"Procrastinator" is not a life sentenceJun 09, 2022
“You’re obviously not a procrastinator.”
This is what my energy coach said on the day she met me.
If she’d have met me 10 years ago, she would’ve said something different, because I was the WORST procrastinator. I procrastinated everything:
- Big projects
- Small projects
- Starting work for the day
- Phone calls
- Cleaning the litter box
- Clipping my toenails
When I worked at the library, I used to procrastinate walking to the bathroom when I had to pee. (It really wasn’t that far.) My cubicle mate knew this and would whisper in my ear, “Bladder infection… BLADDER INFECTION!”
Whatever it was, if I could put it off, I did. Just imagine me going through life with my heels dug in constantly about everything. It was exhausting.
At my core, I thought I was lazy.
I thought if I didn’t nearly suffocate myself with deadlines and pressure, I wouldn’t get anything done, and I had a whole lifetime of proof that was true.
I also knew I couldn’t live that way anymore. I had dreams. I wanted to launch a course. I wanted to write a book. I wanted to start my newsletter. I wanted to help people.
I tried everything I could think of to start pulling myself out of my procrastination habit:
- I started telling people my dreams to create some natural accountability.
- I practiced not procrastinating small things (like phone calls or going to the bathroom).
- I imagined a version of Future Mel who didn't regularly have a stomachache and heart palpitations.
- I practiced being grateful to Past Mel for getting things done early. Every now and then I forget that I've finished something early and when I realize the task is already done, I say aloud, "I love you, Past Mel." (Yes, really.)
What about you? Do you have a habit that's not serving you? How can you start imaging a version of Future You who doesn't deal with that problem anymore? How can you start doing small favors for Future You that counteract that bad habit?
I never would've guessed I could overcome procrastination, but I really have. I hardly ever have a deadline trying to suffocate me. I never wake up and think, "what has a deadline today?" because all those things were done a couple of days ago. This means, whatever habit you've got that's suffocating you, you can overcome it too.
Let’s do this!
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