Part 2 in the Mindfulness Matters series, Anna Wood from Anna Wood Bridal & Coaching gives us her top tips on how to combat procrastination in lockdown with mindfulness.
I am sure everyone is very familiar with procrastination; it is the act of delaying or postponing something and it affects the majority of the population. It usually occurs when you are struggling to make decisions or when the dreaded self-doubt kicks in. Your mind begins to wonder and you start to go over all the reasons why you shouldn’t do something… this is why so many dream to do big things and then find that the dream has never materialised.
Procrastination generally occurs when you don’t give yourself enough leverage to do something, or when there is an element of fear involved. A classic example of this is when you start thinking about what people will think of you.... Think of your mind as a child, you need to persuade it to do what you want. If you force yourself to do something without encouragement, you may end up in a battle with your own thoughts or you may start something and then get distracted by something else. Sound familiar?
Shine a light on your fears - If you start to find that you are avoiding or delaying something ask yourself why. Your mind knows the answer. I find the best way to unmask this is with journaling or meditation. Literally ask yourself the question and see where your mind takes you. Uncover your fears, query whether those fears are real or are you inflating them into something bigger? Also ask yourself what is the probability of your fear happening? Growth comes from challenging situations, so embrace the fear and move forward.
Ask yourself what does perfect look like? Many procrastinate due to perfectionism and trying to perfect the outcome. What often happens is you feel that what you have produced is not good enough, or you pick up on everything you could have done better. In this scenario it is important to question what perfect looks like. You may well find that you’re trying to aim for something that doesn’t actually exist or isn’t achievable, which inevitably sets you up to fail. Remember no one else knows your plans, so they won’t ever know what your initial plan was - they will only see your outcome. Most opportunities come disguised as obstacles.
Make decisions on paper - Whenever you are making an important decision, especially if it involves investing money into a project, always map it out on paper. Look at what your goaled outcome is - what do you really want from the situation? Why do you want it? This will give you the motivation you need to achieve that goal. First identify what your options are and consider both the positives and negatives of those options. If you make decisions in your head you can end up looping around within your mind and then procrastination sets in because you end up confused and feeling unsure of what the best decision should be. When decision making remember one option is no choice at all and two options is a dilemma. Give yourself real choice by having three or more options, this will ensure you are making the best decision possible.
Take action straight away - When you do make a decision to do something take action straight away to lock in that decision. When you take inspired action it’s far more likely that you will build momentum. It’s like a snowball, start with a small action and build on it. When the overall larger plan is too big you can end up feeling overwhelmed and that is when procrastination can sink in. So remember to break it down into smaller chunks and create a schedule that you can stick to. Finding an accountability buddy can really help, as its more likely that you will carry through your actions if you have told someone you trust your ideas and plan.
What’s the worst that can happen? - Exactly that, what is the worst that could happen? Of course, it depends on the nature of what you are doing, however most business decisions are not life and death. Many people procrastinate due to a fear of failure, however failure and success go hand in hand. You can’t succeed without having failures along the way to guide you and the contrast is what makes succeeding that much better. Reframe failure as a learning opportunity from which you can grow, you will end up with a win win situation and ultimately feel motivated to get going with your ideas.
Now we are in lockdown for the second time look at what you can do that will move your business forward. What are the steps that you can take that will help your business become stronger in the long term? Are you able to develop new services where brides don’t have to come to store? Are you keeping in regular contact with existing brides?
If you feel like you’re procrastinating and want to overcome it, or you’re at a crossroads and would welcome a second view, book your complimentary clarity call with me here. We will discuss where you are now, where you want to be, and how I can assist you in getting there.