We all do it. We put it off. Push it back. Wait. Hope. Agonize. And in the eleventh hour, at the last moment, or when we just can't stand to live with it any longer, we finally get it done! This is the anatomy of procrastination.

Procrastination is one of the biggest dream killers out there. It diminishes opportunities, thwarts our progress, keeps us stuck in the past and sets us up for failure. I recently came across a great quote from the author William James, "Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task." Oh so true. How much time do you spend thinking about what you have to do, as opposed to just getting on with it and doing? Whatever it is, it just sits there in the back of our consciousness nagging and moaning, taking up valuable energy and thought-space. It robs us of fully enjoying the present moment and depletes our inner peace. So with so many negative consequences, why do we all do it, and how do we stop? Why do we continue to punish ourselves with procrastination?

Procrastination has many voices, and they sound something like this; "I'll get to it as soon as I can, or as soon as I've finished this. It can wait a little bit longer. There will still be enough time later or tomorrow. I don't know where to begin. I don't feel like it." Or my personal favorite, "Somehow it'll get done." - even when there's no one else to do it! These are the lies we tell ourselves, and not with the intention of punishment, but to keep ourselves safe. We only don't do something when there is an imagined negative outcome, or somehow a perceived risk. So why wouldn't we want to move forward in our business, deepen our relationships, improve our health or our finances? Simple. What if we fail?

In working with clients, and even in my own life, I've found that the underpinnings of procrastination is always fear. Even when writing the weekly coaching tip, I sometimes find myself stalling, worried that when I sit down to type, I'll have nothing to say. (my close friends are giggling out loud right about now!) So what is it that worries you? Where are you afraid to fail? Is it the fear of rejection in a relationship? Screwing up if your business grows too much? Finding a health problem on an annual doctor's visit? Or generally being found out as not good enough? We all have something, and for most of us many things, but avoiding them will never make them go away. It only means that the fears, large and small, get to continue to run your life, and more often that not, run it down.

So my challenge to you is to pick just one thing, and stop procrastinating. Maybe it's a communication that you need to deliver, paperwork that needs to be done, a dentist visit or eye exam, or cleaning up your finances. Whatever it is, pick one thing, and like Nike says, "Just do it!" Whatever you dread doing most this week, is probably the thing that is going to move you forward the quickest. It will free up time and mental energy, and pave the way for more good to come in. Confronting issues, people or situations is never fun, but pales in comparison to the ongoing pain of uncertainty, and the heaviness one feels with issues hanging over your head.

So this week, get it done, lighten up and treat yourself to a little relief by busting your own procrastination!

Until next time, take good care of yourself and your life.

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