How to Stop Procrastination from Derailing Positive Change

by Sharon Melnick

“Life rewards action. Nothing great has ever been accomplished without it. Nothing ever will be”. Margie Warrell

You tell yourself that you “really need to” do something to turn your situationeffective change management by reframing and stopping procrastination around, and are baffled why you don’t. Each day you procrastinate from making positive change and  continue to do the same things, sinking deeper into your stressful situation and personal misery.

Most likely you have a mental block.  Some fear of change or outcome is blocking you. You need to figure out what that is so you can reframe your thoughts around it. One way you can start to get clarity is to set aside time to do the project you know you’ve needed to complete. Write it into your calendar, protect the time, and have serious intent to carry it through. When it comes time to do it, notice what images come to your mind. You will have a mental picture that will reveal your block.

Here are a couple of examples of how people overcame procrastination and made positive change

  • A salesperson knew he needed to make more phone calls but couldn’t even though he was close to being fired. When he imagined picking up the phone to call prospects, he expected a response of no interest because he had heard that so many times before. His block was that he expected his efforts wouldn’t work. He decided to write a whole new script giving a valuable free benefit to the prospect right up front and compelling the prospect to schedule a follow-up meeting. The next morning the salesman used the approach and made a hefty sale.
  • A middle manager at a big state agency needed to finish a high-visibility audit, but he couldn’t get started. His blocks were self-doubt and self-centered thinking. He was worried that the final deliverable would be judged unfavorably and that the recommendations of the audit would be politically unpopular.We changed his focus so he saw the audit as an opportunity to clean up corruption in state agencies, help millions of state consumers get better rates, and protect the environment. He stopped making the project about what others would think about him and started making it about what he could contribute. He was immediately motivated to get started.

Tip worth repeating: The first step to taking action is to know what is getting in the way of you doing what you know you should be doing. Schedule a block of time to do what you know you need to do on your calendar and then see what mental picture comes to your mind. That will give you a clue of what your block is.

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