Discover Yourself Over 50s Lifestyle

Decisions, Decisions stop Procrastination stealing your joy

February 8, 2021
Procrastination

Need to make a decision?

Are you decisive or are you a procrastinator?

Life is full of decisions – did you know that many sources suggest that our brains make 35,000 decisions each day! My brain hurts just thinking about it. Some decisions are easy and others are hard. Some decisions are so difficult or important that we can tend to put off making a decision at all and that’s when procrastination sets in. We become overwhelmed so it’s easier to put it away and leave it for another day or hope that it goes away.

We usually procrastinate because we are afraid or we don’t believe in ourselves

I’m so guilty of that! I am someone who likes to get in and get the job done, tick it off the list and move on. However, sometimes I can procrastinate over the smallest things and it is usually because I don’t want to do something or I want to avoid confrontation. I will leave it until the eleventh hour and get myself stressed out and anxious which is certainly not being a woman living well, is it?

I waited two months before pressing the publish button on my Podcast and when I eventually did, I felt so excited and proud of myself. I was proud of myself for putting myself out there, following a dream and making it happen.

Was I nervous? – you bet I was! I don’t like hearing the sound of my voice so you can imagine how difficult starting a podcast is when it is all about the voice!

The flipside is that once you make the decision, whether it’s right or wrong, you do feel better because you’ve decided. You’ve stopped puttng it off. You feel like a weight has been lifted and sometimes you even think – ‘Why did I wait so long to decide?’.

Why Procrastination is a thief

  1. It robs us of our time because we keep putting something off rather than dealing with it in the moment and moving on to doing something we actually enjoy.
  2. It robs us of our mental peace of mind because we know we should decide but we let fear stop us.
  3. It robs us of opportunities – how often have you said ‘I wish I had done that’
  4. It robs us of our joy of living
  5. It robs us of living a healthy lifestyle – you know you need to get fitter, or have that medical check up or make changes to improve your mental health but you procrastinate and sometimes it can be too late.

But what if I’m a procrastinator?

A couple of years ago I discovered Mel Robbins and love her work and no nonsense approach to life’ ups and downs. I’ve recently completed an online course with her  Simple Steps to an Incredible Year which I wrote about in my post Let’s Review and Reset in 2021

Mel has a way to overcome procrastination and make decisions with what she calls The 5 Second Rule

So what is the 5 second rule

So here’s the one-liner definition of the 5 Second Rule: If you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill the idea.

Mel Robbins

This process is backed by science as Mel explains in this video.

The 5 second rule will not work though if you aren’t ready to make changes!

So back to my original question: Are you decisive or are you a procrastinator?

I would love to hear how you overcome fear and procrastination in your life.

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17 Comments

  • Reply Min @ Write of the Middle February 8, 2021 at 08:31

    Hi Sue – this is such an interesting topic isn’t it? I’m a procrastinator mostly and I most definitely have a brain/mind that talks me out of things. I’ve had lots of really great ideas over the years but I managed to talk myself out of most of them.
    I guess I have to give myself a break though because there have been some decisiveness and achievement over the years. I started a blog and 8.5 years later here I am still blogging! This 5 second rule sounds very intriguing. I will have to read more and also visit Mel Robbins as I hadn’t heard of her! Have a great week! xo

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 8, 2021 at 11:24

      Hi Min it is an interesting topic and when I saw the prompt from Denyse I wasn’t sure how to approach it. I’ve been procrastinating lately and I don’t like that feeling but life has been a bit hard. I’m feeling more in control again so hopefully I’ll be back to ticking off boxes. You are right though that we have to give ourselves a break and listen to how we are feeling. Have a lovely week. x

  • Reply Jennifer Jones February 8, 2021 at 08:32

    I’ve never been a procrastinator Sue. Except when it comes to housework of course. 😂 I mostly use my gut instinct to make decisions. Over the years this has worked many times but also has been a disaster. I have found that as I’ve aged I’ve spent a bit more time thinking about important decisions

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 8, 2021 at 11:25

      Hi Jen, I with you re the housework! I think we do tend to become more cautious about decisions as we age especially how they will affect our lifestyle. Have a great week and thanks for stopping by. xx

  • Reply Natalie February 8, 2021 at 10:28

    Thanks, Sue, for the video clips. I’m decisive and is “biased toward action”. At present, I don’t have major decisions to make (e.g. moving, changing jobs, etc.) so that helps take the type of serious thinking required for them out of the way. #lifethisweek

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 8, 2021 at 11:29

      I can definitely agree you are ‘biased toward action’ Natalie because you make things happen and that is a wonderful way to live. Have a great week. xx

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au February 8, 2021 at 11:50

    Hi Sue – I listened to Mel’s TED talk (I think that’s where I heard her speak?) about the 5 second rule and really enjoyed her approach. I co-incidentally wrote about decisions and choices in my post today and I think I play safe rather than procrastinate. I choose to not do something because it might not work out perfectly etc. I’m finally coming to see that whether you choose to move forward or choose to stay put, there are flow on consequences – so maybe it’s best to be brave and choose to move forward because it always takes you to a new (and often better) place – like your podcasting!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 8, 2021 at 13:04

      Hi Leanne, I love Mel’s attitude and find her very easy to listen to. I noticed we were in sync with our posts this week – great minds! xx

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee February 8, 2021 at 12:15

    I loved her book (talk?) Kick Ass and the new one – Starts here. I was less taken with the 5 second rule. But I think procrastination can be what we hide behind (and she does explore that in Kick Ass and then uses the 5 second rule to get people going forward. It’s funny, I can’t see you ever procrastinating, but maybe I only started following you AFTER you did the course….you seem quite the dynamo.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 8, 2021 at 13:03

      I’m usually pretty good in decision making but there are times especially if life has been difficult or there might be a confrontation involved when I do procrastinate. Most of the time it is because I don’t want to let people down and then when I actually do make a decision I find it wasn’t that bad after all. x

  • Reply Christina Henry February 8, 2021 at 14:27

    Hi Sue, I am far too much in my head for my own good. I found the first video interesting because she says some people spend far too much time thinking and not enough time doing. That sums me up! I have found if I act on my first impulse and just get on with it, it usually goes pretty well. The longer I delay, the more likely I am to talk myself out of something. Thanks for this interesting look at this topic.

  • Reply Deborah Cook February 8, 2021 at 15:11

    I’m a huge procrastinator and sort-of wrote about that today. I always meet deadlines but often wait until I REALLY have to do something. I’m very aware of it though (and the pressure it adds) and am trying to change. (Just not succeeding.)

  • Reply Retirement Reflections February 8, 2021 at 15:15

    Hi, Sue – I know that I am completely the ‘odd-woman-out’ here, but I have always envied procrastinators. They seem to be enjoying their lives, and ‘paying themselves first’, while I’ve been busy cramming in every responsibility and commitment into mine, saying that I will relax later…but then more tasks seem to find me and that relaxed moment doesn’t come. It would be great to have a magical way to lessen procrastination from those who have an ample supply and share it with those who could use more. It’s the balance that you always remind us of! Thank you for this very thought-provoking post!

  • Reply Debbie Harris February 8, 2021 at 17:25

    I always try to do the 5 year rule but other thoughts get in my way. I do like to act on things when i think of them and get them out of my head, but having said that I am also a procrastinator at times, mainly when I’m feeling overwhelmed. A great post Sue! #lifethisweek

  • Reply Joanne Tracey February 9, 2021 at 06:53

    I love the idea of the 5 second rule – I’m not so much a procrastinator (although sometimes I absolutely am) as my focus wanders & things just leave my head. I write everything down these days – ideas, intentions – in the vain hope that some of it will stick.

  • Reply Denyse Whelan February 11, 2021 at 10:25

    Great take on this topic Sue. I have listened to some of Mel Robbins and can see how her ideas resonate. As I get older some things are harder to choose but in other ways it can be easier. Learning to trust myself and know if it’s wrong that is OK is probably the biggest change for me ….I am very much a work-in-progress. I do have a small saying that helps me with procrastination…I ask myself “is not doing this helping you” 100% the answer is no, so I say “get on with it then”. It is a small adjustment of thinking and works.

    Thank you for linking up your blog post today. Next week’s optional prompt is 7/51 Self Care Stories #1. 15 Feb. In this one, I am using the new category in my blog called Ageing Stories because it was a good fit. Look forward to seeing you there too. Denyse.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 14, 2021 at 13:42

      Yes, I quite like Mel Robbins and her no nonsense approach. Thanks for the opportunity to link up. I do like your saying and asking yourself the question ‘is not doing this helping you’ such a great question thanks for sharing. x

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