Vibe High

How to Stop Procrastinating and Take Action on Big Ideas

No one is perfect, and that includes coaches! It can be hard to admit that we need help if we’re used to coaching and supporting others. Coaches often pressure themselves to have it all together but it’s normal to work through many of the same challenges that your clients do, including procrastination. 

In order to manage procrastination, and in turn, be able to help your clients face it head-on, it helps to get clear on what procrastination really is along with learning some practical tools to help you move forward and take action.

June 06, 2023

A common misconception about procrastination is that it’s just laziness, but, in reality, it’s actually a form of fear.


This particular brand of fear can feel debilitating at times and it comes in many varieties: fear of failure, fear of letting go of the familiar, fear of a task being too difficult, fear that you’re unprepared, fear that you don’t know where to start, fear that you don’t know how to complete the task at hand, fear of disapproval if the completed project isn’t perfect, or even a fear that you’ll disappoint yourself or others. Procrastination based on a fear of failure usually becomes a self-fulfilling prediction – you undoubtedly fail because you never even tried. 


Procrastination can also show up when we fear success. Here, the fear is that if you do something well, you’ll be given more work or additional responsibilities that come on top of a job well done. 


The good news is that procrastination can be beaten! It involves accepting the fact that yes, there is uncertainty about how it will all turn out, and then deciding to take a few short steps to help process the fear that’s getting in the way. 

  1. Identify the type of fear behind your procrastination and make a decision. Will you take the first small step to start that task, start that project, or build that new habit so that you can start moving through the fear? Or, will you avoid the fear and let it keep running your life?
  2. Once you identify what your particular brand of fear-based procrastination is, start exposing yourself to it. Say “Yes, I’m feeling this fear, and I’m going to move forward anyway!” By taking the reigns back in small steps and by gradually exposing yourself to the feelings it will become easier to navigate any future fears and procrastination.
  3. Make moving through fear a regular practice by asking yourself “What is stronger: my fear of the task/project/action or the need for the task/project/action?” Choose to be brave, instead of making excuses and creating obstacles out of self-imposed limitations. 


Know that facing your fears is one of the most empowering things you can do. It may seem ridiculously hard, but when you look back you’ll likely see that it was a much bigger deal in your mind than it ever was in reality. And really, what is failure anyway? 


Failures are amazing life lessons! We often learn far more from failures than from our successes. So, if you are facing a failure, remember that it’s not the end of the world and try to focus on the things you’re learning. Think of it as an opportunity to gain a tool that will help you improve. Knowing that you have the tools in your toolbelt to face your fears again, will make it far easier to pick yourself up and keep moving forward. 


Once you begin facing your fears, you’ll find you’ve eliminated the standstill of procrastination and you now have positive momentum in your business which if steered correctly, will result in different outcomes!


Here are some practical strategies you can put into place when starting new tasks, projects or habits in order to leverage your new-found momentum:


The Two-Minute Rule

First, you’ll want to create a framework that breaks the project or task down into small manageable pieces of work. In James Clear’s book “Atomic Habits,” he references the “two-minute rule.” The idea behind this rule is to make it easier for you to get started and overcome the initial procrastination that comes when starting a new task. This is done by breaking the task down into a series of “two-minute tasks.”  

The tasks don’t have to be exactly two minutes long but it’s important that they are short. For example, as a coach, if you are starting the process of writing a book, a good starting “two-minute task” to gain that momentum might be a quick “brain dump” session where you set a timer and write down anything that comes to mind that you might want to include in the book. With a short task like this, you’re more likely to follow through and build that needed momentum on the project. 


Accountability Partners

Second, it’s a good idea to consider partnering up with someone else for external accountability. Working with an accountability partner is one of the easiest-to-implement strategies, and it works! Why’s that? Because we ultimately care what other people think and so, just knowing that we’re being watched is a really powerful motivator!

An accountability partner is someone who supports and holds you responsible for achieving your goals and maintaining your desired habits. This person serves as a source of motivation, encouragement, and guidance as you work towards your objectives. You would hold regular check-ins or meetings where you discuss your progress, share challenges and successes, and set new goals. 

Accountability partners can be friends, family members, colleagues, or even someone you meet through mutual interests or online communities. The key is to find someone who is reliable, trustworthy, and genuinely invested in your growth and development so that they can provide a level of external accountability by helping you stay on track, reminding you of your commitments, and offering constructive feedback when necessary. Having an accountability partner can significantly increase your chances of staying committed to your goals and making consistent progress. 


Want to work with an accountability partner but don’t know where to start? Here are some tips for taking that first step:

  1. Be clear on the outcome you are trying to achieve.
  2. Prioritize the accountability partnership. It’s not just about you, and for it to be effective, the partners need to consistently show up for each other.
  3. Decide how the results will be tracked and how you will communicate with each other.
  4. Make a plan to execute your goal – how will you go about accomplishing it on your end?
  5. Choose your partner with consideration – do they have experience with the same or a similar goal? Are they as committed as you are? Do they have a similar communication style or shared values?
  6. If the accountability on the task is no longer a priority for you or you wish to disengage for any reason, have a conversation early on to avoid having to ‘fake it’ or disappoint your accountability partner.
  7. Bring compassion and empathy to the partnership, leave negative judgments out of it to ensure you are creating a safe and supportive space for each other.


Overall, we have to remember that procrastination is something that can be managed. There are actionable steps we can take to work through our fears and make it easier on ourselves. Vibe High promotes guided accountability by fleshing out projects and timelines, breaking work down into small, actionable pieces; establishing systems and processes, and helping clients eliminate roadblocks in getting things done.

If you’re interested in getting some support when it comes to getting projects done, reach out to us to discuss our guided accountability and project management package or project management services. Book a complimentary consultation today.