Feb. 3, 2022

How Absolutely Anyone Can Conquer Procrastination and Win Their Time Back with Dr. Christine Li and Dr. Kathy Zhang

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In this episode, I was a guest on The Purpose Filter podcast and interviewed by Dr. Kathy Zhang who asked me the most wonderfully deep and meaningful questions about procrastination. She even wove in a discussion about how she herself is a procrastinator.

You probably think you've heard it all when it comes to procrastination, but Dr. Zhang and I took that conversation so much deeper. We not only unpack why people push off projects until the very end, but also explore the mindset, unconscious habits, identity and behaviors of a chronic procrastinator. We discussed the primary reasons why people procrastinate and how procrastination manifests as a consequence of mental clutter, fog or underlying anxiety.  And I share how a strong sense of self can help "S.M.A.C.K." the procrastination habits that are keeping us from living our best lives. If you've ever pushed something off to the last minute or thought "hmm, I can finish that tomorrow", then you've landed on the right episode!

Dr. Luyi Kathy Zhang, is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at New York University, and the host of the Purpose Filter Podcast, where she shares stories and insights in inspiring interviews to help people transform their lives from the inside out. Her mission is to bring the clarity, purpose and meaning that comes with confronting our mortality to those fortunate enough not to have to…because everyone deserves to live the life they want, with the time they have left.


• [3:50] I explain how I became a Procrastination Coach…
• [5:57] Dr. Zhang wants to know the deeper meaning of procrastination… beyond putting something off or delaying it.
• [14:38] I explain the S.M.A.C.K. technique which helped me set the stage for my own better functioning as a procrastinator…
• [23:11] Dr. Zhang says “I see it in myself, putting things off because I want it to be as perfect as possible because I don't want others to judge me, or feel ashamed of my performance.”

For more information on the Make Time for Success podcast, visit:

Connect with Us!

Dr. Christine Li -
Website: https://www.procrastinationcoach.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/procrastinationcoach
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/procrastinationcoach/

Dr.  Kathy Zhang -
Website: http://purposefilter.com/
The Purpose Filter Podcast Episode: New Year, Purposeful YOU Part 2: Conquer Procrastination, Create Better Habits and Regain Control Over Your Precious Time with Dr. Christine Li:https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/new-year-purposeful-you-part-2-conquer-procrastination/id1579203704?i=1000547670652
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/purposefilter/


Christine Li  0:01  
Welcome back to the Make Time for Success podcast. This is episode 60. Remember the time that I interviewed Dr. Kathy Zhang. It was episode number 55 for this podcast and the episode was entitled finding your meaning and purpose by looking at the end of life. Remember that episode? It was fantastic. Dr. Zhang is a palliative medicine physician, author and coach. And in that episode, we had a beautiful discussion about what she's learned about death and dying, but also about how we can live a more meaningful life because of our view into death and dying. You can listen to episode 55 To hear her beautiful wisdom. And you can listen to her on her podcast, which is also wonderful. It's called The Purpose Filter. Now after she and I recorded Episode 55, we turned around and recorded an episode for her podcast with me as the interviewee. I was the guest. And as soon as we finished that interview, I knew immediately that I wanted to take that interview and repurpose it for this podcast, my podcast because Kathy asks the most wonderful and deep and meaningful questions to me in this interview about procrastination, she wove in a discussion about how she herself is a procrastinator. And we together got really deep into the nitty gritty of how procrastination dupes us into thinking we can only produce work while panicking, and how we can change our mindset and our skill set about work so that we could bring work into the light so that we can work without struggle or drama or pain. I love this interview. I love the content. I really hope you stick with this interview and stay with me to the end. And I want to thank Dr. Zhang for co-creating it with me. Let's go listen to this episode now.

Hi, I'm Dr. Christine Li and I'm a psychologist and a procrastination coach. I've helped 1000s of people move past procrastination and overwhelm so they could begin working to their potential. In this podcast, you're going to learn a powerful strategies for getting your mind, body and energy to work together so that you can focus on what's really important and accomplish the goals you want to achieve. When you start living within your full power, you're going to see how being productive can be easy, and how you can create success on demand. Welcome to the Make Time for Success podcast.

Kathy Zhang  3:14  
Hello, everyone. And welcome back to another episode of The Purpose Filter. We are so lucky to be joined today by Dr. Christine Li. Hi.

Christine Li  3:24  
Hi, everyone. Thanks, Kathy.

Kathy Zhang  3:26  
How are you? I'm so glad you could spare the time to come on the show.

Christine Li  3:30  
I'm so glad to be with you. You're lovely to interview me and invite me on the show.

Kathy Zhang  3:35  
Yeah. Okay, so we heard a little bit about you from your bio, but I'd love to hear from yourself. If you could share a little bit more about you your background and how you got to where you are now. All

Christine Li  3:46  
right, then I am a lifelong procrastinators. So that's essentially how I accidentally became procrastination coach. I'm a clinical psychologist by training and I was working at a large university and a dean there requested a procrastination workshop. And my hands shot up because I was a volunteer, despite the fact that I knew nothing about how to run a procrastination workshop. And of course, the long story short is that I started researching for the topic and realized that I was in dire need of help. For my own very chronic, very severe procrastination behaviors. I was anxious all the time, I would never sleep. I always thought I was going to fail. Whatever was coming up next. I never felt calm. And I never really had mental clarity as a result, and I went through all of my schooling, including my PhD years with that kind of clutter in my mind and my heart and of course When I realized, oh, it's actually not that difficult issue to remedy, or to mitigate. It was mission time for me. So that's what I've been doing online for about 10 years really just trying to get the word out that procrastination is not a personality flaw or something that's permanent within you. It's something that's actually a changeable habit.

Kathy Zhang  5:25  
Oh, my gosh, that is so refreshing to hear, because I am. So like, You are the past you, I assume were just, you know, I'm like, I've tried so many things. And this interviews, probably a lot of self interest, because I just like, I'm like, how, how do I figure it out? And I know a lot of people like me, as well. So it's really great to hear that. It's just a pattern of thoughts or habits or things like that things that we do unconsciously. So my first question is, what is procrastination? I mean, I think we all know it as postponing or delaying something, and waiting till the last minute, but is there something more to this, there's something deeper than that.

Christine Li  6:09  
I think we're all very different in our level, and type and style of procrastination. I'd like to say that I'm the queen, because I've done all of them. But, of course, I hear stories, and they're very interesting to have people doing anything they can to avoid a certain trigger or fear or project. And I don't think there's any one through line about procrastination. But so often, I think when you really dig deep, there is some sort of fear that the person is calculating is worth staying away from it's worth facing embarrassment, personal shame, inconvenience, expense, just to stay away from the fear. And as you know, sometimes we're not fully aware of what's really getting at us or what is terrifying, or what is keeping us procrastinating when it makes no sense. And by the way, I think the fact that it makes no sense keeps people really locked in shame. In a big way I call procrastination, the last taboo, we can talk about everything in the world, I think, but not how we're procrastinating.

Kathy Zhang  7:26  
Yeah, so true. And it's just, it's this seemingly unbreakable cycle, like you said, the fear and knowing that it's maybe irrational or we should be doing something, but we're not and why are we not doing it? So what why are some other categories of reasons why people procrastinate, I think you mentioned like fear being the underlying kind of theme. But what are some of the different ways that people procrastinate, that you've seen? And some of the themes around that?

Christine Li  7:58  
I think that's a great question. And I think fear is numero uno, I would say, number two would be self belief that people do not believe that they're the kind of person who could succeed at something that they've never tried before, or something that feels beyond them, or something that they don't feel prepared for when really, so much of what we do in life really doesn't require a lot of skill, a lot of preparation. Or even for us to have the full identity of the person who is, for example, a great public speaker, you have to be someone who tries public speaking to be a good public speaker. And we forget that journey piece. It's the Instagram phenomenon where you see everyone looking bright and sparkly. And you don't see that they are really putting the effort and the time in and the training, and doing the scary things over the years so that they can be the bright and sparkly public speaker. So we think self belief is a habit where you don't believe that you're worthy, you don't believe that your skills can expand, even so that's a big reason. That's why coaching is so beneficial to people who have been stuck for a long time. The third thing that I see is sometimes that there's a skill deficit of some kind, nothing critical, but something just big enough to make the person feel the pang of fear, which then sets them up for the cycle of Oh, it must not be the right time right now. My favorite thing to do since feeling like I've recovered from procrastination is just to try everything. For instance, in the online space, there's so many things you can do. You could do Facebook Lives, you could host a podcast, you could put out a book, you could do a summit, you could host the summit, you could put out a course. And each of these things requires labor, but more than the labor, it requires just the energy to say, I'm going to fling this out into the world. And that is not an inborn talent, I think that's just something that we will ourselves to do an everybody has that amount of willpower, I believe. We're just not necessarily accustomed to enjoying that, or trying that at every opportunity. So now I've become a person who really say yes to pretty much anything if I feel it's gonna be fun,

Kathy Zhang  10:38  
right? I think that's so telling that the things that you mentioned, number one, fear, number two, self belief or this identity? Or maybe this thought that our skills are just finite, that we can't broaden our capabilities. And then the third, which might be something actually concrete, which is a skill deficit, but not necessarily a huge one, maybe we're blowing it out of proportion. But the first two are all internal, right? It's all emotions. It's all emotional states and things that we believe. So I really want to You mentioned something about enjoying, I really want to ask, is there any, certainly there's the pain of fear and moving away from that? But is there? Have you seen that there's maybe instances where people actually, subconsciously or unconsciously derive some sort of pleasure from procrastinating? Like sometimes I think, and I wonder if I do it, because I know that I'm capable. And so I wait to the last minute to Innocence prove, my, I don't know, my own worth or approve my own capabilities. Is that a thing?

Christine Li  11:47  
Yes, one of the books that I read while I was doing the research for the workshop said that procrastination is really when we cut off the performance, so that we avoid the judgment. So what you're potentially doing by waiting to the last minute, is saying, Oh, this actually wasn't about my full performance. So you can't really fully judge me. And once I got that little formula, I thought, oh, I can allow myself to try over time. It was something I had never ever done before. Because I like you waited too, oftentimes, after the final moment was allowed to really get the motivation to start, I think it was relying on external factors to release the internal tension. Once I learned that, oh, I don't actually need internal tension to start that things became much easier to produce ahead of time.

Kathy Zhang  12:44  
Wow. Okay, so what I'm what I'm hearing and what I'm internalizing is that, in a sense, it's it's the fear of rejection, right? Because we're saying that, like, I waited to the last minute, it wasn't my best effort, but I got it done. And if for some reason, it doesn't turn out as I hoped, or it doesn't turn out as well, as I want to the result? Well, it's because I procrastinated. You know, I waited to the last minute, is that right?

Christine Li  13:13  
Absolutely. And I am very much like you with the whole valor idea of Oh, I could do this hard thing at the very last minute. And then we feel wiped out. And we feel like we've somehow abused ourselves in our time. But we're in that cycle again, because we haven't had the practice of trusting that it will be valuable, it will be of worse, it will be okay. If we try and if we do it in a calmer way. And if we do it in a kind of maybe more mundane way. So maybe we're not getting the thrill out of it. But I really want to advocate not using your work to get your thrills because I'm an advocate of using your relationships and drama, like going to movies. Go get your thrills elsewhere. Let your work be your work, so that you can peacefully succeed at it and let it go. When it's not work time, huh?

Kathy Zhang  14:12  
Yeah, absolutely. Okay. That is really eye opening to hear that. So let's say someone is like, Okay, I think I understand at least where it comes from, why I'm doing it. So what next? How do I maybe break the pattern? How do I make the habits to start a little earlier and not wait to the last minute?

Christine Li  14:34  
Okay, so I have a quick way of remembering the techniques that really helped me to set the stage for better functioning and it's, the word is smack s ma CK I came up with that while driving my minivan many years ago. So S is simplicity. So you really want to simplify everything. Oftentimes when we're going to solve a problem we oftentimes feel Let's add something, let's do something. And sometimes it's actually the opposite. We need to let all this stuff, go all the extraneous worries all the physical clutter that might be surrounding you and making you confused and not focused. Start with simplifying. And I always say, if you have the choice between organizing 100 papers, and two, what do you choose, our brain is going to beg for the two scenarios. So simplify what you can, it doesn't have to be a lot. But once you get in the habit of saying, Oh, let me choose the easier route. Let me not make this overly complicated. You've already won, you've already kind of done yourself a favor in the procrastination boat. The next letter is m, for mindfulness. And like you, I think, I try to guide people to really stay in the present moment, because that's where you have your power. So regretting and feeling ashamed about things and running behind your deadlines, that's living in this kind of chaotic and settled past view of yourself, when really your whole range of functioning is in the present moment, actually. And it also goes to say that you should not be worrying about your future. So don't be predicting what the criticism is going to be when you submit your paper or your finish your project. You want to say, it may be coming, but I'm going to make my work as powerful and as good as I have time for. So really accepting that that's what we can affect the present moment.

Kathy Zhang  16:49  
Okay, I love that. So simplicity, mindfulness, staying in the present, not the past or the future, and focusing on that. Okay, so what are the rest of the smack?

Christine Li  17:00  
Yeah, a is anxiety reduction. Okay, which is, I think, a big one, of course, because anxiety drives procrastination. And we know there's meditation, there's yoga, but I think what we don't speak enough about is how much control we have over our thoughts and feelings, and the tone that we can set for our bodies and how we perform throughout the day, even under really stressful circumstances. I mean, you want to think of like doctors, firefighters, frontline people, there's a way that they are consciously regulating their reactions to stressful stimuli. And I think it's a great skill to learn to do that for the everyday person. And we have many different ways of treating ourselves to those lessons. So you have YouTube, I have a teacher who has a YouTube channel, her name is Melanie Moore, m o r e, and she teaches emotion Freedom Technique, or tapping. So our listeners can explore that it's a gentle way of guiding yourself to leave your old story about what's going on, and invite the new story that's more adaptive, that's more advantageous, that's more calming, then the ball of stress you were hanging on to before. So go for the simple techniques to reduce your anxiety that makes sense for your time and your personality. Make it yours, make it fun, make it not a drag. Because if it's going to be a drag, you're going to avoid it. So let's let's make it easy for you.

Kathy Zhang  18:52  
Absolutely, I just, you know, is so wild is that literally a day or two ago, I kind of was led through a tapping kind of session from and that's the first time I've ever done it. And the they asked you to focus on a feeling and rate it. And mine was anxiety, and had another seven and afterwards it was a three and I felt so light. And it was just kind of really incredible. So Melanie more on YouTube, I think that is definitely something that our listeners are going to be interested in. Okay, awesome. So we're almost halfway through the smack the C is

Christine Li  19:28  
yes, the C is something that's completely not spoken about. When it comes to procrastination, I believe and that is communication. When we procrastinate, we tend to fall into shame. And then we tend to not communicate what is needed so that we need help, that we need extra time that we're on the wrong project that that the whole thing is wrong, that you need an extra day, whatever you need to communicate, or that you got confused about the directions. It could be anything but I want to pass on the message that you have permission to communicate on your own behalf, because it's actually not just going to help you, it's going to help everyone that's involved with your work or with you and your life. And I think we fail to communicate because we feel like we are not deserving of help, or the situation we've created, causes us to just fall flat emotionally. And we fail to rescue ourselves from the situation. And once you communicate, you realize, oh, it wasn't that bad. Oh, they weren't waiting for it anyway. Oh, they actually can give me more time. And I can do this without berating myself or torturing myself in a way. So Communicate, communicate, communicate, communicate ahead of time, communicate before you think it's necessary, get into that new habit. Because procrastinators, we're always kind of, you know, two steps slower, let's get maybe one step ahead of ourselves. And when you get to that point, after a while of deciding, oh, I can't can take care of myself in this way. Time starts to re orient around you and you start to use time in a different way where you are taking advantage of your current minutes. You're not letting them slip by, you're not as inclined to do tick tock, which I just discovered, and is a terrible waste of time. i They very entertaining, but oh my gosh, what a what a use of time there. So you have more control over your energy system, when you're not procrastinating because you have your entire range of time available to

Kathy Zhang  21:42  
you. Right. That's, that's great. Okay, communication, and asking for help. All right,

Christine Li  21:49  
yes. And the last one is k the most important one, kindness to self. So we mentioned self image earlier, if we're not treating ourselves kindly, and we're just waiting and hoping for other people to lift us up, support us tell us we're good enough. You're slowing down your entire operating system, I think I think you have to start with the self belief, you have to start with the kind words to yourself, you have to start with the belief that you are a success, or that you can attain the success that you're after. And everything will work better when you've got the machine revved up and raring to go and feeling positively. Of course, positive mindset is also so helpful. I do believe in all of those. We will principles that if you're thinking positively, you're going to see positive things come into your life. Yeah, it really happens that way. So it's SMAC, simplicity, mindfulness, anxiety, reduction, communication as much as you can. And kindness to self always, that's just a permanent role.

Kathy Zhang  22:53  
Okay, this is so, so helpful. I've been scribbling notes furiously. And something that came to mind also with the self belief, and the identity is the concept of procrastination and perfectionism, right? Is that I can just imagine, and I see it in myself, putting things off because I want it to be as perfect as possible because I don't want others to judge me, or feel ashamed of my performance. But then that cycle of being like, the stress of putting it off, in that sense, is that something you notice in your clients who procrastinate?

Christine Li  23:30  
Yes, I think that perfectionists are, in some ways, the ones who suffer more. Because perfectionism is a really difficult thing to chase. Impossible once you attain it, right? Well, let's say you do attain it, then the next, the very next thing you do needs to be at that level too. Because if you're perfect, everything has to be perfect. So I joke that perfectionism is the fastest way to slow yourself down. And personally, I like to fit in everything I can. So perfectionism really is counter to that if I'm going to lean perfectionistic I'm going to have no time to get to know someone or to learn a new hobby, or to figure something else out. Because I'm spinning my wheels over here. And I just, I also joke that I'm such a disorganized person at heart that I don't have, don't have really the skills to be a perfectionist. But I would say perfectionism is an avoidance of that criticism. But what if you could say to yourself, I am not going to be worried about that anymore, that it's conscious anxiety reduction, saying that whatever that person's opinions are, or that person's opinions, they exist for them. They exist as words, but they don't have to erode by self esteem or how I see males, myself, or even how I see my, my work. It's their opinion, all right. And when you set boundaries like that, you can push your work to a deeper level, because you're not really concerned about what the reactions are going to be. You're concerned about the quality of your work. And you, you can only do so much. I think there are limitations to what we can do. But we don't want those to be forced by our fears of other people.

Kathy Zhang  25:29  
Mm hmm. Okay. So I wondered, do you have thoughts on maybe, sometimes we want to change so much. We don't want to procrastinate. But are there? Do you have thoughts about why we sometimes maybe choose to remain stuck in situations that we don't prefer or are not helpful to us? Habits.

Christine Li  25:51  
It's all habits. This is my recent thing to explore. And I love reading about habits now. I'm trying to train people about leaving old habits behind to embrace new habits. The reason why we don't leave them is because they're already habits. And because they're so well worn, we're we've relied on them, they have been of service to us, they save us time. They don't make us feel panicked, like, like stepping on stage makes us sometimes feel panicked. So they're, they're kind of like our old buddies. But you know what, it's good to get new buddies, especially when the old buddies are being really annoying, and not helping you anymore. But I think there's a whole process of transitioning, that is difficult, in many ways to execute. And I believe the way to get around that is one, you have to pick one thing. So sometimes we want to say, Okay, I want to lose 30 pounds and fix my whole wardrobe. And, you know, speak more confidently, that's a lot to be thinking about changing, it's all great. And you can do that. But let's pick one micro habit, one teeny piece, like you can comb your hair in a different way. And let's do that for a week. Until you get comfortable with that. Let's do one micro habit and focus on that believe that that is possible. That's the second piece you have to believe. Not only that, you can change a habit, but you're the person who is capable of doing that you cannot have any doubt because your old habit is going to rush in if you do,

Kathy Zhang  27:27  
right. And I think what I'm noticing in that is it's breaking patterns, it's changing. Not only the habit, but maybe also subconsciously, our identity, like you said, right? Where we do something that's a little bit different than how we did it before. And slowly whether we realize it or not, it reinforces this, something within us that like we're not really that person, or we're not that person that was doing those habits before.

Christine Li  27:55  
Absolutely. So I do recommend you change your identity first. And then you make your behaviors kind of catch up with you. And they will, because that's what your mind and body are programmed to do is to support your beliefs. So if you're still believing, you're the person who doesn't do well on stage, you hear the stories of people who, you know, they turn flush, they, they forget their words, they blank out really dramatic stories of people who are perfectly skilled at being able to deliver a speech like that. Our bodies are so wise, in that they're they're trying to protect you by supporting your beliefs. So let's give them really good beliefs to support.

Kathy Zhang  28:36  
Exactly like if whether you think you can or you can't. You're right.

Christine Li  28:40  
Yes. Okay. Yes, it's, you can see that as a curse or a tremendous blessing, right, that we have such control over this magical system that we have, right? The last thing about the habits is that you need to be committed, it needs to be like that hair brushing thing. It has to become the be all end all for a while until it's really established. Because life tick tock gets in the way Instagram gets in the way your kids get in the way you forget. innocently, it's not that we're not interested in the new habits. But in this day and age, time feels like it's always a crunch. So we have to say this is my mountain top. This is my focus is my target my big red target,

Kathy Zhang  29:26  
right? So the, you know, let's say, I get to a point where I'm like, oh, I should that thought pops up in your head. You're like, oh, you know, I have that thing that I should do. Is there something that I that people can say to themselves or do right then in there that they can intervene and say, make the decision to do it rather than push it off? Yes.

Christine Li  29:47  
One of my favorite things about my brain is that it will remind me of things that I have forgotten. And so maybe a suggestion is that if your brain is like mine, you listen So that brain because that is not, I believe in accidental firing, it's actually the brain saying you designated this as important at some point in time, and I'm reminding you of that. So instead of making the habit of pushing everything off, you decide, I'm going to keep my schedule really clean and clear and tight. I'm gonna observe time as I've planned it. And then when your brain gives you those messages on the side, you actually have the mental and emotional flexibility to fit it in, or to at least jot it down so it doesn't get lost forever. Because your brain is saying, Oh, she doesn't think it's important, or he doesn't think it's important.

Kathy Zhang  30:41  
Okay, got it. Got it. I'm really astounded. Because I think the more that I listened to you talk, I think I always thought of procrastination as a productivity issue, you know, where, like, work and time management, and I'm just not good at that stuff. Whereas it sounds like what it is really is a set of internal beliefs, it's more rather than external. It's all about how we relate to the world, our fears of rejection of in our fears of, and the anxiety that we have, around all of that, that perfectionism, the identity that this is fixed on, never be able to change it, I'll never be able to, you know, be those people who do all of their stuff like 12 days before the deadline is due and things like that, is that right?

Christine Li  31:33  
That's right. I mean, listen to the language you're using, I'm not good at your brain is listening, I will never do that your body is listening. And I'll share something that my coach says that your belief systems are BS. And it's really funny. We believe ourselves so much. So we really want to craft our belief system so that they're 100% supporting our highest potential and behaviors and goals. And you can do that. Absolutely. And everything you said was absolutely right. The external world did not make us procrastinators, it just didn't. And that's the good news. Because then we'd really be stuck if, if those forces were out of our control,

Kathy Zhang  32:16  
right, like, please, clearly we can accomplish what we're setting out to do. But perhaps there's a part of us that waits until the last minute to bring out that part of us that can accomplish it. There. Yeah, you know, we wait. And we think that that's the only time that that piece of ourselves can come out, when in reality, we can bring that out at our will, in a sense.

Christine Li  32:39  
Absolutely. I like I said earlier, worked at a University Counseling Service. And one of the things that I learned from working with student after student after student is that it is never about the talent of the student. It was never about the assignment, which when you think about, it's kind of interesting, because there's got to be some slide, that is really too much for the person that was assigned to but I never saw that in more than 10 years of being there. It was really always some sort of internal expectation block or fear that was getting in the way. And then you could really work with that person and within one session or to eliminate that block entirely. And that's a big deal.

Kathy Zhang  33:23  
That is so yeah, that's, that must be so transformative for these people, right? Where they just kind of be worked with them and something clicks and they're like, Oh, this is how I've been operating my entire life.

Christine Li  33:36  
Yeah, I think that's true. Whenever we change our behaviors that we see a whole part of the world is just opened up to me, right?

Kathy Zhang  33:45  
Okay, this has been so, so great. Is there anything else about procrastination that you think people should know? Or mindset or habits or strategies to be successful?

Christine Li  34:00  
I think I've said, almost all of my thoughts or questions were fantastic. I would say really, just to drive it home to the self belief. If you're thinking you're not 100% in some way, whether it's skills, self belief, or mindset, whatever it is, go find the coach, go find the material, go find the book, go take the risk of testing something out so that you can shake up the system. You won't get hurt. You will, you will learn more about yourself, and you will expand your range and it will likely be really fun. It'll be more fun than feeling like you're working at a deficit or you're stuck in some way. Okay,

Kathy Zhang  34:45  
are there certain books or resources on this particular topic that you would recommend to people?

Christine Li  34:52  
I have a podcast that's one thing i i have love to share people's stories just like yours. Kathy was on my show for the end of the year wrap up. My show is called make time for success. And I think you hear different voices, including Mel anymore, that tapping instructor that I mentioned earlier to so you can get inspiration from all over really It might be your neighbor, it might be the book that has been on your bedside table, but hasn't been open quite yet. It might be from your child, and how they're coping with something in a brand new way. It's really just allowing yourself to be more flexible with how you do things and knowing there's more than just how you do things. There are great books out there. And I think one that I've just started to listen to is called Psycho Cybernetics. And it's an interesting premise, their premise is that we've looked to psychologists for answers about all these things, when really we should be looking to the physicians, the mathematicians and the physicists. And so it's shaping up to be an interesting book, you might like it yourself. And really, it's just to keep an open mind, keep questioning, is my system working the way I want it to work? And that's, I think, why the book books like psycho cybernetics are of interest to me, I don't really read fiction anymore, unfortunately, but I'm obsessed with this self help range of books.

Kathy Zhang  36:31  
Right? Same thing. Okay, so I'm gonna get the title and author from you. And I'll put that in the show notes for everyone. Okay, so as we're wrapping up, we have a set of questions that we like to ask our guests. So if your game. The first one is, can you name something in your everyday life that you find beautiful, some people, it's their daily commute or just a quiet moment that they have to themselves, or just something that they notice that normally they take for granted, but they find very beautiful.

Christine Li  37:03  
Thank you for asking these questions. And thank you for sharing with them with me, thank you for sharing them with me ahead of time. Because I was able to think of what I think is really my real response. And what I really appreciate every day is my time freedom. Because I think it does connect with all the other things, it allows me to appreciate the birds in the trees and allows me to feel like life is mine to create that each day holds a lot of potential because I'm not bound overly so by time commitments. So I'm very lucky to say that I have that. But I also feel like I've worked to appreciate that and take advantage of that because of the procrastination recovery. Hmm, yeah, it's

Kathy Zhang  37:51  
it's just a shift in your life. Right? The focus and of time feels like it's not yours to now time being like, within your control, in a sense. Absolutely. Yeah. I love it. Okay, next question. What's an item on your bucket list? And two parter, what's preventing you from crossing it off now?

Christine Li  38:14  
Okay. So in ninth grade, I was supposed to go to Italy, with my Latin class, and the day before I got hit by car. So this is kind of a life created bucket list item where I would love to go to Italy, I haven't really actually traveled much. But COVID did interfere with my attempts to fix that. But I think I might be getting on a plane before the end of the year. So let's cross our fingers that there will be no more limitations there. With the travel part of the bucket list. I do think travel would be a really nice thing to be able to pull off right around now. Okay,

Kathy Zhang  38:54  
are you going to Italy on this plane or

Christine Li  38:56  
I do not plan on going to Italy, but I'm thinking of someplace out of the country?

Kathy Zhang  39:00  
Okay. Yes. All right. Love it. That's just the first step. And then maybe with there's an opening in 2022, Italy, Italy? Yes. Love it. Okay. And finally, what does a life well lived mean to you?

Christine Li  39:15  
Thank you for asking. I would say, when I was jotting down my notes, I kind of wrote down the word burned. And that means that I've burned through what I needed to burn through kind of just use my energy in a way that it was like I was burning through it that I used it intentionally that I really went for it, I guess. And I'm not speaking about anything in particular, but just that I'm using my life intentionally. And the two words that I wrote under that our effort and earnest. So really deciding that I'm going to put my effort here and then doing it with earnestness, that I had some sort of influence gasm and kind of a push of exploration underneath my efforts,

Kathy Zhang  40:06  
right? Like there's a passion there, right? There's this like Joie de Vive, where we're just like, This is life and I'm, I'm going to step up and take an active part in it, rather than letting it happen to me and reacting to those events.

Christine Li  40:23  
Yes. And don't get me wrong, I still react and stay passive. I do a lot of things, including procrastination, oftentimes, but I do love the fire burning too. I love I love seeing what I can create and who I can help.

Kathy Zhang  40:39  
Okay, so wonderful. Dr. Christine Li, host of the make time for success podcast. Where else can our listeners find out more information about you?

Christine Li  40:50  
I am new on Tik Tok, but I actually really prefer Instagram. So I'm procrastination coach. They're on tick tock. That's my website, as well. I invite your listeners to follow along with me as I continue this journey.

Kathy Zhang  41:06  
Wonderful. Thank you so much for your time. You've been so helpful. I know. Personally, to me with this just opening my mind about procrastination mindset habits. And it's been such a pleasure. Thank you so much for coming on the show.

Christine Li  41:22  
Thank you. You're a delight. Your questions are amazing. Thank you for having me.

Kathy Zhang  41:26  
All right. Take care. Bye.

Christine Li  41:28  
Thank you for listening to this episode of the Make Time for Success podcast. If you enjoyed what you heard, you can subscribe to make sure you get notified of upcoming episodes. You can also visit our website maketimeforsuccesspodcast.com for past episodes, show notes and all the resources we mentioned on the show. Feel free to connect with me over on Instagram too. You can find me there under the name procrastination coach. Send me a DM and let me know what your thoughts are about the episodes you've been listening to. And let me know any topics that you might like me to talk about on the show. I'd love to hear all about how you're making time for success. Talk to you soon.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Dr. Kathy ZhangProfile Photo

Dr. Kathy Zhang

Palliative Medicine Physician/Author/Coach/Podcast Host

Dr. Luyi Kathy Zhang is a palliative medicine physician, author and coach. She is an assistant clinical professor of medicine at NYU and the host of The Purpose Filter podcast, where she shares stories, insights and inspiring interviews to help people transform their lives from the inside out. Her mission is to bring the clarity, purpose and meaning that comes with confronting our mortality to those fortunate enough not to—because everyone deserves to live the life they want with the time they have left.