top of page
  • Writer's pictureBarbara Mayfield, MS, RDN, LD, FAND

What are YOU putting off?

Updated: Dec 7, 2022

Barb Mayfield shares a video about procrastination

Procrastination. We all do it – delay or postpone doing something. Is there something you’re putting off? Something you avoid doing even though you want to do it or know you should?

Until yesterday, I was putting off creating my first “talking head” video to post on social media. Yes, I was procrastinating. Now I’m not one who likes doing things at the last minute, so I don’t usually procrastinate, but I just kept putting this off.

Posting videos I create to social media, at least once a month – was one of my goals for 2018. The first two months of the year I posted videos we took when I taught my grandson’s preschool class. But, my goal was to also create this type of video – totally new territory for me. So, with just 3 days left in March, my desire to keep my commitment to my goal won out over my procrastination in trying this new thing.

Why do we procrastinate? In my video I mention two reasons that I think are pervasive:

  1. Fear of the unknown - We are more likely to procrastinate doing something we’ve never done before. So a good first step is to learn how to do what we’re avoiding – but we shouldn’t make the learning a reason to procrastinate. We learn the most by doing. Often, after we’ve done it, we realize that it wasn’t so scary and we’re ready to do it again without hesitation.

  2. Fear of falling short of perfection – If you’re like me you like to do things well or not at all; so procrastination is one way to not do something that we fear we won’t do well. My first attempt at a talking head video was far from perfect, but perfection is not expected in this type of video – but instead – spontaneity, honesty, and good content.

How can we overcome procrastination? I propose three approaches that work for me:

  1. Make the action a goal and write it down – As I stated above, creating videos was a goal for me in 2018. Not only did I make the goal to myself, I made my goals public earlier in the year: If goal-setting isn’t enough of a motivator for you, here’s another approach…

  2. Follow Gretchen Rubin’s 1 minute rule – “I do anything that presents itself, right away, as long as I can do it in a minute.” Think about all the things we avoid doing that take minimal time – putting something away, answering a quick email, looking something up. If completing the task requires less than a minute, do it, NOW. Read more about the rule here: Often we procrastinate doing things that take much longer than one minute. In fact, the enormity of the task is one reason we procrastinate. If that is the situation, try this…

  3. Break down the task and start with a simple step – Getting started can be the hardest part, so make getting started easier. When we break big tasks down into manageable steps, it is much easier to take that first step and get moving in the right direction. Make the first step “itty bitty” so you can follow the 1 minute rule. Once you begin – you have overcome procrastination!

What are YOU putting off? Today is the day to jump in and get started!

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Zig Ziglar

23 views0 comments
bottom of page