Forgive yourself for procrastinating in the past

Are you a procrastinator? Many of us have the tendency to put things off and no matter how often we beat ourselves up over waiting to the last minute to pack for a move, declutter our home, or file our taxes and struggle to get it all done in time, we keep doing it again and again. If you’re ready to finally beat procrastination and get ahead of the game, you’re in the right place.


Over the course of seven blog posts, I’m going to share my best tips and strategies for overcoming procrastination with you and we start today with – Forgiveness. I know it seems like a strange place to start, but it’s an important first step. Here is why forgiving yourself for procrastination should always be the first step.

There’s nothing you can do about the past except learn from it. Beating yourself up about not following the plan you made for reaching a goal does you no good. Quite the opposite actually. If you stress yourself out and engage in negative self-talk, you make it worse. Those feelings of anxiety will enforce your habit to procrastinate again the next time.

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Try to do better

The next time you find yourself procrastinating, tell yourself that it’s okay. It’s not the end of the world. Say it out loud and then promise yourself to try to do better. Trying is the important keyword here. You’re working on mastering  new skills and changing a habit. That takes practice, time, and of course failing again and again. It’s part of the learning process.

You may feel frustrated at times about your lack of progress. It’s normal. If you can, tap into that frustration and use it to motivate you. Vow to try again and do better. Look at your mistakes. What caused you to procrastinate this time? Learn from it and you will start to do better.

Learn from your failings and start again

Maybe there’s a big task and you started strong, chipping away at it a little at a time. Then you missed a day and another. That’s okay. Not great, but okay. You did well for a while. It’s good practice and maybe this particular experience taught you that you can’t allow yourself to skip more than one day on an ongoing project.

There’s always something new to learn whenever we fail at something or slip back into a bad habit. At the very least we figure out that something isn’t working for us. Maybe you do better with three or less to-do’s per day. Maybe you need twenty-five so there’s always something to check off. You won’t know until you try.

Forgive yourself for procrastinating so you can move on and practice some more.

If you need help to get back on track with your project try a virtual organizing appointment. Virtual organizing allows me to support your organizing projects by providing planning, coaching and mentoring while both remaining safely at home.

Book a 30 minute complimentary virtual organizing appointment. 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

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  1. This is so true, for many aspects of life. As long as we are in the “self-recrimination” and “regret” modes, it is hard to move forward. I’m all about forgiving ourselves (and others), and even continuing to do so as we try to enact change. It takes awhile, and grace is what gets us through to a better place.

  2. This year I’ve had more days than ever where I didn’t feel like doing what was on my list for that day – even when it was fun stuff!

    Today I will forgive myself and look forward to the rest of your series.

    • The last 6 months have been difficult to do what is on the list because each day contains so many new and sometimes difficult situations that drain energy from us. Forgiveness allows us to look forward instead of backward.

  3. Forgiveness is essential. Beating yourself up and using negative self-talk only makes things worse. Your advice reminds me of Carol Dweck’s “growth mindset.” This keeps us focused on the learning we receive when things don’t work as we intended. It keeps us curious, non-judgmental, and open to experimenting, and trying again.

  4. Everyone has procrastinated at some point in their lives. Forgiveness is key. Forgiveness empowers us to keep going.

    Timing is so important. For motivation, for being ready and we need to know that. It’s always a bonus when we look back and understand our journey and why we delayed. Sometimes there are great lessons in that.

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