Episode 12: Procrastination Coach Dr. Christine Li

Alice Boll
Alice Boll
 

Shownotes:

#12. Procrastination Coach Dr. Christine Li joins Alice for this episode of the podcast. We’ll explore tips that help us tackle our procrastination, we’ll find out about her new book 5 Minute Self Discipline Exercises: Stay Motivated, Cultivate Good Habits, and Achieve Your Goals.

We’re giving away a FREE COPY of the book on Instagram!
@aliceboll

Procrastination Coach website.

Sign up for the Power Productivity Bootcamp (it’s FREE!) here: 

https://procrastinationcoach.com/bootcamp

Prompt:

Prompt: Create a vision board-inspired scrapbook layout.

Tip:

Tip: Minimize your anxiety.

Enter to win the book!

Go to Alice’s Instagram page to enter to win the book!

Winner will be randomly awarded. 

Must leave a comment on the correct Instagram post to win. You may tag a friend for an extra entry. 

You must follow BOTH @aliceboll and @procrastinationcoach accounts.

*Contest is not affiliated or sponsored by Instagram.

Connect:

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode!

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Instagram: @aliceboll

Facebook: ScrapHappy

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Transcription:

Alice Boll:

Welcome to the ScrapHappier Podcast, where we share quick tips, tricks, and techniques to help you create scrapbooks you love and be happier while doing it. I’m your host, Alice Boll. Thank you for joining us for today’s episode of the podcast. I’m really excited that you’re here because we have a special guest in the house. Dr. Christine Li is The Procrastination Coach. Welcome, Christine.


Dr. Christine Li:

Thank you, Alice. And hello to everybody who’s listening. Thanks so much for joining us.


Alice Boll:

I’m so excited because I had the opportunity to bring you into our Scrap Happy community earlier on this year, it was actually in March, right at the beginning of the global pandemic. And we talked about procrastination, but we also kind of talked a little bit about anxiety and a lot of different topics that everyone was dealing with at that time. And your insights were so influential within my community. And so I really appreciate that.


Dr. Christine Li:

Thank you. Thanks for letting me know.


Alice Boll:

And you exciting new news right now. So this was the perfect time to bring you back and share you with our podcast community as well.


Dr. Christine Li:

Well, thank you so much. Yes, I have very exciting news. I just launched a book and it’s called 5-Minutes Self-Discipline Exercises: Stay Motivated, Cultivate Good Habits and Achieve Your Goals. And actually I wrote it in the middle of the pandemic, just soon after March, after we met each other and had that session with your lovely students. And I just knew that this was the right time for me to do a project like this, because if I was ever going to write a book, I knew I would need to be trapped in my house for five weeks. And for some reason, the universe decided to cooperate with that situation, and I was able to write this book. It’s been a lovely journey, and I’m really grateful that I’m on the other end of the writing process, but I’m happy to share the topic and the concepts with you and your listeners.


Alice Boll:

That is so wonderful. I think we can look at so many negative things that are coming out of the world right now, but it’s when we look at those little positive things that are coming out of it, that, that’s truly a joy to kind of see that there are good things. And I know I’ve personally have had a lot of good experiences this year. Staying home has allowed me to connect more with my family, I’ve taken up language learning, I’ve done some crochet and I am now officially a crazy chicken lady. It’s a really-


Dr. Christine Li:

That’s great.


Alice Boll:

… but I’ve also done a lot of scrapbooking. And I think that one of the things that can really be a problem is procrastination. Scrapbookers suffer from that a lot. Well, I know a lot of people suffer from procrastination, but I definitely see it in scrapbooking. So tell us about what inspired you to write this book and how it kind of gives us some insight into that.


Dr. Christine Li:

Thanks. Thanks for that question. I would say I have always known I had a book or two inside of me, so that’s been true for many, many years. So it was always on my bucket list or on my expanded to do list, but I always thought I would launch a podcast first, honestly. Because I thought maybe the book could be harder to actually carry through and produce. But then sometime early 2020, I got an email from a publishing company saying, “Would you be interested in collaborating with us to write a book?” And because of the pandemic and because I really had no major objections to writing the book before doing the podcast, I thought, “let’s go with this.” My instinct told me that it was the right time and that if it was ever going to happen, I needed the help of a publishing company, that I was not the kind of person who would be happy doing a self published book because it would just be too much trouble I think.


Dr. Christine Li:

I would have to battle too much of my procrastination habits and too many trips to the refrigerator, which I did have even with the publishing companies help. So the inspiration really came from my own healing in my own recovery process from chronic procrastination. So that core content of the book has been there for at least a decade and a half, but the impetus to write it now really came from that invitation from the publishing company, which I’m grateful I got.


Alice Boll:

Oh my gosh. I don’t think that everybody gets reached out to by a publishing company. So A, that just shows that you’re doing amazing things for them to reach out to you.


Dr. Christine Li:

Thank you.


Alice Boll:

But also like hearing your story and talking about yourself as a recovering procrastinator. I think that that’s very relatable. So can you tell us just a little bit about your story and how you got into becoming the procrastination coach?


Dr. Christine Li:

Okay, sure. Thank you so much again. I love your style of just talking. I would say I am a psychologist by training, so your listeners should know that because that’s a little bit about my background for just knowing how to observe people and how they tick and what gets them caught up in things. So I had the formal training to really know people in that way, but of course, when any psychologist or anytime you go into any career, really, you have to take a look at what are you contributing? How does your personality fit with this particular job or career? And I would say even in graduate school, late graduate school in my doctoral program, I was still struggling very deeply with procrastination habits, being late with papers and staying up all night and not really knowing how to organize things in any organized way.


Dr. Christine Li:

And I definitely didn’t have any time for hobbies or for much fun. And being a doctoral student is not that much fun to begin with oftentimes. So I was really hurting. I had a lot of anxiety I think, I got really physically ill with pneumonia one winter, and it was just a lot of procrastination suffering, I would say. And my recovery happened piece by piece. One piece was getting into therapy, which I think is standard for people who trained to be psychologists, but it was new for me. And I just year after year just decided, let me work on what is holding me back. Let me talk these conflicts through, let me get a little bit more organized with my closet and you know how these things go, that when we make improvements, we always have to do them piece by piece. It’s never really an overnight affair, even though we think sometimes that we should just snap out of things.


Dr. Christine Li:

And so it really took me many years to get to a point where I could say, I’m pretty much recovered. I don’t do this automatically anymore, I don’t show up late as much, I don’t freak out as much. I don’t feel badly about myself as much. And that is just as with any recovery, if you’re recovering from a small illness or from a drug addiction or from a TV addiction, whatever it is when you recovered, you have that feeling of lightness and wellbeing and satisfaction. And that’s just what I want to share with people who want to travel that same road that I was on to move from procrastination and the feeling of being stuck in stagnant to a feeling of, “Oh, this is very doable. Everybody does this. I have time to do this. I know how to do this. I can trust myself while I’m doing it.” And that’s basically what I want to do. And I find that people over-complicate things. And I just want to take the complication out of that path.


Alice Boll:

Oh my gosh. I relate so much to what you said when you were talking about like the whole organization and just feeling overwhelmed by everything. Sometimes you just kind of want to pick up your house, shake out all the contents and be able to just start fresh or something. And life is like that too. Like if you can just like shake off whole timetable and be like, “I just need a fresh slate and a new beginning,” but that’s really not something that we get. So how do you dive in and make those little changes? What do you take us through in the book to kind of get us onto a new path?


Dr. Christine Li:

Well, that’s the thing about the book, which I love actually. There are 104 exercises. This was the suggestion of the publishing company. And I think it was brilliant really to make the book really pragmatic, where you could pick it up and within five minutes actually have a five minute exercise to do so that there’s almost no room for being a sad sack or feeling listless or feeling like there’s no more time, “I don’t have time to do this.” Because when it comes down to it, all we need is kind of like a five minute window where we’re not feeling like we’re going to give up on ourselves. And so there’s a lot of exercises in the book. I just have it in front of me and I’ll just open to one just to share. And this is one of my favorite tips, “it’s to remove or neutralize negative feelings.” Because we all know about positive thinking and that when you think more positively, things tend to go much more smoothly and you tend not to get caught up in your resistance.


Dr. Christine Li:

But what we don’t talk about is how dramatically negative feelings can just block ourselves and make us think that we’re not good, that we have no chance that our goals are dumb and they’re not going to be attainable. I mean, really when I was in the middle of writing this book, there were periods where, although I believed I would come to the end of the writing process, I just didn’t believe it was possible. So our brain plays tricks on us, and I just want to help people just get their hands on something that can show them that actually I can make these changes. I can make them in a short amount of time and I can improve my life dramatically. Even by taking these small steps.


Alice Boll:

Oh, a 16 year old Alice needed this message so bad.


Dr. Christine Li:

So did 16 year old Christine. So thanks. Thanks for sharing that.


Alice Boll:

So what is the exercise that’s related to that topic?


Dr. Christine Li:

So one exercise to give you an example, “What negative feelings or stories about yourself have been getting in your way? What will you say to yourself in order to stay free from negativity?” And those are two of the, I would say that’s actually two questions in that one exercise, but there’s a couple of paragraphs before describing the danger of negative feelings. And I just wrote these exercises with a very encouraging tone. I think you can hear from my voice, even on this podcast, that we don’t really have time to drag ourselves down. And why would we want to take that time anyway, because we are our best supporters and we are our best cheerleaders and we need to just get that energy aligned with our goals, our goals are positive targets that we’re aiming for.


Dr. Christine Li:

And we want to align our feelings to be connected in the same zone, with the same vibration as our goals. Otherwise, we’re just going to set up big roadblocks instead. And I think that’s the danger of procrastination, that we feel that there’s so much stress and strife ahead of us, and so why start instead of saying ourselves, “Oh wow, I get to reach that goal soon. And I get to feel a different way because of that.” And I just want to help people have more fun being productive.


Alice Boll:

Oh my gosh. That is so good. And when you say that “we are our own best cheerleaders,” like so many times we give ourselves a hard time, but you’re here, you’re telling us to stop that negativity and kind of refocus yourself in a new way. And I really like that way of thinking so much.


Dr. Christine Li:

Oh, Thank you. And I think you’re a liver of that mentality, I believe, from just what I know of you. You are kind, you are positive and you’re just nice. And I just feel like that’s part of this, just be nice to yourself, be nice to others. And then the mistakes that happen along the way, like the mistake that just happened a few minutes ago, when I didn’t read the rest of the exercise, they will just pass. They will, they happen and they pass and we will be safe and fine in the end. But it’s just really, really important to be nice and kind to yourself so that you stand a chance against your procrastination impulses.


Alice Boll:

And I think that with all the things that we do, like lots of times we give other people a more generous spirit and we give them more of a pass in life than we would for ourselves. Like we take that time to be like, “Oh no, it’s totally okay that you didn’t fulfill this expectation.” And we do one bad thing and all of us had, and that’s the end of the world and we just can’t meet this and we can’t do all these other things. And I think that if we can be as nice to ourselves as we are to other people, sometimes that would be a really good thing for us.


Dr. Christine Li:

It really ends up being a really, really good thing. And I think I cover that in the book too, that when you have the inclination to berate yourself or to just get down on yourself for doing something, consider that an indication that you really care, rather than that you’re really bad at something. And if you just make that slight adjustment or maybe that significant adjustment, you can just recover your positive energy that much more quickly. And I think we need to preserve that energy because there’s so much in the world, especially these days that can be a drain on our energy. And we’re responsible for just protecting ourselves and our inner happiness so that we can do the good things that we want to do for ourselves and others.


Alice Boll:

Like scrapbooking.


Dr. Christine Li:

Like scrapbooking. And by the way, scrapbooking is a way to preserve your energy. You can look at scrapbooking as, “Oh, I have to drag my materials out, I have to schedule this, I have to figure out which pictures go where, I have to face the drama of like, is this going to work out?” But it’s also that it just as easily could be, “this is my private time, this is my expansion time, this is my gratitude time, this is my playtime, this is my honoring my family and my memories and my life time.” And I think that’s the beauty of hobbies in general, but scrapbooking in particular, it’s a really hard hobby. It’s something that we do because we love people and we love our memories and we love our life, and we want to preserve the good feeling of today for tomorrow. So I’m all with the hobbyists and, and the scrapbookers and for doing things that make your heart full.


Alice Boll:

Oh my gosh, I wish everybody could see me shaking my head right now. I feel like, [inaudible 00:16:10] because my head is going, yes, yes, yes. And like, even in the way the subtitles, called it the subtitle for your book, like the Stay Motivated, Cultivate Good Habits and Achieve Your Goals. To me, those are so connected to what I’m trying to accomplish when I’m trying to scrap book.


Dr. Christine Li:

Yes. And we’re all trying to do this every day, from the moment we wake up, even right? When me get to the toothbrush, that’s a goal. So we’re just filling our days with these little bits of activity and let’s make them all little good bits. Let’s make them happy, let’s make them not critical, Let’s make them life enhancing when we can or fun when we can too. And you’ll feel that the stress will start to drift away when you start making this a habit.


Alice Boll:

So one of the things that we like to do every time on the podcast is leave people with a prompt, something that they can go and scrapbook right away. Do you have a suggestion for a prompt of the day?


Dr. Christine Li:

I think I have a great one. I think if I had to suggest a prompt, I would prompt your listeners to do a version of a vision board on a page. And I suggest that because vision boards are all about goal setting and goal envisioning, but they also allow us to envision ourselves achieving our goals ahead of time. And that’s why I love vision boarding. And I think scrapbooking is perfect for vision boarding. So if you have an opportunity, a few have just even a minutes, you can just lay out what are your goals for the next month, two months, or by the end of the year, and put it together and envision yourself reaching those goals as you’re creating the page. So that’s the real tip, that you want to think positively about these goals and you’re succeeding at them while you’re creating the page.


Alice Boll:

That is a wonderful prompt. Thank you so much.


Dr. Christine Li:

No problem. Happy to share it.


Alice Boll:

Now it’s time for our tip of the day. So, if there’s one tip that you’d like to see procrastinators take action on what would that be?


Dr. Christine Li:

I would say, I spoke with a few patients, remember, I’m a psychologist. So I did a few sessions today and really the theme that is so loud and clear when I work with my clients is that anxiety can be really destructive and is something to ward off all the time. That, anxiety can be something that is a part of everyday, but we want to minimize it. So that would be my one big dramatic tip, to be careful about the stories you’re telling yourself, be careful when you feel like you’re scaring yourself or being scared unnecessarily by some story or perspective you have on the world. Because if you strip the story away, you’ll see that things are just as they need to be. And that you have just as much power as you need to take care of things that might feel problematic in your life.


Alice Boll:

I think that is amazing advice. It’s just so great.


Dr. Christine Li:

Thanks.


Alice Boll:

So obviously, if people want to explore more, they can go and get your book. I know you can order it online because my copy is being shipped to me right now, but you have something else that’s coming up right around the corner?


Dr. Christine Li:

Yes. I am hearing up for my big bootcamp experience. It’s called the Power Productivity Bootcamp and it’s a big week of free training and coaching and fun. I have prizes planned and I’ve been gearing up for this for a week. So I’m just really ready to get this, to open the doors and to welcome your listeners, your listeners’ friends, anybody who needs help, and a little bit of coaching during these times, I welcome you to join the Power Productivity Bootcamp, and we’re going to be starting on October 19th, but the registration is open starting now.


Alice Boll:

That’s totally exciting. I will definitely take you up on that-


Dr. Christine Li:

Okay, great.


Alice Boll:

… so that we can be a little more productive and reach those goals. I’m always looking at different ways that I can reach my goals.


Dr. Christine Li:

Yes.


Alice Boll:

So, if people want to sign up for this or if they can sign up for it right now, but you also have an email list that they can get on. Where do they go to get all of the things like where do they go and see everything.


Dr. Christine Li:

Yes. Thank you so much for sharing my resources with your listeners and community. My home site is procrastinationcoach.com. I’m also all over social media with that same name of procrastination coach, the signup link for the bootcamp in particular is procrastinationcoach.com/bootcamp. And that’ll bring you all the information that you need to start.


Alice Boll:

And you had something kind of special to share with us today as an extra bonus for our listeners of the ScrapHappier Podcast. Can you tell us about that?


Dr. Christine Li:

Yes. I’m happy to share that Alice and I are going to collaborate on doing a book giveaway. So, a lucky member of the listening audience and Alice’s community is going to be chosen to get a paperback copy, hot off the press of 5-Minutes Self-Discipline Exercises. And I’m so excited to figure out and find out who’s won and to ship this right out to you immediately.


Alice Boll:

Oh my gosh. Thank you so much. I’m just really excited about that. To enter to win the free book, pop over to my Instagram and leave a comment on the book giveaway prize post. You can have a bonus entry by tagging a friend, and you must follow both the Procrastination Coach and the Alice Boll profiles. This giveaway is not affiliated with Instagram. You must leave a comment by October 19th, as that’s the day we’re going to draw the prize. And don’t forget, that’s also the day that the boot camp kicks off.


Dr. Christine Li:

Thank you so much, Alice for hosting all of these fun and exciting projects, and for inviting me on the show, and for helping me to share my thoughts and my mission with your audience. It’s been really amazing to just get to know you and to just have this opportunity to be here. So thank you.


Alice Boll:

Oh my gosh. I’m so glad that you’re here with us. Thank you so much, Dr. Christine Li, The Procrastination Coach. You can find her site at procrastinationcoach.com. Be sure to check out her book 5-Minutes Self-Discipline Exercises: Stay Motivated, Cultivate Good Habits, and Achieve Your Goals, and sign up by October 19th for the Power Productivity Bootcamp. It’s like the favor that you can do for yourself. And do yourself a favor, sign up. And it’s free, right? Like it’s totally a free thing.


Dr. Christine Li:

Totally free. And actually, because I was down with the book for so many months, just writing it, thinking about it, editing it, which took a while, I have really missed live coaching. So I am raring to go and ready to help people live and inside my community. So I’m welcoming your community to be part of my community. I’m so excited for this.


Alice Boll:

I’m so grateful that we could have the Procrastination Coach, Dr. Christine Li on the ScrapHappier Podcast today. Hopefully her tip of the day to help you manage your anxiety, having a sneak peek into the behind the scenes of her new book and her fabulous prompt that asks you to create a vision board inspired scrapbook page, are leaving you with tons of motivation and inspiration that will help you to be more productive with your scrapbooking. And of course, make scrapbook pages that you love happy scrapping. Okay. Yeah, that was great. I’m so glad that we got that in.


Dr. Christine Li:

Good. I loved the question, because it was like how many people have asked me, “what scrapbook page would you [inaudible 00:24:55] that was a first.


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