Dr. Christine Li is a former clinical psychologist, now known online as the “Procrastination Coach”. The author of 5-Minute Self-Discipline Exercises: Stay Motivated, Cultivate Good Habits, and Achieve Goals, and the host of Make Time for Success, she helps people get to high levels of productivity. Listen to learn about why we procrastinate, what happens when you do, and practical steps that will help you be more efficient in podcasting, business, and in life.
- Dr. Li defines procrastination as ‘a voluntary delay of something that we probably could be doing in the moment’
- She recommends keeping everything as simple as you can do it
- Dr. Li believes that we know when we’re procrastinating rather than just delaying a little bit that we’re really avoiding because something feels uncomfortable or undoable, or we’re not feeling competent enough
- Dr. Li’s goal is to kind of help people not demonize the part of themselves that isn’t quite cooperating
Creativity and Productivity in Podcasting
- A podcaster for over a year, Dr. Li has noted how much podcasting is about creativity – and this can be challenging as there’s nobody guiding you in terms of structuring your podcast, how your voice should sound, etc.
- Her suggestion is to be really friendly with ourselves and knowledgeable about what makes us tick in terms of creativity and productivity
Why We Procrastinate
- Each of us is really uniquely designed. Dr. Li, for instance, sees herself as a natural, overcomplicated person. If there’s a clear way to do things, she will still find the least clear way to get something done
- In her opinion, we procrastinate because we’re afraid of something. And of course, our fears are all very personal, all of different sizes and scales as well
- Procrastinating might not be comfortable psychologically or emotionally but it is easier – also because, as humans, we like to conserve our energy and time. And we don’t like to make mistakes
- One of Dr. Li’s strengths is that she likes to take risks and likes to learn by doing things she has never done before. All your skills that are uniquely yours. Don’t be afraid, you don’t have to hide that part of you that feels awkward.
What Happens When We’re Afraid
“When we’re afraid and avoid something, we limit our range of movement and our emotional range, because we give our power over to the thing that we’re fearing.”
- Dr. Li’s approach is to focus on transforming something negative, like fear, into something neutral or positive. When we can do that, everything tends to be simpler
- All the benefits of not being afraid are a body that isn’t stressed out, and the ability to breathe and speak your mind with ease.
The Role Accountability Plays
- For Dr. Li, having some sort of system to tackle procrastination can help – also because, as she learned from a colleague over 20 years ago, all work we do is social. We’re either doing it with or for somebody
- Accountability is a wonderful way to bypass the ickiness of procrastination
How We Can Change Our Procrastination-Oriented Habits
- Dr. Li suggests slowing yourself down. Sometimes, we’re acting in anxiety even before we’ve even processed this stimulus
- Something she has been doing lately is starting an insight timer and having a quick guided meditation session every morning
- She suggests doing that with Insight Timer or a similar app. Simply pick how much time you’d like to be engaged with the app, and just a few moments in the morning to shift from whatever mood you’re in to a slightly higher one – even if you tend to be an optimistic person like she is, you’ll be amazed at how high you can go!
How Christine Deals With Procrastination (and How You Can Too)
- What Dr. Li does is not turning anything off, she’s just in constant motion until she doesn’t want to be in motion anymore
- Another thing she does is toggle. If she’s avoiding something, she goes to do something else. She breaks away from the stress of the first thing, and goes to the second thing that needs her attention.
- Dr. Li suggests trying to say no a little bit more to the things that are really just not a good fit for you
- You don’t have to do the things you hate, just delegate them, hire someone. Make a list, but make it a doable list, and share it with them
- For Dr. Li, when working on a task, you should mark the time that you’re going to get the thing done instead of keeping it floating around and torturing you
- We want things to have an end and we wanna see our productivity as not serving other people but actually serving us – so, we’re serving both: we’re getting work into the world, but we’re also beginning that positive feedback cycle
About Dr. Li
Dr. Christine Li has been working as a New York-based clinical psychologist for the past 20 years; more recently she has been working online as the “Procrastination Coach.” She helps people who are struggling with underperforming at work and at home to work smoothly and with high levels of productivity. Her unique coaching process is a blend of mindset strategy, time and emotion management tips, and a deep belief in the power we each have when we treat ourselves with love and good self-care. Dr. Li is the author of the book “5-Minute Self-Discipline Exercises: Stay Motivated, Cultivate Good Habits, and Achieve Your Goals” and the host of the podcast “Make Time for Success.” Follow Dr. Li to learn how to ditch the guilt, judgment, and self-sabotaging and unhelpful habits so that you can feel focused and fulfilled in your life!
Dr. Li’s Free Resource Library
Her podcast Make Time for Success
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