Everyday Tapping: Stop Procrastinating!

by | Jul 31, 2015

What are you putting off?



You know what I’m talking about…

When it comes to mind, you immediately shove it away. Every time you think of it, all of your excuses come up:

No time (maybe tomorrow),

Not enough information (can’t start until I have it all!),

I’m tired (I’ll wait until I’m rested),

Other things come first (everything comes first),

I hate doing it…

I’m talking about those things you could do (and might even need to do) but aren’t. I’m talking about the things on your “to do” list that make you roll your eyes. You actively dodge them. They make you feel a little bit bad about yourself – like you are cutting class.

You could be putting off anything from going to the dentist to initiating touchy conversation to dealing with a pile of papers to unpacking from vacation to finishing a project. Whatever it is, you can’t seem to get motivated to do it.

Imagine what it would be like to check THOSE things off of your “to do” list.

You would be more relaxed and more creative.

You would have more focus and perform better.

You would have more time.

You would make more money.

You would have more fun.

Can doing those dreaded tasks create so much change? You bet!

 Procrastination devours your working memory!

Having an expansive working memory is one of the keys to success. It gives you the room to learn, juggle information, reason, and create new ideas easily.

The average person can hold 7 or so items in active working memory at any given moment. However, there is a layer of working memory just outside of the immediate point of focus that holds many more immediately available items (you can learn more about this in my book!).

These items actively float in and out of your immediate point of focus – momentarily siphoning attention away from your current projects. The more items in this layer, the more constant and persistent the distractions.

The longer you put things off, the more often they will pop into your mind and cause you to lose focus. That constant distraction adds stress to your life. It also increases the time needed to complete projects and lowers the quality of your performance.


3 Ways To Stop Procrastination

Make your list!

Write out all of the things that you are putting off. You will likely find that many of your stressors are on this list (surprise!). Getting them out of your head and onto your list will help you see them for what they really are and prioritize them.



In the Harry Potter series, Professor Dumbledore pulls important memories out of his mind and stores them in a pretty cool device called a “Pensieve”. It’s like an external hard drive for his brain – freeing his brain-space for other things.

Your list can do the same for you. Make time to make your list and you’ll have time, energy, and focus to do the things on it.

Run the movie past the unpleasant part.

You probably have a good idea (usually an internal movie) of what it will be like to do the thing that you have been putting off.

For example…

When you run your internal movie about sorting that pile of papers, you likely stop at the point in which it truly sucks.

When you run your internal movie about a difficult conversation that you are avoiding, you stop that movie at the most stressful or uncomfortable part.

When you imagine that dentist visit, you probably stop that internal movie at a painful point.

What if you ran that movie through to the end?

With things like tackling that mountain of paperwork, finishing a project, or even going to the dentist, you will find that your movie ends with feelings of satisfaction, accomplishment, and pride – ahhhhh… Let THAT feeling propel you into action! Go for it!

With other things, you might find that your internal movie ends unpleasantly. Obviously, an expectation of a bad outcome might make you avoid that task or challenge.

Acknowledging that you expect an unfavorable outcome gives you the opportunity to change it – after all, it hasn’t happened! Use that information to make necessary changes to your approach so that you can face the challenge with confidence and the expectation of a favorable outcome.


Every morning, get a procrastinated item done in the first part of your day. You can even set a timer and work on the avoided task for 10, 20, or 60 minutes at a time. Once you get started, you will likely be motivated to finish.

You can make this process a lot more rewarding by writing a Done List at the end of the day. It’s tempting to feel like you have not done enough when you still have items on your “to do” list at the end of the day.

Making your Done List will help you appreciate all that you have done. It will also help you to recognize how you are spending your time and which items on your list move you to action.


Tapping is an easy way to take some of the drama and emotion out of procrastination so that you can face the project at hand with courage and a positive attitude.

Start by thinking of something that you have put off for a while – preferably something that is coming into your mind often. How do you feel when you think about doing that thing? In your mind imagine what it will be like when you decide to take action and do it.

If you want to tap along with me for procrastination, here is the video.

Here is a sample tapping protocol that you can use as a template for your unique situation.

Start by thinking of the last time you procrastinated. You can also think of that you are currently putting off. Imagine it in your mind as vividly as possible.

Tap this protocol out loud.

On your Karate Chop (KC) Point:

Even though I don’t want to__________, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.

Even though I’m dodging ___________, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.

Even though I have so many reasons to avoid___________, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.

Top of your head (TH): I don’t want to____.

Eye Brow (EB): It’s going to take forever!               

Outside of the Eye (OE): It’s going to be so hard!

Under Eye (UE): There are other things to do.

Under Nose (UN): Things that are way more urgent than doing THIS.

Chin (CH): This is the absolute last thing I want to do.

Collarbone (CB): It’s the least fun thing ever and it’s going to suck.

KC: I’m going to just put it out of my mind for now.

TH: But I can’t – not for long.

EB: It’s haunting me.

OE: I try to forget about it but it pops back into my mind over and over.

UE: I really should do it.

UN: I really need to do it.

CH: I can’t make myself do it.

CB: But it bugs me all of the time.

KC: I wish it would just go away.

TH: And it won’t go away until I deal with it.

EB: If I wait too long, there may be consequences.

OE: Maybe now IS the right time to do it.

UE: Maybe it’s on my mind NOW for a reason.

UN: It is already stressing me out.

CH: Avoiding it is exhausting to me.

CB: If I keep avoiding it, the thoughts will become more and persistent.

KC: What if I just sucked it up and did it?

TH: What if I closed my eyes, held my nose, and just knocked it out?

EB: Maybe it won’t be perfect, but it will be done.

OE: It will be off of my list.

UE: It will stop bugging me.

UN: I’ve done it before.

CH: I’ve faced worse than this.

CB: I survived.

KC: It rarely takes as long as I expect it to.

TH: It’s rarely as hard as I think it will be.

EB: And it always feels great to be done.

OE: I remember the last time I finally tackled something like this.

UE: I remember scratching that dreaded thing off of my “to do” list.

UN: That was awesome!

CH: What wonderful feeling of accomplishment and relief!

CB: I choose to get it done and be free if it – now.

KC: I’ll feel so good when I’m finished!

Take a deep breath…

So that was just a short little tapping run to help you deal with procrastination so that your “to do” list gets shorter every day. You can fine-tune this setup to more closely match your unique situation.

You may also want to go deeper in this work to eliminate more persistent procrastination in your life.

If so, contact me at nancytiltonhand.com.

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