NowORNever: My Struggle With Consistency: 7 Ways to Beat Procrastination into Submission

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Muhammad Ali knew how to finish off his opposition

My fight with consistency has been legendary

Here we are almost 6 months on from our last instalment of NowORNever and I have my head buried in my hands with embarrassment wondering what happened? To be honest this conversation is long overdue: we got off to a flying start and NowORNever seemed like such a wonderful idea in the beginning but the execution was abysmal.

Panic#EpicFail

I should have taken my own advice huh: click here if you missed that. Again (you’re not getting off lightly Yvonne) how did such a straightforward concept end up so pear shaped? Well I have no legitimate excuse for any area of inconsistency apart from:

I’m sorry to have let you down ladies

By now, any casual observer has probably spotted more than a few of my flaws. #TheStruggle Thank you so much for being patient. If you’re shaking your head wondering where the year has gone? I don’t blame you – same here:

We have 5 months of 2014 left!

I’m just going to leave this fact right here

sand clock
Even I have to admit the term NowORNever suddenly sounds very appropriate as December draws closer, which essentially leaves me with no choice but to go right ahead and claim my mantra for the second half of the year:

Focus. Discipline. Consistency.

By far the easiest words to say yet the hardest words to actually do. Being consistent is a daily battle which has held me hostage for far too long. Believe me, my sister/mentor Vivien-Rose has done everything in her power to knock sense into me and thank goodness I’m finally coming round to her sentiments. Better late than never.

distracted

My average work day copywriting requires focus. Still with the best intentions I return home enthused to write a blog post only to get distracted reading, watching a video or sleeping as my downtime turns into a whole night of procrastination.

Should you be doing something else right now?

Well yesterday you said today 🙂 Procrastinators are guilty of convincing themselves they have plenty of time to do a task. That would be me. Does that sound like you?

Don’t go away just yet as the next few paragraphs will be the most productive bit of procrastination you will do today.

7 helpful ways to beat procrastination into submission!!!

1. Start slowly

The key to winning is beginning; kick off with the easiest part of your project first. Your aim is to get going and build momentum so that the thought of attempting harder parts won’t feel as daunting.

The other issue is where to start? Start anywhere. Planning can help but don’t get too caught up with preparation as you will only waste time. You may even find yourself discarding your original plans – not to worry – beginning will help you get stuck into the project.

People are more likely to procrastinate when they expect a task to be difficult. The only way to increase your expectation of success is to experience success. But without starting you cannot experience success. Hmm: a catch 22. So when are you going to start?

2. Don’t listen to your excuses

Beware that doubts will creep into your mind as you make progress:

Recognize any of these excuses?

  • I’m not feeling in the mood today
  • I work much better under pressure
  • Whatever! I can finish it at the last minute
  • I’ve been sick
  • It’s not the perfect timing

You’re not alone. Begin to label your justifications for what they are: excuses as you’ll find that making them will set you back ALOT.

 3. Care about your goals

Aha! I see oooohhh (in my best Naija accent): you simply don’t care. When you’re not all that bothered about your goals you’ll hardly be motivated to do anything about them. Other times the mere thought of an objective makes you wince. Fitness is a great example.

Your level of interest in fitness will certainly improve if you concentrate on the clothes you can wear with your new figure and the men you’ll attract. Or maybe not. Either way don’t forget to think over the consequences of doing absolutely nothing.

 4. Know your personality type

Some people are natural procrastinators or a little too laid back as my sister keeps telling me. There’s not much you can do to change your personality. That said you can go ahead and change your surroundings by placing yourself in an environment with few distractions. Erm in other words Lock. Yourself. Away.

  • Switch off your phone
  • Turn off the TV
  • Stop stalking on social media
  • Don’t surf the internet
  • Get rid of anyone disturbing you

For a limited time.

 5. Think in definite terms

Instead of saying: “Wouldn’t it be great to lose a few pounds one day.”

Say: “Right where’s the nearest gym? Do they do pilates? Or circuit training?”

You’ll get much further when you actively take steps in the direction of your goals.

6. Write your goals down

Your memory will fail you. Keep a memo in your phone or anywhere that you check regularly. Besides studies show that goals that are written down in any capacity are twice as likely to get done.

7. Lastly be kind to yourself

Avoid trying to be a perfectionist. You are human. You are allowed to make mistakes. Stop over thinking. Don’t be drawn into comparisons. And most importantly: Do You. Let’s take these steps together and finish off the year on a high note.

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr

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Comments

  1. Thanks for this transparent post Yvonne. Procrastination is the enemy I tell you! 🙂 Seems that summer has come & gone and there is much work to be done before the new year. Just know that you are not alone in the struggle . You’re amazingly talented & there is no need to apologize for being humanly beautiful as I call it. 😉 Now let’s conquer this thing so that we can continue to shine our brightest light. xoxo -Regina

    • Regina you brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for your words. You are one of the kindest women I’ve met on this journey. And I must say your blog for single mothers is fantastic! I’m so happy we met. xoxo

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