Procrasti-NATION Is the Thief of Success
At one stage of my life I was so good at procrastinating, I was even able to fool myself into believing that I was not procrastinating. I was so adept, in fact, that I was even attempted to write a book, detailing how to look busy and productive, whilst still managing to procrastinate the most important tasks. Do you know someone like that or maybe the person I am describing is you?
Now is the time to break this dangerous cycle and hopefully some of the tips I will present in this article will finally offer you the resource you have been looking for, to break free from procrastination. I aim to offer you a few practical tips in this article, to help you to break the cycle of procrastination and learn the crucial art of prioritization and task completion.
Newton’s laws of Physics
An object at rest will remain so unless acted upon by an outside force and conversely, an object in motion will also remain in motion, unless acted upon by an outside force. I see that both of these laws are related to procrastination. When you procrastinate and remain at rest, nothing happens and nothing will or can happen, because there is no motion. You are not moving and therefore nothing happens.
Procrastination, when it is overcome, however uses the other side of the law, namely the law of motion. Once you break the cycle of procrastination and just get started on a project or process, things just seem to keep unfolding and you keep taking action until the project is completed. Just getting started is half the battle won and will allow you to see the project finally done. By just getting started, you have taken the hardest step, the rest is easy.
Overcoming the Inertia of Procrastination
- What are you Procrastinating? – Identify all the crucial projects or tasks you are procrastinating and write it or them down on a piece of paper.
- Read your list of important activities, which you are delaying and pick one to tackle immediately.
- Now use the Nike slogan – ‘Just do it”
- Break the inertia and the entire project will begin to unfold before your eyes.
- Success is a doing work – Just get going.
Strategies for Overcoming Procrastination
These strategies are not listed in order of effectiveness—choose the ones that you find most helpful and resonate with you.
- Delete, delegate, purposefully defer, or do the task.
- Become accountable to yourself or to someone for doing the task. Having to account for your action can motivate you to do the task. Commit to someone to do it by a certain time or day, and ask them to follow up with you. (How about asking your Personal Coach to act as your accountability partner?)
- Reward yourself for doing the task. For example, do something you’re looking forward to only after you’ve done the thing you’re procrastinating.
- Celebrate when you take the first step and when you take the last step.
- If it’s complex, make the reward your last intermediate step.
- Change your paradigm about the thing procrastinated:
- Choose action not delay—think of the Nike slogan, “Just do it!”
- Realize that it’s better to start on the task even if you have to change your plan later, than it is to postpone the task.
- Don’t put off a complex task because you worry about doing it incorrectly. Just get started and allow things to unfold. Things always work out in the end.
- Brainstorm ways to make unpleasant tasks fun, complex tasks simple and uninteresting tasks more interesting.
- Do unpleasant tasks with someone or something you enjoy. For example, if you do not enjoy exercising, but you know you need to exercise fo your health. Then exercise to music or with friends to make it more fun and enjoyable. Maybe even go dancing.
- Start complex projects right away by breaking them into smaller pieces, which that you can start on easily and quickly and that contribute to the end result. Small, simple tasks provide momentum and involve you in accomplishing the project.
- Schedule and block out time for the task. You’re allowed to postpone the task until then, but decide ahead of time, that when the scheduled task comes up, you’ll do it.
- Focus on the benefits that will come to you when you finish the task.
- Ask yourself: “If I’m going do the task anyway, what are the costs of delaying it?”
- Set the timer for 15 minutes and get started! You can do anything for 15 minutes.
- Give yourself permission to decline a task someone gives you, especially if it doesn’t contribute to your mission, values or goals. Be courageous and considerate in saying no. If people continually bring you unimportant tasks or projects, you may need to change the culture or system.
- Schedule time to do the task when you have the most energy.
- Listen to yourself. (The solution you seek is already within your thoughts!)
- List all the ways that you can accomplish your task.
- Do it as the first task of the day.
These are a number of ideas, for eliminating procrastination from your life, which I collected over the years. I hope they will help you as much as they have helped me, to overcome or eliminate procrastination from your life.
Author: Andrew Horton Motivational Speakers
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