Personal Development and Facing Your Own Procrastination
Personal development requires awareness and making changes. It is not an easy, overnight miracle. It takes time and learning how to do things differently, plus determination to put new knowledge into practice. For procrastinators, it’s undoubtedly hard because it takes more to get yourself together and act on that new understanding right NOW.
Often this knowledge of strategies, determination, and patience aren’t enough. We also need accountability, a supportive and non-judgmental community, and mentorship.
I’ve designed my new online course, Transform Your Procrastination around this concept of personal development in a supportive community. Here is a sneak peek into the first two weeks of the course…
Keeping Yourself Accountable
The most important aspect of personal development is accountability. In my own life, I have several different ways that I use it. First of all, I keep personal logs. Just like Benjamin Franklin, I have a list of all the activities I want to make sure I do. Each night before bed, I check off the ones I’ve accomplished. These activities are mostly personal tasks like writing in my journal, vitamin-taking, exercise, etc.
Professionally, I keep a timer and a log of the hours I spend working on my business or building online courses. I set weekly goals for these activities and reward myself with seeing the score on my personal chart and then give myself free time off on my professional chart.
I have an accountability partner for goals that are harder to reach, such as exercise and email inbox control. For added accountability (when I really need it), I make my goals more public. However, I don’t beat myself up over not meeting my goals – only readjust my tactics so it doesn’t feel onerous.
Personal Accountability Strategies
A key accountability strategy offered in the course is the Procrastination Recovery Log. This is where you record every time you notice yourself procrastinating, and then you redirect yourself back to your task. It becomes a game when you give yourself points and rewards. At the end of the course, you’ll write a contract with yourself for your decided upon minimum Accomplishment Score. Directions are given for other strategies and also how to set up your own Accountability Partner Game. The Transformation Community Forum also acts as an accountability vehicle.
Understanding yourself is an important part of personal development as well. The first big division is between those whose lives are usurped by their lack of control over their procrastination – Chronic Procrastinators, and those who procrastinate only in certain areas – Occasional Procrastinators. These two types require very different approaches. Chronic procrastinators need to be diligent about redirecting each and every instance of procrastination so that they can get enough accomplishment under their belts to change the way they see themselves and act. They need to be firm, but kind with themselves. Occasional procrastinators, on the other hand, are best served by adopting a curious mindset as they look into the particulars of how and when they put off working toward their specific goals. They can learn to use their procrastination as a teacher and a guide in helping them tweak and put their strategies in place.
One obstacle that keeps people procrastinating is chastising themselves over an inability to stick with plans and goals. Feeling bad about yourself seems like a great reason to choose to do something that will help you feel good in that moment (i.e., procrastinate). When I talk with people about their procrastination, they often beat themselves up over delays that were in fact good for them. Sometimes a beneficial delay is part of taking charge over your goals.
Real procrastination is characterized by impulsiveness, lack of willpower, and self-sabotage.
Transform Your Procrastination has you look into each of these and devise strategies around them.
We also look at the differences between small tasks and big projects. Each one requires different strategies. Tactics to get yourself started are useful for both. Often getting started is all you need in the face of nagging small tasks, but when tackling something large, such as writing a dissertation, you may also need to look at the sustainability of your strategies. Having tactics in place to help you stay on task when you’d rather be doing something else can make a big difference.
In my next blog post, you will get a preview of the content in module three and four from the Transform Your Procrastination online course. In Module 3, you’ll learn how to utilize and transform your Procrastination Demons. In Module 4, we take an in-depth look at some deeper reasons you may procrastinate, your internal and external environments, and how to prime them for reaching your goals. You also look at personal triggers and how to counteract them.