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Positive psychology against procrastination

Oh, I’m excited! I’ve just read about new scientific proof that positive psychology works against procrastination. Or, to be more precise: elements of positive psychology can be really effective in dealing with procrastination. Tested on students who procrastinated on studying. Are you still with me?

It’s good news, especially for people who doubt they’ll ever be able to deal with their procrastination. It’s possible. And it can even be a positive

I’m also excited for more personal reasons. For one, the method they used really ties into my style of coaching (co-active coaching). Looks like I’m doing the right things! Which I knew, but it’s nice to know that science knows too 😉

Another one is that they included coaching in the scientifically tested approach. They combined a course with coaching. They expected the results would be better with, than without coaching. I agree!

So what works?
– Talking about your ideals, core qualities, positive treats.
– Letting you feel these instead of only talk about them.
– Distinguishing between the procrastinating part of you and the leader part of you.
– Learning how to harmonise thinking, wanting and feeling.
– Learning to be present with either your task or your procrastination

Of course these need to be tied together in a coherent approach to be fully effective. Though I guess any one of them could make a difference in any of your procrastination moments.

I can think of many exercises and worksheets I’ve created the last two years that were aimed at this. Even without knowing this research was done. As always, I don’t believe in one size fits all. I’ll keep working from other ideas and methods, especially the ones backed up by science. But I’ll also keep experimenting with my clients, wildly and creatively if we must. I always search for what works for that one specific person. And they defy science sometimes :)

I could talk about this for hours, but I’ve got work to do. The next Get it Done week starts next week, and I’m going to create some lovely new materials for it. Inspired by the latest research :)



Pair up with somebody who get things done


People who procrastinate tend to want to hide it. Many people are ashamed of their non-productive behaviour, and don’t want other people to know about it. Which is very understandable. Unfortunately, it doesn’t help. It might even make it worse.

Nobody likes to hide in shame, so the feeling invites distracting activities. Like watching funny clips on Facebook. Or checking your e-mail for interesting messages. Or playing a game on your phone. Anything that makes you think of other things. In the mean time, the work doesn’t get done. And the bad feeling secretly doesn’t go away. It just hides – to pop up later and ruin another day.

One way to step out of this vicious cycle is to pair up with somebody who get things done. Pairing up can be done in many different ways. You can create a work date for example, and agree to work next to each other for a couple of hours. Or agree to e-mail each other at set times, sharing what you got done. Or work together with them, and have them send you things that you will work on.

I picture you worrying that this won’t work. That you’ll only compare yourself to them, and feel worse. That could happen, I agree. So you may need to prepare your mindset for this. Talk to yourself that you don’t have to be as productive as they are. They are a different person, leading different lives and doing different things. Your aim will “just” be to end the vicious cycle. To get more done than you did before. To grow your belief that you can get things done. Even work that’s difficult for you. Remember: your productivity partner is your support, not your idol.

If you like to be around people who know procrastination from the inside out AND are breaking their vicious cycles, you may want to join Get it Done Week. The next one starts one June 1. The orange banners carry quotes from clients who’ve joined before. And came back for more 🙂

And yes, I needed to pair up with a productive person to get this post written. I tend to procrastinate at marketing. But my desiger send me some love banners, that I wanted to use straight away. It was all the motivation I needed.



Procrastination is (not) a habit

Often when you read about procrastination, the writer will say it’s a habit. I tend to disagree. I believe the tendency to procrastinate is (partly) innate. The part of giving in to the tendency, THAT’s the habit.

Procrastination often functions as a flight mechanism. It takes us away from things we don’t like or things we (unknowingly) fear. An unpleasant task lights up the same part of our brain as pain does. The instant gratification part of us stimulates us to give in to the short term impulse, and ignore the long term thinking. There’s always tomorrow…

But we all know tomorrow is always a day away, and it makes sense to get a grip on procrastination. To get back our freedom of choice. Do I want to do this now? Or is it REALLY better for me to do it later? If so, when?

If it’s a habit, it can be changed. When it’s a signal of something deeper going on (fear of failure, fear of success, perfectionism, etc.) the signal can be read. The deeper issue can be addressed – whilst you get your work done, you don’t need to wait. But both take effort. There’s an eternal demand for quick fixes for procrastination. I believe the demand is eternal because quick fixes don’t last, or don’t work.

That being said, I’d love to hear what has worked for you. Are there quick fixes that help you out? Have you managed to change (some of) your habits? How?

The next Get it Done week will focus on your personal procrastination habit(s). It starts on May 4, and will end on May 11. You’ll have the weekend off – unless that’s a habit that doesn’t serve you 🙂

Get it done week

Imagine a project that you struggle with or that you avoid. Decluttering, art work, your administration, writing a book, self care, fixing a leaking roof, anything goes. And now picture yourself at the end of the week, stunned and satisfied. You look at your project and it’s done! Or at least you’ve made serious headway. How does that feel?

If this sounds good to you, please join Get It Done Week. The next one starts on April 7. You can sign up on the official Procrastination Coach website:

Hope to see you there!


My procrastination monster got mugged

Pun intended. I’m so happy about what I created today that I’m in a silly mood. Check out these monsters, a strong visual reminder of your intentions to start doing what you don’t:

There’s mugs, canvas prints, framed wall art, and more. I think I should add some clothing.

Procrastination? Been there, done that, am wearing the t-shirt right now 😉

Which design is your favourite?

With a happy smile,

Buy Me! (You know that you want to!) by Graeme Sandford

This poet voices my allergy for marketing quite well. Smile!

Graeme Sandford

Buy Me

Buy Me! Buy Me!
Don’t buy them
Only Buy Me!
Once you’ve tried me
You’ll only Buy Me!
They may be better
And ‘really’ nice
But, I’m half as good
At twice the price!
Buy Me!
And, Special Offer,
This week only
Buy ‘One’ for the price of ‘Three!’
Buy Me! Buy Me!
And I may not do what I say on the label
And I may not work at all – my claims may be a fable
My leaking cause a stain on your table…
But, Buy Me! Buy Me! Buy Me!
Now with ‘Splinge!!’ and added Gribble Tang!
What more could you ask for – and ‘louder’ than SILLI-BANG!
I’m sure that the Advert Standards Authority will only agree
With the stated fact that you should only Buy Me! Buy Me! BUY! ME!
small print
the makers of this product will take no responsibility whatsoever for any outcomes that…

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New blog on my new website

I know, I know. When you have a new website, you should get rid of the old one. I know… I just don’t want to, yet 🙂

People still visit me here, and I don’t want you to find a blank page. Or one of those boring 404 errors.

But… you’re in for a suprise if you haven’t seen the new blog yet. It’s dazzling. So point your mouse in the right position, close, your eyes, click and… see my new site!