Procrastinators tend to sit on piles of problems. Unfinished projects, undelivered mail, ideas unfulfilled. One way to reduce your reliance on Procrastination is to manage and to resolve your problems as quickly and as mindfully as you can. Get clear on your what your intention is and the routes to solving your problems will come into view.
Consider these 6 suggestions for prepping yourself to jump on your problems before they get the better of you:
1. Adopt an active mindset. Decide that you are the captain, the boss, the manager, the leader, the architect, the designer — whatever it takes to help you step into an active mindset. When we take an active role in resolving problems, we tend to think of better ideas, because we are more engaged and invested in creating a good outcome.
2. Communicate what needs to be said. As a psychologist, I have seen so many times how we can delay the resolution of both minor and major matters through our lack of communication. We’re afraid to appear too eager, too pushy, too interested, too direct, and — heaven forbid — too bossy. Instead of worrying how you are going to look, think about what you will feel when you and your partners get to the finish line. Train your focus on the finish line and then communicate clearly to get there.
3. Surrender to your negative feelings. Yes, I did say “surrender,” but I don’t mean give up. We are all susceptible to negative feelings and worry about the future. So accept that these feelings exist and decide that you can move past them anyway. That is what I mean by surrender. When we constantly revisit our worries, we cannot develop clarity on what actually needs to be done to resolve the problem. Don’t get sidetracked. Keep yourself focused.
4. Protect your ability to focus fiercely. Unresolved problems are a drain on our focus because we think about unfinished business until it is done. Become a warrior prince or princess and do away with the obstacles (Facebook, Netflix) and gather the information and tools you need to craft your plan of attack. Why all this talk of fierceness? Because you have things you want to get done.
5. Believe that you will be okay. We hang on to tasks, decisions, choices, and drafts of e-mails as if our lives were hanging in the balance. For the large majority of things, life is not hanging in the balance. Try to be more realistic and make a decision or choice that will help you resolve your issue. Have faith that you will survive the outcome.
6. Decide that you want to be done. Many times things linger because we allow them to — unpaid bills, unreturned library books, etc. Once we decide we want to be done with these things, we manage to get them done. But wanting the task completed seems to be a prerequisite to doing the legwork. Commit to being done with your problems and then see what needs to happen next.
When we become active problem solvers, we end up finding there are fewer problems to be solved over time. You have the power to change things in your own life today. Here’s to all of your efforts in that direction.
P.S. READY TO TAKE YOUR PROBLEMS ON?
I’ve developed a free PROBLEM SOLVING QUESTIONNAIRE to help you analyze your own situation. The prompts in the questionnaire will encourage you to look at the obstacles in your way so you can clear them out of the way. Enjoy.