7 Habits of Highly Successful Procrastinators

First posted September 10, 2014 by Pam Young

Does procrastinating make you happy and stress free? Of course it doesn’t, so why do we do it? Take it from an expert! As a woman who has done her fair share of procrastinating, I’ve come up with 7 steps that I hope will open your eyes to how silly it is to put things off. Before you read the 7 habits pick something you’ve been putting off and hopefully at the end of my blog you’ll take care of it.

1. Face the thing you have to do (like laundry) and get very clear with yourself how awful the job is going to be. Make sure you do NOT want to do it and get the feeling that you HAVE to do it.

2. Add to the distasteful feeling, by remembering how much you hated
doing it or a similar job at another time.

 3. To complicate matters, see if you can actually become afraid of what you HAVE to do. Think about all the things that have to be done before you can even start do to the job you HAVE to do. Also use your imagination and imagine some terrible thing that could happen if you did do what you’re putting off.

4. Think up some excuses why you can’t do the job right now. This will make you temporarily feel better.

 5. Let your right brain come up with an alternative activity. It’ll definitely give you something else to do. Something you WANT to do. 

6. Start doing the alternative activity, while keeping in the back of your mind the job you should be doing. This’ll help build up fear, guilt and anxiety and will make the job you HAVE to do seem even worse. It’ll help you strengthen the picture you imagined in step three. 

7. Go to bed and think about doing the terrible thing tomorrow and work very hard to fall asleep while your guilt, fear and anxiety cloud your sleep with dark, dismal, gloomy and ominous thoughts.

When you follow these seven simple steps, you’ll be able to put off all the things you don’t want to do indefinitely. You’ll be able to be filled with stress, irritability, anger, frustration, guilt and much, much more. You’ll have very little free time for the things you love to do and if you take time to play, the undone task will haunt you. The better you get at procrastination, the more you'll be able to add to the list and in no time at all, you’ll be completely buried and overwhelmed. You could even get sick; the best excuse of all!

But wait! There's another side to the procrastination coin. Have you ever given yourself credit for all you get accomplished in the name of procrastination? I had one woman tell me she knows when she starts cleaning out the garage, that it must be near time to file her income tax return. Often we procrastinators will work on something we’ve put off in order to put something else off.

If you stop to think about it, you have probably accomplished more by trying to avoid what you don’t want to do. Another thing can happen that’s positive. The very thing you’ve avoided, if left long enough, sometimes will just go away. I had put off painting a wall in our living room and we had a water pipe break in the wall and the whole wall had to be replaced, and the contractor painted it for me.

Of course you could always just set a timer for fifteen minutes and start that thing you don’t want to do and before you know it, it’ll be done.

Speaking of procrastinating, have you been putting off decluttering? The fantastic thing about decluttering is if you pick just one thing you no longer love, use or it makes you smile and get it out of your home, you've stopped procrastinating!

Clutter causes more stress than procrastination does. That’s why I want you to have a chapter from my latest book, The Joy of Being Disorganized. This chapter is called There Arose Such a Clutter and it'll shed a brand new light on your clutter. Decluttering is truly the key to a more organized life, which leads to peace and joy.  

the_joy_of_being_disorganized-1-517427-editedThe Joy of Being Disorganized