Written by: Danielle Perlin-Good, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Though there can be benefits to procrastination, the general idea of delaying a task will ultimately lead to avoidance. We tend to agonize and fret over minuscule details about our day, and it almost seems like the clock beats us to the punch. Before we know it, the baby pulled on the cat’s tail, the dog started whimpering, and those 50 emails in your inbox will compile and multiply before dawn.
Procrastination Leads to Avoidance
When we allow delay tactics into our schedules, we can become burdened with a sense of overwhelm. Attempting to create deadlines and goals is a great start. If we continue to procrastinate, which can occasionally have a positive effect on our creativity, this can lead to late nights, less sleep, less energy, less time with our families, and less time for self-care.
Procrastination not only leads to avoidance, but also to a place where you become comfortable procrastinating. The part of you that wanted to do this project in the first place becomes smaller. And it almost becomes incoherent at a certain point. Make sure you’re really listening to that voice that told you in the first place why you wanted to write this book, create this piece of content, or pitch an article to this specific magazine or newspaper. When we get into this headspace, it can become difficult for us to come out.
Falling into the Procrastination Rabbit Hole
Sometimes procrastination comes from a place of fear. Sometimes procrastination comes from not feeling confident enough about your ideas, the writing process, or confusion regarding publishing avenues. Sometimes procrastination comes from not having the energy to put forth the effort into our own projects.
We constantly have physical and mental distractions, which can easily become a rabbit hole. We fall into procrastination mode, then avoidance regarding our own deadlines (if you’re an entrepreneur like me), and, ultimately, our own self-worth. We end up putting ourselves at the bottom of the barrel.
Finding Solace in Your Schedule
1. Give grace to yourself.
Instead of butchering yourself when you procrastinate on a project, I want you to give yourself grace. When we exemplify kindness toward ourselves, we can fully give kindness to others and our projects. One of my favorite sayings is, “You cannot give from an empty cup.” With this in mind, consider telling yourself an affirmation such as, “I am doing the best that I can” or “I choose to be kind to myself today.” Try to talk nicely to yourself, so your inner critic doesn’t get the best of you.
2. Physically make space.
When I first started working from home, I felt inundated and overloaded. There were pens all over the desk and books in every corner. If you have a desk full of things, you’re simply asking for distraction, avoidance, and procrastination. One day, I spent 20 minutes cleaning my office space (aka, my brother’s old bedroom at my parents’ house). Magically, my thoughts came more clearly that day and every day since. We don’t need a fancy office space or a romanticized getaway in order to be productive. But if we clear the space right in front of us and only utilize what we need, I guarantee your procrastination levels will decrease tremendously.
3. Remember your why.
Take a piece of paper out, and write down your “why” statement. Why do you want to write this book? Why do you have this passion project? Then, I want you to put your “why” in a visible place—on your desk, by your nightstand, or on the kitchen table by your coffee maker. Remind yourself on a daily basis why you are making time in your schedule to work on this project. Allow yourself to amplify your “why” and spend time and energy on this creative endeavor.
By focusing on the steps above, you won’t ever label yourself as a “procrastinator” again.
Danielle Perlin-Good, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Danielle Perlin-Good is The Written Legacy Coach. She helps entrepreneurs, coaches, and speakers elevate their credibility by unleashing their powerful legacies so they can transform and inspire lives. Since 2008, Danielle has edited hundreds of articles, books, social media content, e-newsletters, and more. She went from working overnight shifts at the Tribune Company to corporate digital marketing gigs, one of which was at Albert Whitman & Co., an esteemed children's publishing house. Danielle uses mindset techniques, exceptional editing skills, and visualization exercises to ensure her clients develop a beautifully crafted and publishable book that they will forever cherish.