Is it an excuse or procrastination?
8 Ways to GET OFF YOUR “BUT”
F.E.A.R. False evidence appearing real
Take a good look at this picture. Is this a fair representation of you, your life, your dreams that have yet to bloom; your potential that has yet to be discovered?
Is this picture representative of your fears, your excuses, frozen in place and not allowing your desires to break free?
What are the old stories you have told yourself, what are those fears and failures you have experienced, where are you feeling stuck in the familiar that makes it feel so comfortable for you to stay still?
“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all.”– J.K. Rowling
I hear this all the time. As a life coach clients come to me because there is something niggling inside of them to make a change but they are so stuck in what they know to be familiar and comfortable that they feel afraid to venture out toward what is unknown and uncomfortable. At that point they are ready to hear me say, “Well, it sounds like you are ready to GET OFF YOUR BUT.”
I want to write a book. I know what I want the book to be about, I know what the chapters will look like, I know the message I want my readers to take away from the experience. I don’t know how to write a book but that is why I have a writing coach. She is helping me work through all of the ins and outs about what it takes to write this book, how to stay clear with my message and how to work through the pain of the message. Here comes my BUT……I don’t have time to just sit and write, BUT I don’t know how to write like the authors that I like reading, BUT I am stuck on the message of this one particular chapter, BUT what if no one wants to read what I have to share….. and on and on I go. Please feel free to insert your BUT where appropriate. You don’t have to be writing a book to understand the BUT.
1) What are the things in your life that you are procrastinating about or putting off doing?
2) What is about that task or job or project that compels you to make excuses; put it off? What are you afraid to face in tackling that task?
3) What is it inside of you that seems to drive you to feel the way you do about putting off the project, job or task?
These are questions I ask myself each and every time I have to face my procrastination, my excuses or my BUT about writing this book. None of these excuses or BUTS however matter at all because the time not spent facing the fears and doubts puts off my accomplishment of writing the book. I can see the end result in my mind, I know what I want to achieve yet I let my doubts and excuses take over.
So how can I stay focused on the prize? How can I put the excuses aside and get to work on what is important to me? I have to change my perspective toward the task. I have to break the task down into bite size pieces so that I don’t feel so overwhelmed.
1) What could you do to think and feel differently about the task?
2) What can you keep in front of you that would inspire you to think differently about the task?
3) As you think about that object or affirmation in front of you, how does it help you?
4) How would this object change you and challenge you to achieve your goal?
I am a person that likes visual cues to help inspire me toward action. I share the Whispers from my Wallpaper in the hopes that these whispers will inspire you as well.
“What I like most about change is that it is a synonym for ‘hope’. If you are taking a risk, what you are really saying is, ‘I believe in tomorrow and I will be part of it’.” –Linda Ellerbee
The risk I take is by pushing my own fear limits and see myself breaking free from the feeling of being frozen in place. Ultimately I DO want to complete my book, I DO want to get my message out, I DO want to achieve this dream of becoming a published author. So, I DO believe in tomorrow and I want to be a part of it. I DO believe that I can find what it takes to make this dream a reality.
Here are 6 creative ways to help you GET OFF YOUR BUT and I don’t want to hear anything about why these ideas can’t work for you. No excuses allowed…..
1) Make a game out of your task. Compete against yourself with time increments by challenging yourself to get something done in 3 minutes, 7 minutes, or 10 minutes. Then rest and do it again. If small treats work best then by all means treat yourself to something good for you.
2) As I do most often, break up the task into bite size pieces. You can do this by the hour or by the day. Something accomplished is better than nothing accomplished at all.
3) Create a deadline for yourself and go a step further and be accountable to someone for the completion of this deadline.
4) Set up a schedule of these bite size pieces on your calendar. Monday, do research, Tuesday do interviews, Wednesday write a rough draft, Thursday send emails, etc. You can play with the time of day or stick to a specific time each day to take each action step.
5) Get help. Do you need training, assistance, a work buddy, a proof reader? Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
6) Think about what time of day you are most productive to tackle the pieces of the task that require the most energy from you. If one of your strengths is problem solving, what time of day do you feel most alert and energetic to problem solve? To keep the “fun” in getting your task done, change up your action steps so that you don’t get into too much of a routine and lose momentum.
7) Make sure you get enough to eat and drink throughout your day and most of all make sure you are getting enough sleep at night.
8) Take breaks throughout your actions steps to ensure a fresh mind and body.
Now that you are armed and ready to get your task completed there is no reason for the BUT. What would be really nice is to see your BUTT dancing in celebration because you got your job done and your confidence blooming.
I would love to hear how these procrastination busters are working for you. Your story could help someone else so please share what is working.
Lisa has been featured in Parent Magazine and in the book Stay-At-Home Mom’s Guide to Making Money by Liz Folger. Please visit her website at www.journeyoncoachingservices.com