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Pay attention to Procrastination

Self-Care: 4 Strategies to Push through Perfectionism & Procrastination

April 23, 2013

Sue: Does this sound like you?

  • I am always late.
  • I never seem to be able to get to my most important goal. I am too busy.
  • I try, but I keep hitting roadblocks. Maybe I am not “cut out” for this.

Carol: Hi, this is Carol Williams, Productivity Specialist at EpS, Efficient Productivity Systems.

Sue: And this is Sue West, Life Transitions Coach and AD/HD specialist. We have joined together for this series of audio interviews to give you short, “use today” pieces of advice, in 5 to 8 minutes.

Today’s is called “What’s Your Plan B?” but first …

Carol: We’d like to share some exciting news, in case you did not catch the last podcast.

Sue and I are rolling out a new workshop called DESIGN YOUR DAYS. Just 90 minutes with us will set you in the direction for your work and personal life that works for YOU. Our first Design Your Days workshop will be at the Hampton Hotel in Colchester, VT near Burlington, on May 2 and is part of the WBON (women business owner’s network) which is a statewide, Vermont business organization. We’d love for you to attend so watch our blogs or social media sites for information!Click here for their site.


To listen click here >>>  Self Care April 2013.

To read our advice, just continue on in this blog entry.


Sue: Onto our podcast tips. Our last two podcasts focused on Self Care. This can be the root of many productivity issues. When we don’t sleep well at night, when we allow our exercise routine to take a back seat for an extended period of time, when we allow others to set our priorities- we neglect ourselves. Keeping this point at the top of mind will subconsciously allow you to begin turning it around. The next question to ask yourself is- what’s getting in your way of making a little progress?

Carol: We tend to ask our listeners a lot of questions, don’t we? Well in that spirit I have three more:

  1. Do you have to “have enough time” to write the entire book, and know exactly what you want to say before you begin?
  2. Do you have to have all the right cleaning tools before you begin organizing that spare room?
  3. Do you feel so overwhelmed by cleaning your home that you think, why bother? It will just get messed up again and I don’t even know where to start.

Sue: Thanks, Carol. That sounds little like perfectionist behavior to me.

To our listeners: Has anyone ever called you a perfectionist?

Perhaps you don’t wash your car because you don’t have the right wax and you really want to wax it at the same time, and by the way the sun will be setting soon anyway, maybe I should just catch up on some reading instead?

Perfectionism often leads to procrastination.

It’s time to shift our thinking. Try, what’s my plan B? If I don’t have the right wax, so what? Can I wax using what I have? Can I wax just half of the car? Won’t that be better than nothing? Or when can I go to the local car place and get them to do it for me!

Carol: OK onto some tips! Let’s think about re-framing your attitudes- to help you succeed:

Think of one tiny step you could accomplish toward your big goal. For example, if you know you have trouble sleeping, and you think you need to go to the doctor, and can’t find time to call, can’t find time to go to an appointment, don’t have the right insurance, what could you do instead? Could you find 15 minutes per night to meditate right before bed, try that for 3 weeks and if no improvement then take another step? The key here is thinking about what you CAN do vs. all the reasons you CAN’T do something. Those little steps could be called Plan B.

I want to send my kids to camp XYZ but I don’t know how I will get them there or how I will afford it. What can be plan B? Could you begin to look into the other options? Could you write a Facebook post asking other parents to do a “round robin” home based camp with other kids their age in your area? Time to think creatively. Let go of “it has to be this way” and watch new answers start coming your way.

Sue: My first suggestion is an anti procrastination exercise which comes to us from a client who had great success with this. This is useful for people who say “I can talk myself out of anything,” or “I can’t get started – the perfectionism or procrastination gets me too often.”

The six questions were developed by David Burns, and are in his book, The Feeling Good Handbook. Essentially, the questions have you weigh the advantages and disadvantages by writing them down so you can see what you’re thinking– and it’s amazing how well this works.

My second suggestion will be of interest to those who need lots of variety in their days. I’m going to suggest you embrace the variety.  Work it into whatever self-care you’re trying to bring into your life.

For example, you want to start doing some sort of exercise, yet you just imagine how boring it’s going to be, so you stop before you start.

How about this instead: Mondays, you walk on your own. Wednesdays you walk with a neighbor. Saturday morning, you walk while you talk to your daughter, who is at college. The other days you don’t walk; you ride your bike somewhere around town.

The variety is in both which exercise you take on and how or with whom you actually take it on. The important piece is here is to reach out, ask people and get time and people set up so they help you get out each day.


As a reminder, you are listening to a podcast series. We’d love your feedback.  If you have a question you’d like answered, please email us

Or contact us through our blogs and websites:

Sue’s is

Carol’s is

If you found our advice valuable, please consider sharing our podcast or blog with colleagues and friends.


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