For years, I had a secret. And that secret was — I was obsessed around getting myself to stop procrastinating.
Now, from the outside, it certainly LOOKED like I was getting a lot done. Multiple 6-figure business, nonfiction books published, fiction books published.
But, inside it was a constant struggle. I would set aside time to work on my book projects or my blog posts, but whether or not I actually got anything done during that time was another story.
I struggled with this for years.
In the beginning, I was convinced this was an organizational problem. If I could simply become more organized with my time, I would have more time to work on my books.
Makes sense, right?
So, I tried everything. New systems. Productivity tips. In fact, I became a little obsessed with goals and planners and to-do lists — so much so I’m working on a “Love-Based Goals” book (due out December 2017).
Now, while I did get more organized and I was able to actually get more things done, I still wasn’t working on my books as much as I wanted.
And, much to my dismay, I still found myself procrastinating too much.
So then I tried the personal development route. After all, I was able to break some of other toxic habit, like my worrying habit. Maybe this would be the way to get myself to stop procrastinating.
The more committed I became to my personal development habit, the more I was able to turn my inner world around. I was so much more peaceful and happy. I broke a ton of habits that weren’t serving me and in their place, I had new, supportive habits.
But … I still couldn’t get myself to stop procrastinating.
How could this be? I’ve tried everything. What was going on?
I was close to my wit’s end. And then I remembered a book I had read years ago called “The Artist Way” by Julia Cameron.
It’s about helping artists and writers who are blocked and not creating start creating again. In that book, she shares her own story.
Julia had a successful writing career — writing screenplays in Hollywood. How she wrote was every day at 4 pm, she would fix herself 3 scotches, line them up by her typewriter (yes, this was a long time ago) and start a race.
The race was, how much writing could she get done in that small window of opportunity when the alcohol loosened the creative juices and before she was too drunk to write.
She described the experience as crashing head first into a wall over and over again. Every night she broke herself to write.
So, what I started to realize is I was doing the same thing. No, I wasn’t using alcohol, maybe I should have because it would have been more efficient — I was using procrastination.
It didn’t matter how much time I set aside to write, I wouldn’t actually start until I was nearly out of time. I would have wasted hours and there I would sit at the end of the day, facing the choice of do I just throw in the towel and try again tomorrow or do I get something done?
If I had a hard deadline, clearly I was getting it done.
If I didn’t, it was split between me pushing myself or trying again tomorrow.
Needless to say, it was a painful way to write.
So, how did I finally break this once and for all? Watch below:
So, how do you stop procrastinating? It might be as easy as getting to the bottom of what the payoff is.
(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)