Think for a couple of seconds about the kinds of tasks you put off and/or wait for the last possible minute to do. Is it “cold calling,” or is it calling the seller for another price reduction on a listing that still hasn’t sold? Whatever the task, if the thought of doing it makes you uncomfortable or stimulates negative feelings in you, you are procrastinating as a way to avoid both the task and the negative feelings that go with it.
Makes sense, right? All of us are wired neurologically by our limbic systems to do the things that make us happy rather than to do the things that make us feel overwhelmed, annoyed, resentful, etc. and all of us are wired to feel before we think. All of us are driven by our feelings…our emotions.
But, there are consequences to being driven by emotions and one of those consequences is procrastination. The reality of procrastination is that it leads to wasting three hours every day. Three hours…gone, wasted, missed in our lives every single day. And those three hours a day total up to 55 days a year (almost 2 months a year) of wasted, rising, gone days due to procrastination!
How to get those days back? How to lessen or stop the amount of time we waste every day by procrastinating? Learning to regulate or adjust our emotions around the task itself by making the task more manageable.
Making the task more manageable means breaking it down into smaller, more palliative little tasks and do each little task one at a time. And each time you complete one little task, give yourself a reward, a pat on the back for doing that one little thing. Make five cold calls a day rather than twenty five. Even if all you do is leave a message because they didn’t pick up, give yourself a pat on the back for making that one call. And then do it again tomorrow and give yourself a pat on the back for those calls.
Soon you’ll have made twenty five calls in a week and you’ll feel like you accomplished something. And feeling like you’ve accomplished something will make you feel good, not terrible…like not making any calls at all, right? To keep yourself motivated, do one positive task, a task that makes you feel great, along with the one negative task that makes you cringe. The positive feeling task will help regulate your emotions….help balance your feelings.
Action is positive…inaction is negative. The more positive actions you take, even if you dread doing those actions, the more positive feelings and emotions you will create in yourself. And then, eventually, procrastinating will generate more negative feelings of wasting time/hours/days than actually doing what needs to be done, no matter how awful, and help you feel good about yourself.