Where’s your pinch point? What narrows the doorway to your success?

Everybody procrastinates about something. Even more than that, we all procrastinate in multiple ways for different reasons. Identifying which pattern of delay is interfering with a particular project right now can give you strong clues in how to overcome that hesitation.

It can be easy to perceive the "I don't wanna" feeling, but look a little deeper to find out what's behind it.

Is it that you don't see the value of this task? Asking—with serious openness to good answers—"Why does this matter?" can help you find the payoff in a dull chore. Maybe it serves a bigger goal that does matter to you. Maybe it will make a real difference to someone who matters to you. (Yes, and sometimes it turns out that there isn't a good answer and you don't need to do it, but make certain that that oh so easy answer is actually true.) To beat this kind of procrastination you must make the payoff more visible to yourself. Eyes on the prize.

Is it that the completion of this task will trigger the beginning of something bigger that is scary to you? Perfectionism loves this pattern and can keep you endlessly tweaking rather than bringing your creation out into the world where others can react to it. Name that fear. If you're afraid people won't like what you've created, remind yourself of why you're doing this project. Being liked is rarely all or even most of what starts projects; usually you do big things to learn from the process, build and demonstrate your skills so far, and create more opportunties for what you can do next. Get those baby birds out of the nest so they have a chance to fly—a chance they'll never have without taking that step.

Is it that the payoff doesn't seem bigger than whatever short-term pleasure you're inclined to substitute for completing this task? Again, return to why this task is on your list at all. Repeatedly make visible to yourself the direct chain of relationship between tasks, the projects of which they are a part, the goals those projects serve, and your core values which drive you having set these goals. The more you acknowledge and re-affirm your reasons for doing everything, the easier it gets to do any one thing.

Start your day with your big goals and use them in choosing what it matters most for you to achieve today. When you can feel your progress toward your dreams, the next step comes more naturally.


June Discardia: Decide and Do

Get a little perspective. You can use Discardia in June as a trampoline to give you a big bounce forward and break up patterns of stagnation. This holiday period—a really long one this time, lasting through July 18, 2012!—is about solving entropy by making choices and acting on them. You’ve gotten your solid ground in place and given yourself a good footing with Discardia in March. Now it’s time to jump, knowing that your landing is already prepared.

    •    What’s dragging you down or holding you back?
    •    Where is your energy going?
    •    Is your energy fueling your engines or just polluting your world?

Take a good hard look at the patterns in your life right now, decide what you want to change, and begin those changes. As Discardian and fine-art painter Laurel McBrine said, “Refusing to do some things sets you free to do what you really want or need to do.”