Right before you procrastinate, something predictable happens. Every single time, without fail.

A feeling.

A thought enters your brain (often subconsciously), and that thought creates a feeling in your body.

It might be a feeling that, in the moment, you don’t even notice is happening.

But if it’s a feeling that you’re uncomfortable with, your automatic reaction will likely be to try and avoid it, by procrastinating.

There’s tons of procrastination-inducing emotions, but these are the 6 most common that I see with my clients:

Inadequacy. Overwhelm. Confusion. Boredom. Frustration. Apathy.

So what do you do with these feelings, instead of avoiding them?

My answer isn’t sexy: You start by noticing them.

Not by changing them or avoiding them; but by acknowledging them, and noticing exactly what you’re tempted to do when they hit.

You might think that you need a more complex, intricate strategy.

But you don’t, not yet.

This really is the most important first step.

Noticing your feelings is as simple as this:

When I get bored, I get up and take a walk instead of staying in my seat and doing the work I had planned to do.

When I get frustrated, my first reaction is to blow up, think “This shouldn’t be happening,” then distract myself with social media. (Instead of taking a deep breathe and working through the frustration.)

When I feel confused and I’m telling myself I don’t know where to start, I delay the task. (Instead of figuring out where to start or asking for help.)

When I’m feeling ashamed or inadequate, I believe the story that I’m not good enough, and I work on things that make me feel better about myself. (Not what’s actually most important.)

When I’m feeling apathetic, I tell myself that I can do it tomorrow and then busy myself with something else that seems more interesting right now. (Instead of reminding myself why I’ve already decided to do that thing and sticking with it.)

Observe yourself “out in the wild,” then come get my help with the next step in Half-Finished to Done, LIVE the meeting place for soon-to-be former procrastinators.