31st October 2023

Clare Evans writes



Procrastination - the fine art of epic time-wasting

James 4:14 (NKJV): "Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour that appears for a little time and then vanishes away."

One of the biggest things people waste time on is procrastination.
Avoiding the things they 'should' be doing.

I'm sure you've heard tales or perhaps even been guilty of things like this.
The DIY project half-completed or barely started years later.
The book on time management and procrastination you've never read, because you 'don't have the time'.

How many tasks are you putting off right now?
You put off important tasks or resist doing one or two while managing to find time for something less important.

How often do you avoid or distract yourself by doing email, tidying your desk, organising your bookcase?

Leave a task long enough and it gets to the point where it can no longer be ignored.
NOW it has to be done. Magically, NOW you find the time for it.

Understand why you procrastinate and take corrective action.
The more you resist the harder and worse it becomes in your own mind.
However, once you get started you find it's not as bad as you thought.

Understand the reason for your procrastination to reduce the impact.
What are you avoiding or resisting?
What's stopping you from moving forward, getting started?
What is the benefit of procrastinating, what do you gain?
What is the impact - short-term and long-term?

Make a decision this task is worth doing.
How important is it to do everything else on your list?
Larger tasks can seem overwhelming.
Break them down into smaller steps or simpler tasks.
They won't seem quite so overwhelming or time-consuming.

The easiest way to tackle many of the tasks we're likely to resist or put off, is to set an even shorter time limit.
Spend just 5 or 10 minutes on it. After all, you can do something for 5-10 minutes.

By taking small bites you'll be getting closer to completion.
It can also build momentum as once break the resistance and get started it's easier to keep going.

When you catch yourself putting something off again, instead of saying "I'll do it in a minute, or I'll do it later" - JUST DO IT!

Yes, some procrastination can be good.
Do you find you put things off because something doesn't 'feel right'.
Have you had a decision to make or something to do and find by leaving it, the need or urgency disappears or a solution presents itself?

Don't use this as an excuse to procrastinate but an indication to look at where the resistance is coming from and why.

When the benefit of NOT doing something becomes greater than the benefit of doing it, resistance disappears.

If a task is worthy of your attention in the first place, take action sooner rather than later.
If not, let it go and stop wasting more time avoiding or worrying about it.

Improving your ability to plan and prioritise your goals, objectives and daily tasks also helps to reduce procrastination.

is a truly exceptional person with a wonderful balance between empathic listening and directed guidance.
I have enjoyed weekly sessions with Clare for the last 6 months and every week she adds something to the way that I look at and run my business.
The bottom line is that every penny spent with Clare has already been returned several times over.
Alan Moran


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