How to Beat Procrastination

Well what a lovely long summer we’re having. I hope you’re enjoying this gorgeous weather and you were able to make the most of the Labour Day holiday yesterday. I spent some time with my grandson visiting his Auntie Leah and taking in a game of mini-golf. It was lovely.

There’s nothing like a child to keep you in the moment. I sometimes regret that I didn’t have as much patience with my son as I do with my grandson. I guess age helps you to know how fleeting and precious those preschool years are and put things in perspective and of course I get to have some sleep at night which helps a lot when it comes to being patient.

I’ve also done a bucket load of personal development over the years and I’m pretty good at managing my emotions and my stress. This weekend I spent quite a bit of time on the online course that’s been a “work in progress” for many months. It’s an eight week course called “Stress to Serenity”  that pulls together much of what I’ve learned over the years.  I’ve run this course face-to-face a number of times but after deciding that I wasn’t so keen on working nights I set about getting it online by creating some videos, meditation tracks and handouts.

I must confess I’ve found it to be much more work than I anticipated and its taking much longer than it should. I know I have quite a few people who are waiting patiently for it so the pressure is on.

So what’s my strategy for getting things done? Well one of the most powerful techniques to breakthrough resistance or procrastination is to simply imagine the end result.

You may have heard this story already but many years ago I was the treasurer of the Hypnotherapist Association and I had to have all the bookkeeping completed and sent to Sydney prior to the AGM. I was in a mess. I’d lost receipts, nothing would reconcile and every time I looked at the box of cheque books and statements I felt sick.

The deadline was fast approaching and it HAD to be done. I kept finding excuses to avoid it until I couldn’t put it off any longer. I decided I needed to try a little self-hypnosis so I sat quietly and closed my eyes. As vividly as I could, I imagined everything was finished. It was all done.

I clearly imagined myself standing at the letterbox on the corner of Springvale and Mitcham Road. I imagined the feeling of opening the letterbox, putting the envelope through the slot, hearing it hit the bottom with a thud and then closing the flap with a bang. I immediately felt an enormous sense of relief as I promised myself to never volunteer to be the treasurer for anything ever again!

As soon as I’d done that process I opened my eyes and looked at the box that had been so daunting. It felt very different. It actually felt easy to tackle.  It wasn’t scary at all, it was just a pile of papers and numbers that need to be entered into the computer.

I sat down and I started to do work my way through it. It was surprisingly easy. I did a little bit of “creative bookkeeping”, I wrote a note to the auditor to say that I didn’t have some receipts and within 24 hour I was standing at the letterbox experiencing that exact moment that I’d visualized. I heard the envelope land at the bottom of the letterbox, heard the click as I closed the flap and I felt that wonderful sense of relief.

So why does this technique work? Well, the subconscious mind is programmed to take you towards pleasure and away from pain. It’s as simple as that. What I did during that brief process shifted my mind to the pleasure at the end of the task rather than the pain of doing the work. Once I’d done it my subconscious was on board to help me achieve that end result rather than protecting me from what it thought was dangerous.

If you’re procrastinating or resisting doing something that you know you should do then why not give this technique a try?

Here’s the process:

  1. Sit quietly
  2. Close your eyes
  3. Imagine the end result or outcome you want
  4. Make sure you feel like you’re in the scene
  5. Activate all of your senses… what can you see, hear, feel, smell etc
  6. Feel the positive emotions
  7. Hold the good feeling for about 60 seconds
  8. Open your eyes and check how you feel about the task. (Chances are it will feel much easier.) 

Explore all the different things you can use this process for. Maybe you’re resisting small things like cleaning out a cupboard, tidying the house, doing an assignment, making a phone call, exercising or maybe it’s a big thing like changing careers, public speaking, moving house or creating an Online Course.  Stay tuned for the launch ….

Warm Regards,
Alison Burton
Health and Happiness GuruSimply Natural Therapies
41 Tunstall Square
East Doncaster
VIC 3109
03 9842 7033


Alison Burton is one of Melbourne’s leading Hypnotherapists and owner of Simply Natural Therapies. Alison is a sought after public speaker and has appeared on ABC National Radio, SBS Radio and is a regular guest on 3WBC Radio. She has also featured in The Age, Herald Sun, Insight Magazine and local news media. Alison has a keen interest in all aspects of natural health and wellbeing, energy medicine, human consciousness and bringing more common sense and kindness to the planet.
Alison’s interest in energy healing is often incorporated in her work through the use of Reiki, Kinergetics and acupressure techniques including Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).
She has three adult children and 2 adorable grandchildren.
Alison lives Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs and runs a Natural Health Centre with 15 practitioners, an extensive range of classes including HypnoBirthing, and a retail shop.

Alison offers a FREE 60 minute Health and Wellbeing Consultation to clarify your needs and design a strategy to help you achieve your health and well-being goals

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