I have a confession to make: I put off writing this article because... I was so tired, I had to pay bills, I had to play 'kitchens' with my daughter, I needed to check my Facebook/Instagram/Twitter, blah, blah, blah. What a bunch of excuses!
No matter how organised I become, procrastination still sneaks it's way back into my life from time to time. So how did I manage to actually complete this task?
I used a simple little technique that has pulled me out of the procrastination quicksand goodness knows how many times.
It's one simple little question that forces you into action and helps make any task smaller. But before I get to the question, I'd like to look at why we procrastinate and the role that fear plays in it.
Why we procrastinate.
"I'm not a procrastinator, I'm just extremely productive at unimportant things" - Unknown.
There are so many things that we can procrastinate about and we can come up with so many different excuses for why we are not doing something. But the actual reason why we procrastinate is really quite simple: We believe that taking action will cause us a certain amount of pain.
Procrastination is almost always based on some kind of fear. Our minds make all our future tasks big and scary. So we procrastinate. We try to avoid the pain that we know is surely going to come.
Did you ever feel really overwhelmed when starting a new project and think to yourself, "There is no way I can do this," only to sit down with a friend and have them give you a simple first step to take?
Are you paralysed with fear? That's a good sign. Fear is good, it's an indicator, like self-doubt. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember this: The more scared we are of a task or project, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.
The 5 minute solution.
What do you keep putting off even though you know you should be doing it? Be completely honest with yourself.
Do you get overwhelmed just thinking about it? Of course you do.
But what if you only had 5 minutes to work on it, to take some kind of action, any action? What can you do in the next five minutes that will move something forward?
What's one small action that you can take right now?
It's so simple, only five minutes out of your day, yet it paralyses so many of us.