a walk, a cup of tea, reading a magazine, a holiday, watching a movie, going out to dinner, shopping. Each reward will reinforce your ability to take action and direct your focus on to the pleasure you gain from the action, away from the task itself.
- Resolve to be invincible in the completion of your task. Make a promise with yourself that whatever gets in the way, it will not stop you from completing the task in hand. Act with urgency.
- When you create a plan, label each action according to importance. Brian Tracy uses the ABCDE method. Label important and urgent tasks A and always action these first. Remember that what’s important is not necessarily urgent and vice versa so start with either the time starved tasks, the big challenging tasks or do the worst first. B = tasks with mild consequences ie returning phone calls. C = nice to do, no consequence ie coffee/lunch with a friend, calling family/friends. D = delegate the task so that you get focus on the more important or urgent stuff. E = eliminate the tasks that make no difference to your vision. Each section can have subcategories ie A1, A2. Train yourself to start the day sustainably and work ahead of schedule.
- Follow the Swiss Cheese technique by putting holes in your plan bit by bit. Pick a portion of your plan and get to it and only that until completion. Each portion will build to the sum of the whole.
- Diarise the time for your task just like you would a meeting and put it in your calendar.
From April, the month's theme will be time management.