How To Stop Procrastinating And Be Happier

If your first or last name has a vowel in it, chances are you’re prone to procrastination.

We’re human. We do things we shouldn’t. But that justification doesn’t always make us feel better. Below is a couple examples of my own procrastination and how I overcame it.

Oh, and then became a lot happier.

I was afraid of success.

Earlier today I sat down to do some specific career work for acting. It didn’t go so well. I had mailings to send and didn’t want to send any out. I grew frustrated just thinking about them. After numerous days of sitting down and getting upset, I finally asked myself the question: “Why?”

Turns out it had nothing to do with the mailings at all. I’ve been stressing over finances lately. Good news is I finally started working more non acting jobs. I can pay my bills. I’m happier. Because of this….I’ve been afraid that my mailings might work. I grew concerned that success with some of these important decision makers might mean taking time off work – great for my career, not necessarily great for the bank account. I reached out to some friends for advice, reevaluated my plan, and felt a million times better.

When you’re procrastinating something important, ask yourself why. Sounds simple. Just as simple to skip.

I went for a walk.

I live in a studio and do a lot of work from home. I love my apartment – perhaps a bit too much. Most days I don’t leave until late in the afternoon or early evening. Today was no exception. After getting my acting work done (most of it), I finally got myself outside.

I love going for walks in the summer. My neighborhood is the best. There’s some beautiful buildings and I’m right near Wrigley Field. Walks in my neighborhood relax me. During this time I finally asked myself why I was so scared to do my mailings. That’s when I got my answer. From myself.

There are different ways to recharge your own mental batteries and give yourself the break you need. I enjoy walks. Others enjoy music, Netflix, or a power nap. Experiment a little and find what works for you.

I was lying to myself. And I didn’t know it.

Many of you know that I also work helping others find the confidence they need to achieve their health and fitness goals. I’ve been meaning to implement a free way to help as well. I just thought it would take up too much time.

Last night I listened to Chalene Johnson on periscope. She happened to be talking about goals. After just a short time listening to her, I saw things in a new light. I previously thought, “I can’t afford to spend time with a free group.” I then realized, “I can’t afford not to do this and help others.”

Did I get to work on that group today? You bet. I previously was spending my coaching hours on anything but this. I ended my sessions feeling frustrated. Today? Not so much.

I had what’s called a subconscious limiting belief – a lie I was telling myself that I didn’t even realize I was telling. Best way to conquer this is through personal development. I harp on my friends in my accountability groups about this regularly. Read books. Listen to audios. Make sure they’re specifically meant to improve your habits and/or mindset. Find someone you look up to and get their stuff!

To recap:

Procrastinating is what makes us human. Don’t kick yourself next time this happens. Also realize there’s a reason behind your procrastination. Our brains are wired to protect us. Often the brain thinks it’s protecting us by telling us to procrastinate. This ends up leaving us frustrated and unhappy.

Make personal development a priority. You’ll overcome these mental blocks quicker and faster. You’ll be a happiness guru in no time.

Oh and by the way….this blog? Totally counts as personal development.

“But Tony, you don’t update as much as you used to! How am I supposed to get my personal development fill in on a regular basis?”

Good point. Guess we’ll have to start hanging out.