top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureJaveria Fatima Zaidi

From Procrastinator to Go-Getter: The HSP’s Guide To Stop Procrastinating

‘I’m a procrastinator.’


That’s the story I’ve always told myself; mainly because it was true! I would put things off until the last minute, then get a rush of energy and whizz through the process. Or sometimes, I’d start it a little too late, hoping to whizz through, only to find myself overwhelmed, frustrated, unable to finish the job and feeling like a failure. To top it off, my high sensitivity ensured I felt every ounce of that failure to the very depths of my being.


We’ve all been there, right?

Right??

(Please God don’t let me be the only one!)


The problem with my inner narrative was that I had labelled myself a procrastinator; i.e. I was, am, and always will be a procrastinator.


Once a procrastinator, always a procrastinator, am I right?


WRONG!


I had the power the change myself, but I didn’t see it… or rather, I didn’t want to see it because it seemed so complex and out of my league that it was easier to believe that I couldn’t do it. Simple.


Today, I still procrastinate, of course… can’t say I’m perfect! But, I have put systems in place… scaffolding that holds up the pillars of my non-negotiables in life.





By (eventually) kicking procrastinating to the curb, I’m able to juggle home education, my coaching business, and (somewhat) maintaining the house. I’ve finally started fitting in regular exercise, and my diet continues to improve as I make better decisions regarding my food… rather than being stuck in a cycle of overthinking and then basing my meals off of convenience.


I am finally crafting the life I have always dreamed of… taking the action that I need to!

Unsurprisingly, writing in various forms has been instrumental in these changes. I am almost writing my ideal life into existence, if that makes sense. Just to clarify, I do not have a magic pencil that brings all my written wishes to life (imagine, though!). But writing, without inhibitions… without worry… without perfectionism… helped me shed the weight of overthinking, which was a huge reason for my procrastinating.


Sometimes I write in my diary at the end of the day; sometimes I make lots of notes to myself and stick them up on my vision boards (yes, I have multiple)… several times a day I find myself scribbling in one notebook or another… but I write. And that writing solidifies my plans/ideas in a way that bypasses the over-analytical part of my brain and spurs me into action. 


In a sense, I could say all of my systems are built on the foundation of my various types of writing.


Let me share an example about my 'systems':


As part of my systems, I decided on certain days being ‘work-days’ – meaning on those days, my main focus would be my business (as opposed to other life commitments).

One night, my husband asked me what plans I had for Monday… Easter Monday, to be exact. I told him it was a workday for me.


‘But it’s a bank holiday,’ he countered, going on to hint I take the day off.

As much as I would have loved to go for a walk in our favourite park, I had to politely decline. (To his credit, he respected that and didn’t push further.)


But in my journey of becoming a better version of myself, this incident showed massive progress… where previously I would have really grappled with the situation, felt guilty and torn… I would have thought that its great to get outdoors and squeeze in a walk, not to mention the quality time with the husband and children, but also felt guilty about abandoning my work… and regardless of what I chose in the end, I would have been upset and guilty about letting down the other side (either family or business), and eventually resented my husband for even asking, even though he knew (in my mind) that Mondays meant work days for me.


Not anymore, though.


Knowing what I do now about myself, having a genuine friendship with myself, I realised that I do not yet have the discipline to go for a walk, come back, and get to work. I would probably procrastinate, and end up not doing any business-related work at all. With that self-awareness, I was able to explain to my husband that if I ended up going out, I would miss out on a full day’s worth of work and at this point, I simply couldn’t afford it. He understood, and that was that.


I won’t pretend that overcoming procrastination was the simple matter of setting boundaries, but this was part of it.


I’ve realised that procrastination, as a whole, is a detailed subject, and to overcome my particular brand of it, I needed to understand it. Why I delayed projects, when was I more likely to put things off, what were the things that lent themselves to being delayed… and so on.


Defeating procrastination (and several other things) looked a lot like becoming my own best friend…a giant leap from being my own worst enemy, which I used to be for the greater part of my life.


(You can have this transformation, too! Simply drop me an email to schedule personalised, 1:1 coaching sessions: support@penandheal.com)


And this wasn’t just my experience.


Nadia*, a young mum with 2 under 2, came to me when she was overwhelmed with life. She was an intellectual, knowledgeable and capable person, who simply couldn’t break out of her procrastinating habit. She felt terrible, and after trying (and failing) to change her habits for several months, she finally bit the bullet and contacted me.


Her goal was simple: to meditate regularly. She was such an expert on the topic that I initially questioned whether she even needed my help! She knew all the techniques, all the benefits, all the different ways she could fit this into her life – and yet, she hadn’t been able to.


We developed writing exercises and prompts that were unique to her personality traits and practical for her lifestyle… and she ran with it. Within 4 weeks of us working together, Nadia reported that she was meditating several times a week, sometimes even involving her toddler. 


While I cannot promise the same result (Nadia was exceptionally motivated to achieve her results and worked extremely hard with a laser focus), I can say this: it is possible to reduce the number of times you procrastinate.


So if you’re reading this and thinking, ‘I’ll get to that… soon,’ drop me an email RIGHT NOW to book in your sessions.


Understand why you procrastinate, how to stop, and what to do instead.


Stop putting it off, and send across that email! Start working on yourself today to lead a more fulfilled life.


In the meantime, here a few helpful tips to help you overcome procrastination.


1)      Cliched, but so important: break it down! Break down your task into the tiniest, smallest, most baby steps you can think of. Even if it feels silly. Do it and report back with stellar results!


2)      Being a highly sensitive woman, you’re probably the poster child for over stimulation. Bright lights, noises, chatty colleagues, inner turmoil, upset stomachs, uncomfortable clothing (the list is endless)… all these factors play a role. While you cannot (nor should you try to) control everything, consciously minimise as much ‘noise’ as you can. You’ll feel better for it, trust me.


3)      Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries! Nothing wrong to set boundaries. In fact, if you genuinely want to help people instead of playing into a co-dependent pattern, boundaries are your best friend.


4)      Take a break. Regular breaks are crucial for people who feel everything intensely… it’s a way to recentre yourself, and to put your best foot forward (which, as an HSP, is probably an important value in your life).


5)      Buddy up! Find a buddy… a partner, a friend, a colleague… someone who is on the same journey, for moral support and guidance. This could look like guidance from a professional coach, or a friend with whom you check in and share progress.


6)      Be kind, especially to yourself. The way you berate yourself when something goes wrong… would you speak that way to someone who’s relationship you really valued? I should hope not! And that’s no way to speak to yourself, either.


7)      Challenge any faulty thinking patterns you find yourself engaging in (see also: cognitive distortions)


8)      Write! (see also: expressive writing)


9)      Spend some time on your own, reflecting.


10)   Consider seeking professional guidance from an Expressive Writing Coach.


In the journey from procrastination to productivity, remember that understanding and kindness towards yourself are your most powerful tools. Procrastination is simply a habit that, with patience and the right techniques, can be reshaped.


If my journey (and Nadia’s), resonates with you, imagine what we can achieve together in just 12 weeks.


Ready to transform your 'someday' into 'today'? Reach out at support@penandheal.com to join my signature programme, tailored just for you.

P.s. Don’t worry if you don’t have prior ‘writing experience’. With me, you write for yourself… not for critiquing! 😉


*Name and details changed to protect the client’s privacy

1 view0 comments

Comentarios


bottom of page