Crawling to the finish line: How to Overcome Procrastination

It may seem like every time you have a good idea, procrastination rears its ugly head and paralyzes you in your tracks. That’s why it’s okay to crawl to the finish line and to remember: baby steps still count! Taking baby steps was my secret ingredient when I had to overcome procrastination to get my first book “Clean Mirrors” published. Below are a few tips I used to help me reach a lifelong dream of becoming an author. I trust they will be of use to you as well.

Step #1 Zoom In

When we have a dream in our hearts we are looking at the overall big picture. We become burdened and anxious about the more challenging tasks on our quest to success, when in reality, we should focus on the easy stuff first. For example, if you dream of opening up your own business, start off small by creating a simple website with your “About me” page, the services you provide, and a way to contact you. This appears to be a much more doable task than opening up an actual brick and mortar before you’ve even generated enough buzz to keep the lights on. Zooming in on one easy task at a time will reduce the anxiety that is accompanied by big projects. 

Step #2: Think Linear

Thinking linear simply means to draw out your vision in a step-by-step form so you can immediately flow into the next order of business. We often procrastinate because we don’t have a clear vision on what to do next. Creating linear visuals shortens the gap of limbo we all experience when transitioning from one victory to the next. 

  • The Staircase(Works best when completing hourly tasks.) Draw out a simple staircase that has each order of business you would like to complete on its respected step. Cross out each completed task as you achieve them; then, draw your stick figure on the step(task) you are currently working on. I know this may seem “elementary” but trust me, it works. Physically seeing yourself climb the staircase to success serves as a tremendous motivator as it will encourage you to persevere until you get to the top. 
  • The Timeline(Works best when accomplishing mid/long-term goals.) Get out your 30 day calendar, hang it up on the wall and write out a one-month plan. Instead of steps like in the previous method, the measurements you’ll use for this one will be in weekly increments. Plan to accomplish one step of your goal by the Friday of every week. Having a deadline every Friday will require you to create a daily agenda. When you have a to-do list it keeps your mind from being idle; thus, reducing procrastination.
  • The Pyramid(Works best when deciding the general direction of your brand/project.) At the top of the pyramid write down your overall goal. At the bottom, write down the basics you will need to launch this dream into action: this is your foundation. This part is typically where you will build your website, file the papers for your LLC, and groom your area of expertise. The pyramid style is extremely helpful because it zooms in on your foundation. This is the only method that gives you a sense of confidence about what you are made of. When you catch yourself having marathons of procrastination you can always go back to your pyramid method, look at your foundation and get back on track again.

Adding linear visuals to your dream plan really helps you snap out of the daze of procrastination. It gives you a literal reference point of what you’ve already accomplished and a clear view of what is next to come. 

Please join me next time as we will discuss part 2 of overcoming procrastination. 

Thank you for reading! Until next time.