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Are you a procrastinator? Many of us have the tendency to put things off and no matter how often we beat ourselves up over waiting to the last minute to pack for a vacation, book a flight, or file our taxes and struggle to get it all done in time, we keep doing it again and again. If you’re ready to finally beat procrastination and get ahead of the game, you’re in the right place.
Over the course of seven blog posts, I’m going to share my best tips and strategies for overcoming procrastination with you and we start today with - Forgiveness. I know it seems like a strange place to start, but it’s an important first step. Here is why forgiving yourself for procrastination should always be the first step.
Here's the thing. There's nothing you can do about the past except learn from it. Beating yourself up about not following the plan you made for reaching a goal does you no good. Quite the opposite actually. If you stress yourself out and engage in negative self-talk, you make it worse. Those feelings of anxiety will enforce your habit to procrastinate again the next time.
The next time you find yourself procrastinating, tell yourself that it's okay. It's not the end of the world. Say it out loud and then promise yourself to try to do better. Trying is the important keyword here. You're working on mastering a new skills and changing a habit. That takes practice, time, and of course failing again and again. It's part of the learning process.
You may feel frustrated at times about your lack of progress. It's normal. If you can, tap into that frustration and use it to motivate you. Vow to try again and do better. Look at your mistakes. What caused you to procrastinate this time? Learn from it and you will start to do better.
Maybe there's a big task and you started strong, chipping away at it a little at a time. Then you missed a day, and another. That's okay. Not great, but okay. You did well for a while. It's good practice and maybe this particular experience taught you that you can't allow yourself to skip more than one day on an ongoing project.
There's always something new to learn whenever we fail at something or slip back into a bad habit. At the very least we figure out that something isn't working for us. Maybe you do better with three or less to-do's per day. Maybe you need twenty-five so there's always something to check off. You won't know until you try.
Forgive yourself for procrastinating so you can move on and practice some more.