how to beat procrastination and excuses (easy way)
How to beat procrastination and excuses? "Procrastination is the grave where the opportunity is buried" (unknown proverb). Procrastination, defined as "the action of delaying or postponing something" is one of the most common reasons why people do not achieve their goals, live their dreams, and miss out on the opportunities in life! As a life coach, one of my major "roles" during the life coaching process is to help my clients beat procrastination. In this blog post, I will share with you the process that I am using not only to help my clients, but also in my personal life (how I used it to win over resistance of creating a my YouTube channel). You can use the same process to win over the resistance, procrastination, and excuses with any goal that you want to achieve!
why we feel resistance, procrastinate, and make excuses?
If you read my previous blog post 'How To Set New Year Goals That You Will Achieve' you could learn that we have two major "motivation triggers" - either seeking for pleasure or avoiding the pain:
Procrastination happens whenever we need to do something that we feel resistance doing, and resistance forms when we experience negative emotions or we believe we will experience negative emotions or "pain" while doing something. Then, we make up all kind of excuses not to do it - or to do it - later ("tomorrow" or "next week" :-)).
Most of the people try to "push themselves" hard to "just do it" and then they feel even more resistance, "pain", or "headache", so next time they procrastinate even more - or come up with even "better" excuses! That's the wrong approach - because then we fall into the "grave" or trap of procrastination even deeper!
how we come up with "good" and "justifiable" excuses?
Modern Behavioural Psychology research explains the psychological process of making excuses - when we do not like to do something (a.k.a. we feel resistance towards it) in our mind we "see", "imagine", and "envision" that act in the way that it seems like it is much more complicated, complex, boring, time consuming, "difficult", "painful"... than we would think about it if we would enjoy doing it. For example, let's say you want to prepare healthy dinner at home. If you enjoy cooking and eating healthy food, you would think about the that task this way:
"I need to go to the superstore, get some green veggies and then mix everything in the wok pen, on olive oil." Then, you would imagine how delicious the meal will be, and all those positive emotions would motivate you to grab your car keys, or wear flats, and go get those veggies fast!
But, let's say you don't like cooking and eating "greens". Then, your thought process would be totally different. You would think: "Ooooh... If I want to cook greens for dinner, I would need to go out now to buy them and there is so much traffic at this hour. Then, I need to walk for so long in the superstore to buy the greens. Then, I need to wait in the queue for long time. Then, I need to drive (or walk) back home. Then, when I return I need to wash and chop the greens. Then I need to heat the oil, and fry it... and I am already so much hungry! Till the time the meal is ready I will be starving. What if I get stuck in the traffic jam?..." After all this "negativity" chatter in your mind you will feel so much resistance toward sit that you will... "logically" justify that you should order pizza or eat something from microwave or frozen, or canned... and that you will cook greens "tomorrow". Can you see how we come up with the excuses?
That's the reason pushing ourselves "hard" usually ends up in even bigger self-sabotage and procrastination later.
how to bust excuses in order to beat procrastination?
We need to understand how our mind works and help ourselves on a subconscious level to win over the procrastination and bust excuses - if we truly want to "eradicate" them for good! My life coaching clients always tell me that I make the life changes and achieving goals EASY to them! Things they were avoiding, delaying, postponing, struggling with... for many years, become fun tasks to do and they even start enjoying it, and their motivation is increasing day by day, instead of reducing!
That's because I help my clients to embrace and adopt new habits and behavioural changes on the subconscious level, by helping them make the change, new habit, or action steps for achieving their goals - feel easy and fun! You can use the same approach in your life, in achieving any goal that you have (whether it's a regular exercise, eating more greens or healthier food, starting a project or a business, writing your blog or book, or else...). If you apply these steps properly - it will work like magic!
how i won over the resistance to create my youtube channel?
If you follow me for a long time, you know that I am the author of the most famous and popular vegetarian blog in Balkan region, Vegetarijasnka Kuhinja, which went viral in 2013. Many of my fans and readers on the blog have been asking me for a long time to make YouTube videos, so tha t they can enjoy watching the richness of Indian vegetarian food and see "behind the scenes" of my life. Many of you who are reading this blog or watch my Instagram stories have also been asking me about posting the videos of temples, my travels, and my daily routines and rituals. But, since I have had huge resistance about "talking to the camera" and "being in front of the camera" I was - procreating - with it. :-))
Finally, I have decided that creating a YouTube channel is something that I WILL and I MUST do, and I committed to do it this year - properly and consistently! Then, I have sat down in order to create a plan and strategy for doing it in the way to "beat" the resistance. The first thing I did was to identify what were the "pain points" for me when it comes to making and posting videos on YouTube:
- Pain of choosing the topic "to talk about" every week.
- Feeling of being uncomfortable to speak in front of camera and "record myself".
- Long time that it takes to edit the video after the shooting and the thought that editing will make me feel "tired" afterwards, like it used to make me feel while I was creating TV content back in college.
- Fear that YouTube channel will consume too much of my time.
After listing everything down, I have then thought of the ways how to make the process of creating YouTube channel more EASY and FUN, and at the same time how to eliminate or minimise the activities that are "painful" for me. Then I came up with the strategy:
- I will not start with "talking videos". I will start with short, fun videos with my footage only or some text inserted in them (as I love to write!).
- I will start with making shorter videos, which are easy to edit!
- I will build my YouTube channel around my life(style) - instead of scheduling the time for shooting and making the videos, I will make the footage of myself together with making pictures for my Instagram and blog.
- I will make videos of me traveling, visiting beautiful monuments and temples in India, and behind the scenes of my life (which will be easy to make).
- I will start with making short video footage, which I will be posting on Facebook and Instagram, until I get used to camera recording me. Then only, I will be posting on YouTube. Once I get comfortable with posting my video footage, I will start talking in the introduction of the video - just for few minutes.
- Later, once I get comfortable with talking, i will be inserting my voice in the middle of the videos.
- Only once I get comfortable with talking in videos, I will start making short "talking to camera" videos.
- As I am a Bachelor of Journalism - I have learned the skill of interviewing people - so instead of "me talking to the camera" I will be doing interviews occasionally - which will lessen the burden of talking for me and also bring a lot of value to my audience at the same time!
- As per the motivational videos are concerned, I decided that whenever I am doing workshop or speaking event, if recording is allowed, I will record myself speaking - and that will be an easy-made inspirational video with lot of value for my audience.
- Knowing the importance os having someone to hold you accountable - I have committed to my mentor coach that I will make this year - year of YouTube and post the videos consistently!
beating procrastination and Getting it done!
Once I came up with such easy and fun and pain-free :-)) strategy I immediately felt motivated to "just do it!". I have started to make video footage of myself while visiting monuments and sharing it with my Insta and Facebook followers. I noticed over time how I am getting more comfortable "in front" of the cameras - now I am even doing some fun stuff, ha ha. Since I had the footage of visiting monuments, and I made the strategy to keep it simple for the beginning, until I get into momentum and start developing positive emotions (instead of resistance) about it. Editing the video was super easy, and my first travel vlog was published:
First video was so easy to make that I got instantly motivated to edit and posted another one - next week
Then I recored and published a Sunday vlog just with music in the background, and next Sunday, I recorded and published another Sunday vlog - with my voice in the background.
Then I posted one more travel blog, and the first "talking" video with me giving the advice :-))
HOW TO BEAT PROCRASTINATION AND EXCUSES - BONUS TIPS!
Just in few days after publishing this blog post, the response was imaginable - post got much more shares, clicks, words of praise and gratitude for these tips, than I could have imagined. I realised that many of you seem to be struggling with this topic and that this advice was so essential, and... then I decided to give you a 2 bonus tips on my YouTube channel! :-))
I am having an interview scheduled for the upcoming videos, and also a two A-4 size page of ideas of content for YouTube! I asked my audience what they would like to watch, and I already have many ideas what kind of videos to make and life advice to give. I've been consistent with making videos weekly, it feels fun and easy, and I am MOTIVATED to keep on creating more! I am super committed to make 2019. year of YouTube and my resistance is melting like snow in the spring! Do you see the magic of this process?
takeaways tips on how to beat Procrastination and excuses
#1 -Convert your "SHOULD", "WANT", "CAN"... into a "MUST DO"! Really commit to your goal! Have your WHY in mind (in my case it was my audience and supporting fans).
#2 Identify the "pain points" - what tasks or steps in the process of achieving your goal are making you feel uncomfortable, feed the resistance, and have your mind logically "delay" it for some other time - with all kind of of excuses?
#3 Try to minimise the "pain points" as much as possible, and at the same time think of the ways to make the actions steps more EASY and FUN for you!
#4 Start small - until you get into momentum and develop positive feelings about "getting it done". Try to build the tasks as much around your everyday life and activities that you enjoy doing. Good strategy which is easy and exciting for you to implement is the KEY to winning over the procrastination and excuses and getting things done!
#5 Have someone to keep you accountable! If you find it difficult to apply this process on your own - I can help you in the process of making life changes or achieving your BIG goals easier, fun, and less time consuming!
My life coaching clients tell me over and over again that they have achieved more while working with me for six months than on their own in years! Some even say that they could have not imagined what they are capable of achieving in 6 months! That is the power of having a life coach who will keep you accountable to work on your goals each and every week and help you to set a good strategy and action plan that is easy, fun, exciting, and achievable! If you are serious about changing your life, and achieving your goals, stop procrastinating and click here to read about my life coaching program via Skype TODAY. It doesn't have to take a life time to achieve happiness - with me as your life coach - it takes only six months!