Beat the Procrastination Habit! Part 1

procrastination

I’ve struggled far too often with procrastination.

Today I’m telling myself I should get this next promotion up on my website. But it involves some new skills– and I find that a little intimidating; besides, look at all the other things begging for my attention! So, there the promotion reminder sits, day after day, becoming more and more drenched in guilt. I’ll get to it; right after I write this blog!

I’ve had a lot of experience with my procrastination habit, and I’ve found a few techniques that help me get even the most unpleasant tasks done. I hope they work for you, too. Read all the way to the bottom for one of the most powerful tips. Good luck!!

Make a list of the things you both want and need to get done in the near future. Breathe and tell yourself that you do Not have to get it all done today.

Identify today’s tasks. Put a star next to the ones that must be done today. For example, “order ___” or “shop for food” or “write ___ report.” Write these items on a new list so it doesn’t look so long and overwhelming. (Place a “?” next to ones you’re not sure about.)

Identify important, but not urgent, items. On the first big list, circle the ones that will ultimately improve your life or work. For example, “exercise” or “meet with ___ (an emotionally healthy friend)” or “write __proposal.”  Put those important-but-not-urgent items on a different list  and schedule them in your calendar. I sometimes place a “?” next to each one to indicate that if I don’t get to it, I can move it to another day. (But I never delete it!)

Here’s how to get started on today’s list.

1 Pick one easy thing to do first. Do that one thing and pat yourself on the back. Then go get a cup of coffee or tea. Smile!

2 Return to your work space and look at the item you just crossed off. Breathe in and feel good about doing that one thing. Do NOT think about the rest of the list for now.

Select another item and proceed as in steps 1 and 2.,

4 If you get tense, worried, or resistant: Go somewhere private. Take a few belly-inflating breaths and loosen your jaw and shoulders. Get quiet. Tell yourself, “I only need to do one more thing on this list. I can come back to it later. It will all get done.” Then return to the list and select another item.

Here’s another powerful tip: Set a timer for 5–15 minutes and tell yourself you can stop working on the list when it rings. If you feel like continuing when it rings, then set it for another 5–15 minutes. This “takes you off the hook” of thinking that the only success is finishing the entire list, and allows you to congratulate yourself for completing the 5–15 minutes instead.

I hope these tips help you beat the procrastination habit. They sure work for me!

worry less now reviewsGigi Langer is a former “Queen of Worry.” She’s also an educator, speaker, and author of 50 Ways to Worry Less Now, winner of the Indie Excellence Award. Learn to defeat negative thinking, find inner peace, attain clarity, and improve relationships–no matter what is going on in your life! Available through Amazon (5 stars), Barnes and Noble, and e-book sites.

Langer holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education and an MA in Psychology, both from Stanford. As Georgea M. Langer, she’s published several books for teachers and school administrators.

Are You Stuck? Four Strategies to Get Unstuck

stop fear and doubt, worry less now

For the past few weeks I’ve felt stuck in fear and doubt.  I’ve written a new book because I wanted to share the tools that helped me face and grow through life challenges such as addiction, divorce, chronic pain, perfectionism, and co-dependence.  

The book goes on sale in February, so it’s time to start promoting it.  But I’m rather overwhelmed by the prospect.  My mind’s (not-so-helpful) whispered lies chatter away: “It’s too much work! Where do I start? Look how well other authors do it! What’s wrong with me?”

When such worries and negative thinking keep us stuck, how do we move forward? Today, I used four strategies to dissolve my fears and return to my happy, creative, productive self. It’s through struggles like this that I’ve discovered these tools.

1. Get Honest with Yourself. At first, my worries flew under the radar, coaxing me to eat sugary “treats,” binge-watch TV, and oversleep. Fortunately, I no longer use drugs, alcohol, overwork, or sex to avoid my feelings. Those are all dead-ends that stop growth in its tracks.

So, my first step was to honestly admit to myself that my latest challenge had me rattled. Then I could practice self-compassion (http://KristinNeff.com), and clear away the shame. (After all, how many authors really do know how to market a book?).

I gain self-honesty most easily when I can share my struggles with healthy friends. Journaling helps too; when my fears are out on page, they don’t seem insurmountable. Quite often I pray or meditate—both help me feel that I’m not alone and shrink my fears.

2. Claim Positive Power. Here’s the step that many balk at: I admitted that my willpower wasn’t going to change anything.  When I let go of my need for control and certainty, I can access a source of power greater than my fears.

My negative thinking told me I must try to figure out the magic formula that would make the book sell. Although it’s true that I do need to learn a lot, I don’t have to motivate myself with such fearful thoughts. My best inspiration and guidance come from a higher, wiser place.

You may be thinking, “Oh, man, here we go with that higher power stuff.” Power and wisdom come from many sources and it’s up to you to find your own. You might use a variety of terms for this power: courage, God, universal truth, providence, true self, angels—it doesn’t matter, as long as proves to be stronger than your fear.

Try reading and listening to words that inspire you. Then, just say to yourself, “Maybe I’ll try trusting a power greater than my fearful thinking.” That’s all that’s necessary.

3. Choose Your Future. Even when I’m stuck, I know what I’d like to have happen. In this case, I wanted the marketing process to get the book into the hands and hearts of the people it will help.

When I was stuck, I didn’t believe this could happen, and I was resentful that it seemed so hard. My mind was so clogged with negativity and fear that little inspiration could enter it.

But I didn’t have to say there. I set aside my worries and stated my goal; then I took actions to stream positive power into my body, mind, and spirit.

4. Use Growth Practices. First, I needed to reinstate my daily practices of reading inspiring writing, talking with supportive friends, meditating, and walking outdoors. I had been lax for the past weeks; that’s why I found myself at the mercy of my fears and doubts.

Your own daily tools for achieving peace might differ, but they will always lower the volume of your worries and whispered lies.

Today I used tapping therapy, a few new chants, and a prayer to dissolve my negativity. As a result, I now trust that the right resources and inspired actions to successfully market my book are on their way. In fact, this article is my first creative action in a while. Whew!

When your own worries and doubts threaten your happiness and productivity, try these four strategies:

  • Honesty: “Here’s what’s going on inside me.”
  • Power: “I claim courage and intuitive direction.”
  • Choices: “This is what I want and I’m going for it!”
  • Growth Practices: “I’m actively connecting with loving power.”

In my own and others’ experience, these practices yield wonderful results:

  • Peace of Mind. Manage life’s challenges with calm, wisdom, hope, and gratitude.
  • Clarity. Fulfill your dreams without limitations.
  • Enjoy relationships that thrive and serve others.

worry , recovery, sanity

Gigi Langer, PhD.  Based on her work in psychology and personal experience in therapy, recovery, and a variety of spiritual teachings, Gigi is a sought-after speaker, retreat leader, and award-winning writer and professor.  She has co-authored five other books for educators.

50 Ways to Worry Less Now will be released in early 2018.  Learn more at https://gigilanger.com/new-book-worry-less-now/