Avoid the Pitfalls of Procrastination

Psychologist and procrastination coach Dr. Christine Li has a big goal — to help people stop procrastinating and focus on their plans and priorities. In addition to helping clients in her psychotherapy practice, she also provides help to the listeners of her podcast “Make Time for Success.” Christine spoke to our GaGa Sisterhood in February about the pitfalls of procrastination and how to overcome them.

She developed her specialty of helping clients overcome procrastination when she was in college earning her doctorate degree. She volunteered to give a workshop for one of her professors and realized she needed the workshop the most. After designing the workshop, she discovered her heart’s work, cured her own procrastination behavior, and made it her career focus.

“We often treat procrastination as a taboo topic,” she explained. “But if we take an honest look at our lives, we realize we have the space, mindset, energy and time to get things done.” In her presentation, Christine asked us to answer 3 questions:

  • What do you wish for?
  • Why do you wish for that?
  • Why is this important or meaningful to you?

The answer to these questions reveals what you really value. When you have a clear sense of what’s important to you, then you’ll be able to take action. Procrastination is a clarity blocker that interrupts our flow. We’re creativity machines designed toward fulfillment and when we get clear about which needs we must satisfy in our day, we can move forward and take action.

A Strategy for Ending Procrastination

Christine developed the S.M.A.C.K. solution to combat those procrastination impulses that make us feel stuck.

  • Simplicity – Simplifying is the most calming way to get rid of anxiety. Stop double-booking and overpromising.
  • Mindfulness – Getting straight about the present moment instead of worrying about the past or future sharpens your ability to hone in on what you need to do.
  • Anxiety reduction – Anxiety is basically a false belief system or “B.S.” as Christine calls it. Be careful what you tell yourself. Just because you’re working on something that’s important doesn’t mean you have to get anxious about it. We make the mistake of automatically slapping on anxiety to whatever we’re doing. We can remove the layer of anxiety if we maintain a high level of awareness. We’re not robots. We’re flowing beings with feelings and we can tolerate that flow to get us to another emotional state. Curb behavior by being conscious.
  • Communication – You can get yourself through challenges with words. When you get stuck and have communication breakdowns, you feel embarrassed and ashamed. You may have the false belief that you don’t deserve to be heard or helped which results in isolation. Remember to ask for help – there are always options.
  • Kindness to Self – If you’re beating yourself up and feeling that life is giving you sourness and you don’t deserve help, you’ll feel powerless. Start with a positive view of yourself. Say to yourself: I’m magnetized to my work. I’m competent, confident, and believe in myself. I have an abundance of time and I will get things done.

More Valuable Resources

Two of my personal challenges are worrying and feeling overwhelmed. Christine has addressed both of these topics on her Make Time for Success podcast: Episode 9 – “How to Solve Your Worry Problem” and Episode 34 – “6 Ways to Boost Your Focus Without Getting Overwhelmed.”

You can also download her free resource library which has 12 different tools and templates to help you organize your time and bypass the impulse to procrastinate. Here’s the link: procrastinationcoach.com/library

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