Back to Back Issues Page
Stress Free Living: How to Stop Procrastinating
July 06, 2010
Hi,

Procrastination and Stress


July 2010 - Issue #019: How to Stop Procrastinating

Welcome to the July 2010 issue of Stress Free Living! Each month I send you these newsletters and each month I can hardly believe all of the new and exciting stuff that’s happened since the last issue! This month I have a lot of things to update you on (including an exciting online event) and tips to share to help you stop procrastinating. So this has become a very full issue and if you have any comments or tips to add, feel free as always to reply to this email to share them with me.

I hope you enjoy this issue of the Stress Free Living ezine!

Sincerely,




“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
~ Eleanore Roosevelt




In This Issue...

1. How to Stop Procrastinating

2. Featured Submission: My Secret on How to Manage Stress

3. Summer Events and Specials

4. In Case You Missed It

5. All About You


Welcome to the
Stress Free Living Ezine!



How to Stop Procrastinating

Are you a procrastinator? If so, this is likely a source of stress and anxiety in your life, not to mention the guilt you probably put on yourself. Procrastination is both a habit and a choice, and these things can be changed. When we procrastinate, we’re essentially choosing option “B” over option “A”.

Option “A” is usually some sort of task or obligation that needs to be done… either because it’s a chore, a normal part of life, or something that someone has told you to do (such as a boss or teacher)… and there are many different reasons why we procrastinate. Knowing your reasons may help you in changing your behavior or help you to be more likely to choose “A” over “B” when you have the option.

One reason for procrastination is fear. We may be afraid that we don’t know what we’re supposed to do, we don’t know how to do it, or we don’t have control over the outcome. And fear is a pretty compelling emotion. The longer you procrastinate, the longer the fear festers, and prolonged fear creates stress… sometimes even long-term chronic stress. Not good.

Another reason we sometimes procrastinate is out of simple dislike for the task. It’s easy to choose option “B” (for example, watching a favorite TV show) over option “A” which may be something like preparing for a big speech or presentation tomorrow. The TV show will definitely be more enjoyable, however, the longer you put off the tasks that need to be done, the more stress and anxiety you will be building up inside. It’s just not worth it. When we have the ability to make choices in our lives that directly affect our health (as stress does), it’s important to make the right decisions as often as possible, even when they’re not the most fun. But then be sure to make time for the enjoyable stuff as soon as you’ve finished your task!

Other times we procrastinate simply out of habit. Doing laundry is something that I often put off until I either don’t have any clean clothes or I end up having to spend the whole day doing nothing but laundry to get caught up! And I can’t tell you any good reason for procrastinating on this task… I don’t really even dislike it per se. But when you have a habit of putting things off, of procrastinating, this habit can creep into other areas of your life and other tasks that need to be done for no other reason than because it’s a habit.

Goodness, even thinking and writing about the subject of procrastination is making me feel stressed! This “habit” or “choice” of procrastination is such a high-stress causer, that it’s worth putting in the time and effort needed to learn new habits or learn to make new choices. And the more common procrastination is for you, the harder it will be to break so just keep that in mind and keep making positive steps towards your goal and you’ll be just fine :)

So what can we do to stop procrastinating?

When you notice that you are procrastinating a task, try to figure out why.

Is it out of fear, dislike, or habit? Sometimes simply acknowledging the reasons we do things can make a profound impact and allow you to easily make the changes, or choices necessary.


Allow yourself something fun or relaxing for completing a task that you would rather procrastinate on.

Tell yourself that if you do task “A” now, then when you are finished, you will make time to go out and get an ice cream cone or something of that sort. Don’t worry about rewarding yourself for procrastinating. Once you’ve put something off to the very last minute (and built up stress and anxiety) finally getting the task done will be reward in itself. Of course, now you may need to think of some stress relief strategies to re-set your mind and body to a more peaceful state. Prolonged procrastination will create stress levels that may take purposeful action to relieve.


If you’re constantly procrastinating, make a list and sort them by priority.

Then, challenge yourself to complete one task on your to-do list each day or each week. This will give yourself a definite deadline to help prevent procrastination. In addition, it will help to create a new habit which can counteract the habit of procrastination that you’ve built. In addition, be honest with yourself and remove and do away with any tasks that you have no intention of ever really doing. By relieving yourself of that duty, you will be removing the guilt and stress you feel each time you look at that task on your list. If you’re not really going to do it, no use in worrying about it right?


Find a buddy! Get a friend, co-worker, or spouse to help hold you accountable.

Most likely, that person will also have things that they are procrastinating and would like you to help them as well. Then lay down some simple ground rules for reminding each other and holding each other accountable so that you don’t end up building hostility and resentment for constantly hounding each other to do tasks that you don’t want to do.


If possible, break the task down into more manageable pieces.

Using laundry again as a simple example, maybe today you tackle sorting the laundry, tomorrow you wash and dry the laundry, and the following day, you put all the laundry away. By breaking large tasks down into smaller chunks, it will seem less scary or more like a hill to climb than a mountain. Just be sure that you follow through with each piece and set a deadline… otherwise the clean laundry will end up never getting put away if you know what I mean. I hope my husband doesn’t read this, he’d be pointing his finger in my direction :)


Finally, just do it!

The only way to change is to make a new choice, a new decision, take action! If you are a procrastinator, you’re causing yourself unnecessary stress, anxiety, fear, and guilt among many other negative feelings. These things take away from the fun in life… and we could all use a bit more fun and relaxation! So get started right now…. and when you’re done, not only will you feel A LOT better, but you’ll have more time to do something you enjoy instead of wasting time avoiding the inevitable.


If you have some great procrastination tips, I’d love to hear them! Just reply to this email to let me know how you help yourself to avoid procrastination.



Featured Submission

Each month I try to share a new submission from you, the visitors of OurStressfulLives.com. This submission was listed under Tips for Stressed Out Parents...

My Secret on How to Manage Stress
by Terri, Michigan, USA

Working away, transporting kids, fixing meals, family commitments. Sometimes I just find myself running in so many different directions that I forget where I am going.

The other day, I was sharing with a friend of mine how hard it was to lose weight even though I was doing all the right things. She shared back, “well, you know stress can make it difficult for your body to lose weight.”

I knew that! But, I had forgotten.

The secret for me to manage stress is to remember to breathe. I hadn't been breathing lately. I learned long ago that I forget to breathe when too much is going on in my life with being a parent, wife, and entrepreneur and I am stressed out.

Why just the other day a salesperson came over our house and she didn’t breathe. Well, she did, just not much (how else would she still be alive). But the whole time she was with us, I just wanted to yell out—BREATHE!

The Hawaiians have a name for people who don’t breathe “Haoles”. They knew how important the breath is and how it can not only help our stress level decrease but keep us in better health by getting more oxygen into our bodies.

So take a deep breath and feel the tensions disappear. Get the kids to take a deep breath too. Sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it? Sometimes it can be. Other times if that doesn’t work for you, maybe it’s time to learn a bit more about breathing and meditation.

Taking that time to focus totally on yourself, your breath and your relaxation can be invigorating and healthier.




I'd like to thank Terri for sharing her story with us! Click here to see this submission online and to leave comments for Terri.

Click here to share your own Tips for Stressed Out Parents.



Summer Events and Specials

Events:

Premier Summits is holding a FREE online stress event that you won’t want to miss! I have been asked to be one of 20 guest speakers and even I am looking forward to hearing from and learning from what the other speakers have to say about relieving stress.

This free event is done completely online over the course of 7 days. Each day there will be 2 or 3 different speakers and you can log in anytime during those 24 hours to hear the presentations for that day. The content of these presentations will cover a wide spectrum of topics and information related directly to stress to help us all learn new ways to manage it. I’m looking forward to being a part of it but I’m also very excited to hear what many of the top stress experts have to say! I really hope that you'll take the time to check out these presentations, including mine :)

If you’ve been a subscriber for awhile, you know that I rarely (if ever) send out special notices or announcements in between the monthly newsletters and I do that because frankly, we all get enough emails as it is and I don’t want to crowd your inboxes. But I am very excited about this event and I DO believe that it is something you should get in on. Again, it’s free and I truly believe that there will be a lot of great information and tips shared that will help us all live a less stressful life.

So with that said, the event begins near the end of July and I will send out one or two reminders leading up to it. If you’re not interested, simply delete these emails and accept my apology. But please know that I do not regularly do these types of announcements and I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t something that I sincerely believed that we could all benefit from.

So, I look forward to “seeing” you at the summit!

For more information and to sign up go to:
Premier Summits Free Online Audio Event


Specials:

With warm weather upon us we’re more likely to take some time off work or feel more motivated to do more activities. And as always, I encourage you to try new things that can help you relieve your stress. So I’ve compiled a list of some special summer offers on products that can help you work towards a less stressful life! I challenge you to try something new this summer and take advantage of these great specials:

Gaiam’s Yoga For Beginners Kit is currently 35% off! At only $12.98 it’s a must have if you’ve been thinking about getting into Yoga. Click here to check it out:

Yoga for Beginners Kit


SoundsTrue.com offers a lot of different musical, guided meditation, and stress relief products that I enjoy. Here’s their latest offer:

Save $10 on Stress Relief Products at SoundsTrue.com


I’ve also offered a special $5.00 off my Stress Management Workbook to YouTube viewers who happen to catch This Video. But of course, as subscribers to this ezine, I’m also going to let you know how to get that special deal too. When you purchase your Workbook, enter the code VIDEO at the time of purchase to get the additional $5.00 off.

Click here to get more information or to purchase the Stressful Lives Stress Management Workbook


Don’t forget to check out the ultra cool Stress Relief Products that I feature on OurStressfulLives.com. If you’re looking for a stress relief gift for yourself or someone else, Click Here to be directed to the site.



In Case You Missed It...

Last month I told you about the new vides on YouTube that are created as part of OurStressfulLives.com. They feature very short stress tips and have been a lot of fun to create. To view them and share them with your friends and family, go to:
www.youtube.com/ourstressfullives

I’ve been doing my best to try to get at least one new video up each week… but I’m not promising anything :) However, if you subscribe to our Channel on YouTube, you’ll be notified any time I put up a new video. I hope you enjoy them – and so does Gunner (my stress relieving Pit Bull). He makes some cameos and special appearances in some of the videos!

If YOU have any videos featuring stress relief tips, I’d love to see them! Reply to this email and send me the link… if you’ve got a great tip, I may share your video in an upcoming issue of this ezine!


If you want to be notified of changes and additions to OurStressfulLives.com, subscribe to the site blog RSS feed! It’s an easy way to stay up-to-date with changes to the site as they happen!


Can you help me out? I do my best to help my visitors and ezine subscribers address the stress related issues that they are most concerned about, but without hearing from you directly, it’s sometimes hard to hit the mark. Maybe you can help…. check out this page http://www.ourstressfullives.com/stress-management-frustrations-and-concerns.html


Speaking of helping each other out, with many more pages being added to the site all the time, it’s getting quite large and therefore sometimes difficult to find what you’re looking for or to discover new pages that you may like. So I’ve done two things to help out with this! First, I’ve added search boxes to the bottom of almost every page. You can type in what you’re looking for and you’ll be directed to a list of results for pages on my site that match the words you entered into the search box. Keep an eye out for these search boxes at the bottom of (almost) every page!

Secondly, I’m going through the site one page at a time and adding a section at the bottom of the pages titled “Other Pages You’ll Love”. In this section, I’ve hand selected other pages on the site that are similar in topic or somehow relate to the content on the current page. By listing these out, I hope that I can help you discover other pages you’ll love on the site that you may not have otherwise noticed. So again, keep your eye out for this section on the bottom of most pages. Also note that I’m still working on this and there are many more pages that need this section added… but I’m right on top of it and hope to have the entire site done within the next month or two :)

Check out the bottom of this page to see an example of the Search Box and the section “Other Pages You’ll Love”





All About You

I'd love to hear from You!

To share your feedback on this issue, Please click here to be directed to a survey.

If you have any questions about stress or stress management, submit them on our Ask The Expert page! And don't forget to visit the site regularly to either submit your own stories & tips or read & comment on what others have written.

If you like this newsletter, please pay it forward by sending it to a friend who might like it. If a friend did forward this to you and you like what you read, you can get your own free subscription by visiting this subscription page.

Thank you for spending some time with me today, I hope you have enjoyed your copy of the Stress Free Living ezine. If there is something you'd like to see next month, please reply to this email and let me know!

Wishing you all the very best,


OurStressfulLives.com

Helping you live a less stressful life.


Back to Back Issues Page